Only Hardworkers With a BMI Under 25 May Read This

  • No overtime claim.
  • Do whatever your manager asks you to do.
  • Report to Manager
  • STRICTLY FOR HARDWORKING PROGRAMMER ONLY !!!!!! If you are not please do not apply for this job! [bold and uppercase]

This, believe it or not, was a job ad posted at the website jobstreet.com based in Malaysia.

How about this one?

Culture Out of Control

As I spend a lot of time in Asia, Middle East and North Africa I have noticed that some of the things that are done in the workplaces in these regions are beyond real. When these job posts were brought to light in a recent workshop that I was doing in Kuala Lumpur, I was told that yes, these are done all the time.

My comment about the first one was, “Who in their right mind would apply to a culture like this?” You would have to be a sucker for punishment to even go near this. The last line in bold was the jaw dropper.

How about a certain body weight to get a job? My thought was what happens if you gain weight during your employ? Will there be a monthly check in on BMI scores?

I had a young lady in sales for a telecom company in the Middle East tell me that she was told one night she could not leave at the end of her shift as she had not sold any product that day. Sell some product and you can leave. A few hours later she sold and was ALLOWED to leave.

What is all hell is going on in some of these cultures? I wrote a post a few weeks back about a manager who had just had enough and walked in and quit because he would not stand being abused any longer.

How Can You Call Yourself a Leader?

This undercurrent of an abusive culture results in high aggression, intimidation, unreasonable expectations and blatant lack of empathy. The question I would ask some of these so called leaders is: “Would you allow your daughter, son or family member to work in this type of environment?” If you have no problem with this, then you and the organization you are a part of represent a black eye to the workforce and workplace.

Empowered Workforce vs Empowered Leadership

I, for one, am extremely excited about the demographics of the new workforce, regardless of the geographic region. As the workforce skews younger you will see even the companies that post this foolishness forced to change. Hopefully, they will not even consider this type of blunt approach to finding talent. Posting a job description like these is a sign of a culture in which few will thrive. It is the exact opposite of an empowered workforce, which is the new culture of the modern and future workforce.

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Apply for the job at your risk, because you will be exposed to empowered leadership that is drunk on being in control. This type of leadership believes that bullying gives power, but it is blinded by a false sense of comfort. When these leaders eventually come to their senses, it will be too late and the cost of turnover and engagement will eat them alive.

Attention clueless companies, you are not the only job on the market. What makes you think you can be so selective? Your day is coming and it has your name on it. When you wake up out of your leadership stupor, you will look around and realize that life has passed you by. Your command and control psychology will leave you looking like a dated version of an old army general trying to manage a troop of young, energetic and fit workers. The joke will be on you, and you do not even know it.

My advice to your organization is: Get over yourself.

Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas is Managing Director, Strategy Focused Group DWC LLC, based in Dubai. He is also a senior faculty member and representative of the Human Capital Institute covering the MENA/Asia Pacific region.

He was formerly CEO of Great Place to Work-Gulf and former CHRO based in Riyadh. He holds certifications from the Human Capital Institute as Global Human Capital Strategist, Master Human Capital Strategist, and Strategic Workforce Planner.

He's been cited by CIPD as one of the top 5 HR Thinkers in the Middle East. He received the Outstanding Leadership Award for Global HR Excellence at the World Human Resources Development Congress in Mumbai, and was named as one of the 50 Most Talented Global HR Leaders in Asia

Ron's prior roles included senior HR positions with Xerox HR services, IBM, and Martha Stewart Living.

Board memberships include the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, McKinsey Quarterly's Executive Online Panel, and HCI's Expert Advisory Council on Talent Management Strategy.

His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Workforce Management and numerous international HR magazines covering Africa, India and the Middle East.