You beg for respect…a HR message for corporate bosses

Why many corporate leaders could not live up to the expectation of the organization? These leaders will have vast experience, competency and are also highly qualified but still they fail as team head when they are promoted to such role? It is nothing to do with the error in the leadership character of these bosses but there is some problem in their psychology, especially the way of thinking. That is why these bosses vividly favour some members in their team and neglect and ridicule the rest.

The origin of the problem lies in the thinking pattern of these bosses. Some corporate bosses are largely driven by the style of a player/an actionist than a guide, leader, coach, mentor or supervisor. By default or by crook or hook, they have become leaders/bosses. But sadly they are still at working mode, i.e., they wants to compete with people and prove that they can do things better and differently.   The ‘player instincts’ in them only kindle these leaders to compete with others in their own team.

Unfortunately they don’t understand the fact that they are competing with their subordinates where they are supposed to guide and lead them. Instead of acting as coach, they see them as potential threat. One of the easiest ways of dealing the threat is to form a group of own. That is why most bosses form a group or coterie or sycophants. Those subordinates who are purely task centric are ignored because they don’t fan the ego of the bosses.

The bosses need to know their fundamental responsibility of guiding and leading the team. They should not act as yet another player in the team and compete with own subordinates.

If this leadership quality of people is not understood by the HR function before making them to lead a team, such team would end up only in fighting and disarray and never achieve any goal.   HR function must study people carefully. It is not mere subject knowledge, qualification, experience and competency of people should outweigh the selection of leaders/bosses, people must have more of coaching, mentoring, guiding and leading style than competing with others.

Many corporate bosses love to take the work of their subordinates and project and showcase it to be either their own work or they have only guided the work, mostly in annual and other meetings.   These bosses promote ‘I’ more than anything else.

Interestingly sometime these people can even be the owners of the organization and holding the positions of Director, President or CEO etc.   But they always engage in complaining about their subordinates that people are not reporting to them properly, not taking their advice, not consulting to them etc. Further, these people if made some small changes in some activities and that had worked, then they immediately jump with excitement and say ‘I’ only did it etc.

Leaders should enable people to succeed and perform better. They should play the role of guiding people and not as another employee who also has to compete and prove. If people have visual thinking and comprehensive understanding, they would demonstrate only the leadership traits of leading the team than compete with the team and stake claim at every activity.

Experience should provide wisdom and the wisdom should give security & selflessness. They should work for the cause than for any credit or recognition. That is how great leaders function.

Leadership is all about the ability of one to influence people to think and do things differently. Such influence should come from quality and not from the power or designations like Director, President or CEO etc.

Once the leaders exhibit such character and identity, people will automatically respect them and they need not beg, demand, complain or protest for respect and recognition of their subordinates or employees.

Dr S Ranganathan

Director – ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum    



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