The Reluctant Messenger

You know the story. A leader in anger will kill the messenger of bad news. However, I believe there is more to the story. Often you find that the messenger takes pleasure in bringing bad news in the hope of tearing something apart and getting some twisted pleasure of seeing things fall into a heap.

A reluctant messenger will want to avoid the wrath and keep his job. If you think about it, how could it be any other way?

And yet, in our modern blogging world (sort of like email broadcasting), it is possible to send volumes of negative feedback with little worry about reprecussion. The exception to this is if you have done so anonymously and have been detected. Or maybe you work for the company that you are complaining about.

Again, it is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about this for some time and I’ve come to the realization that it only helps to complain when you actually can and will do something about it. In other words, you can’t just talk about whatever it is, you have to be prepared to step up and actually follow through with action to correct the situation.

And, of course, this is where it gets difficult.

How can I change something so big? With so many people involved, surely you need a captain to steer the ship.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to create positive change is to:

  • Worry primarily about those things you do have responsibility for
  • Only give advice to the people in charge if they are receptive to feedback
  • Stop complaining and more doing
  • Find a way to lead by example
  • Instead of waiting for approval, assume that you will eventually get approval
  • Work as a team with similar goals and thoughts (this does not mean clones)
  • Form a vision for yourself and sell it if it applies to others

Okay, that was a bit hokey. The point is that I have been struggling with changing things for years. I really do miss how easy change was during the early days of Citrix but I must accept that we are a much larger boat now and that I have to work with how that boat moves instead of trying to force the boat in the direction that I want it to go.

The point of this particular blog is to state that I’m looking for another way to bring about change within Citrix. I am going to assume that you have opinions about changing Citrix as well.

Why not take a chance and voice what you’d like to see change for the company?

What is your message?



Live near Brisbane, Australia. Software developer currently focused on iOS and Android. Avid Google Local Guide

Posted in Citrix Future
3 comments on “The Reluctant Messenger
  1. Hi Jeff,

    Circle of Concern – Circle of Influence comes to mind:


  2. samj says:


    This is an interesting post for a number of reasons. Indeed Citrix is larger now and change is more difficult to effect, however change is happening and more is required. It’s often difficult to illustrate how important it is to maintain agility as an organisation grows without being negative but I think this is acceptable provided your criticism is constructive and that there is a solution within the realm of possibilities.

    I would probably expand your assessment to include cases where you know what needs to be done even if you can’t necessarily do it yourself – sometimes it’s surprising what you can achieve. For example, when I first started at Citrix the Knowledge Center ( was not being indexed thanks to an extremely restrictive robots.txt file, but by prodding the right people I eventually managed to have it updated and since then millions of hits have come through from Google et al.


  3. David Caddick says:

    Sign me up as an “Agent for Change”,

    Sam is spot on, even now on the inside I still use Google as my prime search for issues, becaus not only does it now encompass the KBbut also all of the blogs etc.

    With all of the attention that Citrix spends on clearly identifying and highlighting the “Sales Process” I still find it strange that we don’t assist the Channel and Customers with a template Business Cases and ROI’s for each Product – we already have the info from Bill Carovano??…..


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