Never blame customize your leaders….a HR message

In a small group discussion, someone has asked why most people in corporate focus largely on own survival, benefits and self-gratifications than being ambassadors of change and attempts to change the system?

Even the owners of some small companies also engage in self praising, self proving and having sycophants around them than being visionaries and leaders of change. Paradoxically most of those people despite knowing the management essentials exhibits only narrow minded and selfish leadership style. Why they demonstrate paradoxical or self contradicting leadership style in corporate?

Instead of blaming or complaining people, we have to look at the situation truly from the perspective of evolution and adaptation of different species of plants and animals. If we read and learn more about nature and biology, such questions itself we can avoid and can accommodate all such differences and contradictions gracefully.

Look at the diverse species of flora and fauna in nature. Some of them become choosy and niche specific, some of them become ubiquitous and while some have adapted uniquely.

Based on the above description, we can classify these species under 4 categories viz.,

  1. The species that have not chosen any specific habitat – example mosquito
  2. The predatory species like lion that live as pride to suite to open country while tiger live a solitary life for ambush hunting.       Cheetah, contrary to most predators, hunt during hot day to avoid other predators snatching away its hunt and the leopard has developed capability to drag its prey double its body weight to tree top.
  3. Strong adaptation shown by some plants to live either in aquatic habitat – example lotus or in dessert like cactus.
  4. Symbiotic species, engaged in mutual give and take or win-win relationship example pollinators and flowering plants.

If we elaborate the above further, we can understand clearly the role of evolution and the prevailing leadership qualities shown by people in corporate.

Certain species like mosquito have not appeared to have cared much about their habitat and have focused only on their survival. Some people in corporate do display such leadership. They will not bother much about the corporate culture, HR policies etc., and will focus mostly on their own survival and success.

The second group of people either forms team or like to work in isolation depending upon their end goal they are looking for like pride of lion in an open country or like a solitary tiger for ambush hunting.  Some people also look for appropriate time to do certain things. Such people like to showcase their work usually when others are busy with their work so that their work would look unique and will also receive complete attention. They are like Cheetah.

While the third group of people would show strong adaptation like either an aquatic or a dessert plant. They would amaze many in corporate by proving that none can perform ‘certain specialized job’ like them. It is like only certain plants can survive in aquatic habitat and dessert. By developing such strong adaptability (specialist style), they find their success in corporate.

The fourth group of people develops symbiotic relationship by giving and receiving between them. But these symbiotic species too show strong adaptation and hence without such association, they cannot survive.

If we reflect the nature and species diversity, we can understand that most (may be all) of the species of animals and plants primarily focus on own survival and success than anything. This is how most people in corporate functions.

Why no one attempt to change the corporate culture is because all of them have own reasons and goals to fulfill. If own survival and success of people are linked directly with the growth of the corporate many might contribute to the growth of the organization.

Leadership style is evolution linked trait to suite a given habitat. The habitat may be same, but the role can be different and hence different species do behave differently. Besides role, the inter species interaction also determine the leadership style.

It is better to customize the leadership style of people to your corporate rather than expect them to display what you wish and assume as the best leadership style/trait.

Blaming or complaining about people will never answer your problems.

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

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


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