rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Last updated on: December 23, 2011 12:03 IST

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

     Next

Next
Shyamal Majumdar in Mumbai

Be honest. Look at the mirror and answer the following question: "If you find your most likely successor, what would you do?"

If the answer is "kill the bastard," you are probably telling the truth.

Or, consider this. How many times have you avoided recruiting a talent who has the potential to succeed you?

A headhunter recounts his experience with a company's president who kept postponing the decision to appoint a vice-president who was highly recommended for the post.

"Whenever the time came for a final decision, the president would either want to see two more candidates in the previous list, or make too many reference calls," the headhunter says.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Many bosses avoid hiring somebody who could replace them.

Tags:

     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

A year on, the post was filled by an internal candidate who was good, but most importantly, "safe" as far as the president was concerned.

Many of you may have done the same at some point in your career - suddenly developed the need for more information, advice or resources that you know you would never get.

For, that's a sure-fire way of putting to bed such uncomfortable issues.

Hang on, you are not alone. Many "leaders" would probably like to do the same if they found their successor.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Many bosses prefer to play it safe.

Tags:

Prev     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The reason is simple: research has found that a majority of leaders love to think and force others to think that they are simply indispensable.

For, nothing - just nothing – gives them more pleasure than the thought that the organisation would crash after they leave.

After all, there can't be any better evidence of your brilliance than the falling apart of the company after you've left.

Some believe in their indispensability so much that they simply refuse to leave - even if that means repeatedly increasing the retirement age of the entire board (filled with people who share the same opinion about the leader's rare brilliance).

India Inc is replete with such examples.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Some believe in their indispensability so much that they refuse to leave.

Tags: India Inc

Prev     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It's nobody's case that these leaders haven't done much - they are all super-brilliant, have given everything to work and have left a huge impact on their respective organisations.

One only wishes they also learnt how to let go. It's sad, but true that business success tends to overshadow personal weaknesses and companies all over the world are inclined to ignore such mundane things as long as the leader is delivering the profit goals.

Never mind that people in such companies often act out of self-preservation and fear, instead of internal inspiration.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: It's nobody's case that these leaders haven't done much.

Tags:

Prev     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Some leaders deliberately don't give employees a clear and compelling direction; say important things only once and leave workers scrambling to catch up; and concentrate on trying to improve employees' shortcomings instead of figuring out what employees are really good at and training them to be good.

Management expert Manfred Kets de Vries, a psychoanalyst whose research has provided rich insights into the minds of the business leader, suggests leaders can make the transition from good to great if they have self-awareness and a well-rounded personal life, as well as an ability to suffer fools and laugh at themselves.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Some leaders deliberately don't give employees a clear and compelling direction.


Prev     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Most of you can learn a lot from an interview ("Putting Leaders on the couch") Kets de Vries has given to Harvard Business Review.

The management expert talks about an entrepreneur who micromanaged employees to death.

This level of control was manageable as long as the company was in the start-up phase, but once it had become a $20-million operation, the entrepreneur's lack of trust in others' capabilities had a stifling effect.

Kets de Vries tells says that the entrepreneur is a control freak, a failing of which he remains largely unconscious.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: An entrepreneur micromanaged employees to death.


Prev     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

And because he is unconscious of it, he can't take responsibility for it, which means that nothing can change.

Unfortunately, even if this entrepreneur could acknowledge his obsessive need for control, he would most likely come up with many elaborate rationalisations for his behaviour.

The noted expert says leaders need a healthy dose of narcissism in order to survive, since assertiveness, self-confidence, tenacity and creativity just can't exist without it.

But once a narcissist gets into a position of leadership, funny things start to happen. Because narcissistic leaders are often charismatic, employees start to project their own grandiose fantasies onto the narcissistic leader.

And suddenly everything becomes surreal.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Leaders need a healthy dose of narcissism to survive.

Tags:

Prev     Next

Leaders in a hall of mirrors

Prev     More
Prev

More

He remembers being in a meeting at which 30 senior executives were gathered for a presentation about the future of the organisation.

The president arrived 20 minutes late, and he came in talking on a mobile phone.

Eventually, the presentation started, and the CEO's phone rang. He picked it up and talked for 15 minutes while everybody sat there, waiting.

Suddenly, the CEO got up and walked out. But no one, not one person, objected.

Everyone told him what he wanted to hear.

It was as if the CEO were in a hall of mirrors.


Image: Some bosses only hear what they want to hear.

Tags: CEO

Prev     More
Source: