How often do you come across bosses or top management, whose approach is highly balanced? I am afraid that answer would most probably be – “Seldom”!
Whole environment, in which bosses or managers evolve, develop and operate, is highly skewed towards running year’s business figures. It is almost like a doctrine drilled in their mind that success has to come at any cost, business slowdown is a shame and cost has to be ruthlessly controlled to secure healthy bottom line. Yet, some years are exciting by performance and bosses get rewarded; some are disappointing and employees get reprimanded! Do cycles of good and bad years teach a lesson? Rarely, since there are standard explanations available to them from leadership discourses!
Coming to management or leadership development programs, comprehensive or concise, all are structured around single sided stories. These glamorize failures and then, swear by successes! These programs do serve a good purpose albeit limited, as the same do not bring out why successful persons and businesses fail, and how to prevent or delay that. These simply pass on advisories – be a visionary, be in driver’s seat, lead from front, be focused, be strategist and analytical, have managerial courage….; but do not stipulate how to be. It presupposes that everyone can and will get there. This is what a gross gaffe is!
Both managers and management programs need to consider one very vital aspect – when you are focused on one side of the story, you would also commit flaw to comprehend other side of the same. This is where balancing acts or views acquire substantial significance.
Biases of bosses!
Bane of too much focus is the bias! You can see how problems creep in corporate life, if more focus is directed at left part of following points:
- Higher quantity can only come at the cost of quality!
- Increased speed decreases accuracy.
- Higher throughput or output would lower productivity.
Often, it goes unnoticed and managers then cry for more man power for more output.
- If you chase figures, you would compromise values.
- High business growth is often accompanied with lower time and money available for personnel development.
- Put more structure and material to measure performances of personnel, you would spoil the beauty behind spirit!
- Hold hands of strong performers, lose helping hands of majority and middle order.
- Set stretched targets, upset work-life balance!
- Banking on long hours of working, beating down smart way of working!
Above clearly indicates adverse implications of one sided view or approach, which is widely practiced in corporates. This is one of the main reasons, why you witness cycles of ups and downs.
Bet not on brilliant but on balanced bosses!
This may not go down easily in the brains of many; but then brainy things are always simple but difficult to believe!
Are you not witnessing sudden spurt in articles on social and print media on how to hire, hire the best, spotting the talent and so on. It sounds as a very sound idea! But, hold on a bit.
A boss or a future leader has to be fair, flexible, forthright, punctual, healthy, communicative, sincere, honest, kind, courageous, generous and more! This elevates her/him next to the God!! Is not it? How do you develop leadership pipeline aligned to the God? I do not believe that current business schools, management development programs or leadership coaching is geared up handle this. These all narrow down to hire or develop the most brilliant or intelligent. How many most brilliant people do you think you can get in the market place? And to spot such talent, you need more talented people on panel! Do you have such people on board?
Few would admit it, but blatant fact is that popularity of a program is directly proportional to its ability to create dreams that are difficult to achieve!
Most organizations or managements commit blunder in putting too much faith on –
- Strong personalities
Bosses or managers having strong personalities would polarize company environments – a divide between right and wrong, strong and weak and wreak havoc in longer term.
- Intelligent class
2 or more intelligent people put together can only give birth to insanity!
My advice would be to encourage balanced personalities. Mentor, harness and cultivate center of each qualitative attribute in employees. That alone can bring fairness, flexibility, sincerity and all what is needed for long term sound health of an organization.
In above, we would create bosses, who are more of buddies than bête noire, more rational than emotional!