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NOTE – This “problem” with culture is linked to Style Over Substance and the Dunning-Kruger Effect defined elsewhere.

If you ask people “What are the skills are required for someone to be an effective and efficient manager?” you would get a list something like this:

·         Good Communication Skills.

·         Ability to Delegate.

·         Think Strategically.

·         Empower the Team.

·         Trustworthy.

·         Listening to and respect for Others.

·         Discipline and Focus.

·         Being Organised.

·         Good Time Management.

·         Reliable.

·         Gets Results.

Over a 40 year career, I have known many many many managers and many many many people who were not managers but aspired to be. I would also say that in my experience, at least 70% of the people who were managers, were really bad at being managers, displaying almost none of the skills associated with good managers and in many cases exactly the opposite (for example not looking at the bigger picture, not respecting and listening to other peoples opinions, not delegating but micromanaging, etc). I would also say that at least 70% or more of people who were not managers (but would like to have been), would have made excellent managers, as they displayed almost all the skills of good managers (e.g looking at the bigger picture, respecting and listening to other people’s opinions, not looking to micromanage others, etc).

So what the hell is going on here?

I believe the problem is related to Sociopathy and the traits of Sociopaths.

Of course, I am no psychology expert, so what I say is not based on sound scientific evidence, however, it is based on 40 years of in the field observations and a mind that can spot patterns.

Some of the major traits of Sociopaths are the following:

¨      Amenable

¨      Likeable

¨      Persuasive

¨      Charming

¨      Manipulative

¨      Cunning

¨      Grandiose Sense of Self

¨      Pathological Lying

¨      Lack of remorse, shame or guilt

¨      Shallow emotions

¨      Callousness/Lack of Empathy

Research into the kinds of jobs that Sociopaths are interested show time and time again that the first place on the list goes to Capitalist positions of leadership (Managers, CxO’s, etc) offer power, autonomy, command, and status.

These traits largely affect how one person can manipulate other people. For example, for a Manager, whether it is people below them (report to them), on the same level (other managers) or above them (CxOs).

It is also very difficult for people to separate the charming, amenable, likeable and charming traits of someone from other, perhaps more valid traits – aka traits more specific to a particular job.

Until Enterprises recognise this as a serious problem which can cause other and numerous knock-on problems, we will continue to have people rising to positions of power that are exactly the opposite of the people that we need in those positions.

 

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Questions to ponder...

Are there any Sociopaths in your Enterprise?

Have you seen any sociopathic traits?

Who were they? What was the impact? Why do you think they acted in this way?

What needs to change to reduce the likelihood of it happening in the future?

Who needs to drive that change?











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