Did you say “No” JUST because you can? Egoistic bosses usually bully their subordinates by simply refusing something “JUST” because he or she can and is empowered to call the shots. Some of these unprocessed decisions may be fatal to the organization at large and could scar a subordinate’s career in the long term… This phenomenon usually takes with new middle to senior levels of Managers who have the task of managing a team. It’s like giving a monkey a razor blade. Some of the so called empowered bosses were themselves subjects of bullying. This applies to organizations of any size and industry globally. Ego at work places stops an organization’s growth. In the work place if there are 100 persons working, one person may be more brilliant and he may be consulted by the boss, while making important decisions. He should not feel that he is very great and treat others at low level. Even the boss should leave his ego and join hands with the workers, to get good outcome. Ego causes many miseries in life. The egoist person invites troubles and if he didn’t get the attention he needs, he starts developing all sorts of grudges against others. This egoist person sees everything through a magnifying glass and often finds fault with others.
Now if you adjust the microscope a bit on the lives of egoistic managers, some of the findings could directly or indirectly relate to one or all of the following;
– Insecurity – This egoist has had an insecure childhood, brought up by an egoistic parent or school teacher – Cover up – He or she has something to hide or cover up or even covering up mistakes, unlawful or unethical dealings of his or her own bosses. This could also be a fake aggression to avoid been challenged or questioned – Pre-occupied Mind – He or she has other business dealings or conflict of interests and the mind is not tuned towards the organization’s objectives – Unqualified and uneducated to understand a subordinate’s request – Unfit for job – The egoist boss was unfairly promoted to the position and knows he or she is unfit for the role – Directions – The egoist has not received clear objectives or roles and responsibilities from his or her ‘boss’ – Attitude – Wrong or bad attitude Micromanaged by his or her own bosses
Today we see many business houses all over the world that has simply grown on ‘cruise control’, without proper maneuvering and driver intervention to handle different terrains. Businesses have simply grown big by ‘luck’ as the ‘cruise control’ didn’t have to be turned off as the road was completely straight and clear with no anticipated potholes, bends or roadblocks. There are also businesses that have been inherited from family or just simply grew by ‘wheeler dealing’ and manipulation, and didn’t need international best practices from professionals to grow and survive, and most importantly create an atmosphere where every team member takes pride in their work. These type of organizations usually don’t last in the long run and eventually collapse or end up been snapped up by a professional outfit.
Cut the personality crap and luck factor and drive your business professionally!! If it all boils down to ego, personalities and attitudes, how would you ensure you hire the right attitude for your business? Personality profiling Most successful organizations use international best practices to overcome employing an ‘office misfit’ like the ‘egoistic boss’ we were talking about earlier. The first step is to conduct a ‘personality profile’ prior to employing staff and managers to ensure the team can get along and work towards common objectives. Existing team members are generally profiled prior to giving them the all-important role of managing others.
The power of calibrating your entire organization to the business objectives First and foremost in any winning team is to set clear ‘business objectives’, whatever they may be. Be it revenue targets and internal and external customer satisfaction levels.
Simply setting objectives is inadequate, unless all stakeholders have ‘bought into’ the big idea. Once this is done, the next step is to take stock of your current operational status. To do this, organizations need to understand their individual and unique ‘customer lifecycle’ and identify all the ‘customer touch points’ for both ‘internal and external customers’ and set up standards to meet or exceed their expectations. Once the required operational standards are devised, one of the most important aspects is to conduct an assessment of where the organization stands at the point. The more enthusiastic organization will conduct both self and external assessments on People, Processes and Facilities of the entire organization covering every individual department or business.
Identify All The ‘Customer Touch Points’ For Both ‘Internal And External Customers’ And Set Up Standards To Meet Or Exceed Their Expectations.
Once the assessment is complete, the next important task is to score or grade the findings on a predetermined scale. The best practice would be a 0 to 100 scale (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100) or simply colour coding with a traffic light system, which will give meaning to every finding on the assessment. Scoring may be the simplest and fun part, but third step would be to identify the ‘gaps’, which is the difference between the finding on the assessment and where you want that standard to be, which will obviously be 100 percent compliance. For an instance, if a standard scored 25 percent compliance, the ‘gap’ to be closed is 75 percent to make the standard 100 percent compliant.
Not all findings on an assessment or audit need to be fixed at 100 percent. There may be macro factors beyond the control of an organization, which can never be compliant. These macro factors can easily demotivate the team members if they are forced to comply. Therefore the next important step is to prioritize actions to fix assessment findings. This leaves many seasoned professionals speechless as to which project to commence first.
Project Prioritizing Actions arising out of the operational standards findings can be executed singularly or clubbed together to form one project. When the list of actions and projects is complete, the smart organization will ensure the entire team participates in brainstorming on how to implement or execute. Remember without everyone’s “buy-in” is bound to fail even before it starts.
The most proven method of prioritizing is to score the identified projects based on the effort taken to implement and the highest impact it will have on the objectives. Basically the project with the least effort and highest impact will kick off first. These are the ‘easy wins’ that will motivate the team to tackle the harder to achieve projects.
Who owns the actions? Mostly it’s a case of “it’s not my job”. This is where firm management comes into play. “business objectives are everyone’s baby”. Senior management must allocate actions to appropriate groups and most importantly have a robust action plan with the action item, responsibility, budgets and completion deadlines. Poor action planning is doomed for disaster. A responsible way to handle is to have a ‘team charter’ for each action group with a strong leader. Most organizations fail at this stage as poor planning and lack of leadership, accountability and enthusiasm creeps in and fail the entire project miserably. Well if you thought it ends after the implementation or execution of the project, you are wrong! Maintaining consistency, enthusiasm and follow up are the most critical aspects and the difference between a winning team and the ordinary. Therefore if you are the ‘egoistic boss’ or simply feel like ‘King Kong’ amongst your team let go of your ego and personality issues and follow a structured approach to ensure that you, your team and all stakeholders are enthusiastic about your business objectives. It’s a ‘win-win’ for all. When your organization is in turbulence or finding it hard to jump over to the next level, all you have to do is get “Back to Basics”. It’s not rocket science. You will eventually be measured on deliverables of business objectives and not how many bananas’ you fetch for your boss! If you are measured by the quantity of bananas fetched, then you probably should be seeing a Headhunter.
Suminda P De Silva, AFAIM
The author is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a professional with over 20 years of solid cross functional international management experience gained from 14 countries consisting of Sri Lanka, Australia, Middle East, Africa and Levant with world renowned brands including Fortune 500 companies and organizations having a reputation for sound financial performance, lean processes and operational excellence management.
Disclaimer: This article is written with the sole intention of promoting “International Best Practices” in management. No part or content of this article is knowingly or unknowingly directed at particular individual, brand or organization nationally or internationally.