Gangs of Management


Great minds think alike, or fools seldom differ ? An eternal debate and depending on which side you are on, i.e. the victor or the victim, you pick a side to nest in.The question is what kind of senior management does the company benefit from the most? Does one risk a new team or go with the tried and tested folks?

Its not uncommon to find  a group of people in senior management who have travelled the journey together for many years.They have grown together knowing each others secrets,weaknesses and strengths. Somewhere, while they have settled into complimentary roles, just enough not to create too much conflict, yet not too supplementary so as to become redundant. They settle down in a mutual comfort zone.

These type of leaders bring in stability,predictability and maturity to the table. This helps ease the nerves of the management and teams below.They are strong enough to soothe strayed nerves and guide the ship in the right direction.

The flip side,however is a fixed mindset, myopic outlook and a very low risk apetite.Its not uncommon for them to be strongly averse to new ways of doing business.Its usually my-way-or-the-highway approach simply because they have tread that path multiple times in the past and have been very successful at it.You often hear  them saying  “net-net” or gut-feel from such leaders.

The other kind is the progressive, disruptive, hard data driven logical leader. These leaders are excellent in data crunching and bring strong objectivity to the table.They seperate the wheat from the chaff for each and every process laid on the table.They are especially good in shaking up the system, keeping everyone on their toes and before granting they ask what efficiencies can we squeeze out first.

The flip side to such leaders are,they completely ignore the people angle to the story.They often rub people the wrong way, and in the process lot of good resources leave the ship.They are dogged in their set processes and at times it even goes back to haunt them in their own endeavors. They refuse to accept anything that is illogical or not in the scope of their model.

Each of these leaders have a set of fan following.The classical yes-men. The proverbial sucker-ups and the more dangerous, intelligent manipulators, who lead them to believe their theory is the absolute truth.Together they form a formidable tag-team partnership and establish their thought process for the rest of the teams.

With such a complex mix of skill sets on the table, the only person,if I may, is the company who stands to sink or swim with such captains at the helm.Its the company who’s fate gets decided basis the actions of these individuals.History is replete with instances where individuals have moved on happily just before the ship hits the iceberg and those that have turned around floundering units.

Choosing the right set of leaders, or developing the right set of leaders to lead your company starts with investing  time in not just reviewing reports, but investing in understanding what their goals are versus what they can deliver for the company.

Companies need people,process and technology to be in harmony, a skew in either pillar, will destabilize growth and increase cost of growth. So gangs of management or a band  of brothers? The jury is out.

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  1. Pingback: Gangs of Management | The Gyan Ban Times

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