13 September 2008

HIPPO: Highest Paid Person in the Organization

As an intern you may have a view of a HIPPO at your site. Yes, every workplace has one! There are actually two types of HIPPOs you need to know about and you will not find them in any practicum manual. HIPPO is an acronym that is used in business, primarily.

HIPPO #1 - Highest Paid Person in the Organization
  • This informal description is basically... the boss. As you might guess, no one actually uses the term "HIPPO" on the job. It represents a concept that is unwritten, though: even if you cannot see the work that the HIPPO does, that's the person who is ultimately responsible for everything that occurs at the workplace.
HIPPO #2 - Highest Paid Person's Opinion
  • Again, the term is never used on the job! In this usage, HIPPO refers to the decision-making that often happens at the top level, with or without input from workers. (So, sometimes the decision is one person's opinion.)
As an intern, you can observe the HIPPO principles with some objectivity. How do the bosses at your site handle their power? What makes a HIPPO a great person to work alongside?

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

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