Spontaneous leaders…a HR message

Every individual employee in all corporate constantly adapt and evolve to live/exist continuously in the same corporate ecosystem. The owners of some small organizations often claim that some of their employees have joined as ‘trainee’ several years ago but have now evolved to the level of Director/Vice President etc. The owners refer such examples so loudly only to prove the point that the organization offers equal opportunity to all employees to grow. Interestingly, the entire process of such changes would have taken 20 or more years.

Whereas in MNC’s, people might join at designation on same day with same educational and experience back ground but one or two might evolve fast to the level of vice president in short span of time. What does it mean? The HR might although define such events to be as recognition of talent/capability, the true understanding of the above is virtually lacking with most corporate.

The above two types of evolutions are not unknown to nature. There are two major types of evolutions do occur in nature viz.,

  1. Phyletic gradualism
  2. Cladogenesis

The first one refers to the species in the given population that gradually transforming/evolving over a period of time and reaching to ‘some level of finality’ in the given ecosystem. The best example is ‘trainee’ becoming ‘vice president’ or ‘president’ in the same corporate over 20 years.

The other type of evolution – Cladogenesis is defined as, due to some genetically restricted rare and rapid events branching or splitting the species and transforming them into totally another one. Such changes are not time dependent.

The first type of evolution is most likely to occur in all most all species.

In the same corporate when people continue for over 20 years, naturally they would learn to live in the same corporate for another 20 or more years also. These people knows how to outsmart all talented people who join the organization as the newly joined people always relay mostly on their talents but the ‘age old pre-existing turtles’ (the people who are with the same organization for several years) on their ‘adaptability and cunningness’ within the organization.

Some of these ‘turtle’ people may not contribute much because they have been adapting within the organization as a product and were not the real cause of change.   Therefore, the corporate must look for the second category of people as they can suddenly and spontaneously evolve out as ‘distinguished leaders’.

Question may be raised as why only some people show such evolutionary traits and not all those who have joined the organization on the same day, at same cadre with same educational background and role and responsibility?

The cladogenesis occurs only due to some restricted rare and rapid genetic changes.   It means certain restricted and individual specific changes only make certain people to respond and transform into another.

The corporate has to understand the restricted and rapid changes that can make even an ordinary person to become great leader.   Once such details are understood, ‘breeding’ right kind of leaders is possible.

The senior leaders in corporate should not look for leaders of phyletic gradualism. Such leaders may not contribute much to your corporate.

Transforming the organization to meet the new challenges are only required from leaders and not the trait of getting transformed progressively within the organization for own success and survival. Such adaptations would give only success to the individual employees and not to the organization.

Dr S Ranganathan

ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai

Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum


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