Posts Tagged ‘Leadership Styles’

In an earlier post, we had looked at the various leadership styles which emerge from an upgraded Blake Mouton Grid which has three axes: Concern for Production, Concern for People and Concern for Ethics. One of the styles we came across was that of the Charmless Charlies.X Y Z upgraded

These are hapless souls who could not care less for getting results, or, for that matter, for the people who slog their butts out for them. Issues of ethics or improprieties involved in any decision-making do not appear to affect them.

They rank poorly on all the three dimensions – Concern for Production, Concern for People and Concern for Ethics. In terms of an upgraded Blake-Mouton Grid, they would earn a rating of 1,1,1. These are CEOs who, having reached their level of incompetence, exemplify the Peter Principle.

In large organizations, these could be very senior managers who carry a rich legacy of past accomplishments. Their sheen could have just started tapering off. Yet, their brand equity could be strong, owing to some unique strengths they bring to the table. They could have a networking prowess which could be useful to organizations having some skeletons in the cupboard. If shown the door unceremoniously, they could simply end up carrying a High Nuisance Value tag on themselves.

Managements have no other option but to kick them upstairs and park them in a harmless but dignified slot of the organization, duly assisted by a team of crack performers. The team members obviously do not carry a high opinion of their boss, utilizing him either for securing administrative clearances or for petty lobbying with the higher-ups.

OVERSTAYING ONE’S WELCOMEOnce the sunset phase of gratefulness and gracefulness gets over, managements ensure that such CEOs get eased out of the system without further delay. A grand farewell takes place, where everyone sings praises of the outgoing CEO. The latter, smug and pompous, makes all the right noises and fades into history, happily forgotten.

In smaller outfits, the sunset phase is much shorter and crisper. The exit is often harsh and swift, with a blue-eyed current favourite junior getting anointed as a successor. In case the organization has stopped growing, cost considerations provide a fresh lease of life to the junior who continues to bask in the glory of his newly acquired stardom. Over a period of time, strategic goals suffer, as does the level of excellence in the organization. Mediocrity rules the roost.

Well, one can only wish their organizations the best of luck!

What about you? Have you come across some Charmless Charlies in the course of your career?

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/looking-for-ceos-inspired-by-the-yuletide-spirit)

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What is the best Christmas present a CEO can give to her organization?

In keeping with the Yuletide spirit, the best gift could perhaps be a resolve to take decisions based not only on commercial considerations but also on sound ethics and values. Decisions which would serve the strategic interests of the organization and would never lead it to a situation of public disgrace and compromise.

An upgraded Blake Mouton Grid

If one were to take the liberty of modifying the Blake Mouton grid, the leadership style of such a CEO would qualify for either a 9,9,9 or a 5,5,5 classification.X Y Z upgraded

Here is a quick rundown on the various leadership styles which emerge from a grid of this nature:

1,1,1: Charmless Charlies

One can only wish their organizations the best of luck.

9,1,1: Road Rollers

They would achieve a target by ruthlessly crushing anything that comes in their way.

1,9,1: Sponge Comforters

As long as employees have an identity crisis, they are in high demand, ready with a bucket and a towel to listen to their woes and comfort them.

9,9,1: Arsonist Achievers

Under them, short-term goals would get achieved. Means be damned.

1,1,9: Missionary Zealots

Saint-like souls who have willy-nilly ventured into the business world.

9,1,9: Crazy Conformists

Those working under them could soon get referred to a lunatic asylum.

1,9,9: Armchair Revolutionists

They could be assets to political outfits owing an allegiance to some outdated doctrines.

5,5,5: Understudy Chiefs

A middle-level successful manager on whom greatness has been thrust by a benevolent fate. His Moral Compass is in working order.

9,9,9: Super Leaders

A balanced Chief Executive Officer who leads his team successfully in the long run. To be spotted, head-hunted, and hired without further delay.

When it comes to corporate governance, most businesses are driven more by greed than by the norms of propriety. Compliance with statutory provisions is often given a short shrift. As a repercussion, we end up having more controls and complex laws, thereby making non-compliance even more rewarding in the short run.

A universal virus

When it comes to perpetrating a fraud on unsuspecting stakeholders, human ingenuity has never been found wanting. If America had Enron and Lehman Brothers, UK had Barclays. If Norway had Nortel, Portugal had Banco Espirito Santo. If Switzerland had UBS and India had Satyam, Germany has just had Volkswagen.

No industry could lay a specific claim on such man-made disasters. Be it banking, insurance, mining, automobiles, energy, commodities, IT or real estate, all have set examples of devious plans to deceive the gullible stakeholders.

Human greed and avarice are obviously the root cause. The sheer pleasure derived by a minority in making some extra gains at the cost of a silent majority apparently has a sense of gratification which surpasses all else.

Correcting the myopic vision

What is it that makes a business owner or a CEO to put his conscience to sleep and take a decision which could impact the whole organization a few years down the road? A trade-off between extraordinary gains in sight and the risks involved? A hope and a prayer that a deviation would never get caught? A major investment that cannot be written off merely to make a process legally compliant? A gut feel that the regulatory agencies are invariably open to manipulation? The option of using speed money to get the necessary approvals from concerned government agencies?

In their relentless pursuit of business results, CEOs are apt to develop a myopic vision. Everything else becomes the last priority.

Smart ones, however, would take a longer view of things. They would have a 6/6 vision. Their decision-making models would invariably take into consideration the moral and the ethical aspects of a situation at hand.

This way, their organizations would continue to celebrate Christmas year after year, much after they have hung their sandals and retired to an adrenaline-less life.

While affixing the mistletoe atop the door of their luxury mansion, they would then have the luxury of looking back at their career with an inner glow of warm satisfaction. The Yuletide spirit would pervade their entire being.


(For a somewhat detailed account of each of the leadership styles mentioned above, you may like to visit the following posts:









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