Head lice in your corporate…a menagement message

It is said that the colour of an adult head louse will be as same as the colour of the hair of the person it resides.  It means, they have not evolved with any definite or distinctive colour of their own that they can change according to the changes in its ecosystem like chameleon, sea anemone or octopus.  That is how most animals have evolved.   Chameleon has its own distinctive colour and has the ability to change to any other colour according to the colour of the background. 


In corporate, we often see people exhibiting only chameleon trait or behaviour or leadership quality.  But more often than chameleon, ‘head lice leaders’ are also present in most corporate in abundance.  But these head lice leaders largely go unnoticed or easily skip the attention.  Are they so silent?  The reason being, they never change their colour in different situations as they have already changed their colour ‘near permanently’ with the colour of the corporate they work. 


Unfortunately, the head lice leaders are misunderstood by most corporate and generally they are described as people with ‘definite’ leadership qualities, ‘stable character’ and have ‘firm leadership identity’ etc.  Unlike chameleon leaders, the head lice leaders do not change their colour according to the need. 


Remember, the chameleon people have ‘some’ qualities and ‘leadership traits’ of their own but the head lice leaders do not have such traits.  Only because they have a definite ‘quality’ of their own, the chameleon people change their ‘character (colour) to camouflage.  Imagine, if the chameleon has ever evolved with a permanent colour, it need not change and nor will do also.   Only when animals limit their existence to the given ecosystem or habitat would possibly evolve with relatively permanent skin colour.


The head lice leaders have limited options and choices and that is why they have evolved as ‘head lice leaders’.   They do not change their colour is not because of their ‘unique’ leadership quality or character.  Only their ‘weakness’ and not the smartness they dispose through such trait.  The HR function and the corporate leaders must read people as to know whether they display ‘head lice traits’ or not.  Never call such people as an asset as they are the ‘real parasites’ of the corporate. 


To understand such subtle differences and distinctions, the management wisdom of business is not just enough, absolute and eternal wisdom of nature is inevitable.   If such wisdom is not acquired and learned from nature, the corporate would end up venerating head lice as ‘great leaders’.   Further, by identifying and may be by isolating the ‘chameleon leaders’, they may think that they have done enough.  Head lice leaders/people are more dangerous than chameleon people. 


Learn the essential management insight from the evolution of the colour of head louse is what nature tells to the corporate. 

Firm behaviour, a strong character and exemplary trait not only come from ones strength but also due to the weakness and helplessness is the message, the head louse conveys to the corporate.


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., ChennaiImage


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