“Tell me something about you”, asked Adam (the manager), still admiring the suit which Eve (the candidate) wore and the confidence with which she greeted him. Having read about the tips & tricks for interview and the job description (JD), it was only a matter of putting the right words together. Mentioning about the work history and carefully relating it to the bullets of the JD, while cautiously examining Adam’s expressions; for clues if she was on the right course or not. “Oh gosh! She is incredible”, thought Adam. The interview went well, in fact better than Adam had hoped for; having interviewed few not so good candidates since past few days. The offer is made based on the technical know-how presented by Eve.
But was she a good fit culturally? Good for the organisation overall?
Hiring for a manager or above is like getting a step dad or step mom; you have to ensure that the person is able to connect well with your children (the team), impart your vision and good learnings in them, and at the same time is able to match your steps and contribute to the overall growth. On the other hand, anyone below managerial level, is like an adopted child or a foster kid; he should be able to gel with other kids, not create trouble for anyone, is able to take care of himself and others, and does what he is told.
Not all, but most people are laden with egocentricity, callousness, manipulation, and other (annihilating) personality traits. Paul Babiak and Robet D. Hare, in their research, suggested these behaviours as disorders and people exhibiting such disorders are psychopathic by nature. Organisations, have had paradigm shift, since mid-90s. They have experimented with internal structure (hierarchy), business units, and other processes all along; and continue to do so. People with psychopathic attributes flourish because these organisation require them, often mistaken with special talents, for different jobs; as they are effective in getting results. But the management and leadership is unaware (or choose to overlook) the long term destruction caused.
Taking control of things (coercion), making decisions (domination), getting other to do what you want (manipulation), making false promises (deceit), only concerned about self (self-centred often mistaken for confident), and taking credit for others work (callousness). These so called qualities put them above others, and are quite common in managers; the trouble is that everyone has these or likes these and sees no problem with them. But, they rob you of your culture, your authenticity, employee productivity, and most of all your talented people: who are either in their learning years or have few years of experience; but are forced to run away from all this madness.
Eve had most of these traits, and even though she was able to get work done she was (mentally) hurting people. Her team was stressed out, felt humiliated, and didn’t want to work with her; but they wouldn’t say anything as they felt intimidated by her. Moreover, they couldn’t ascertain if the leadership would side with her or support them; no trust on leadership. In this case, the roles can be reversed, or Eve could be replaced by Ben. It’s not about pigeonholing based on race, colour, gender, or any other parameter.
Contemplating the Prospect
Like an old proverb, “all that glitters is not gold”; this planet is not straight nor its habitants (or their complex minds). Everything is round (with no starting or ending), but a hole at the center: a black hole. It enwraps so many feelings, and you only get to feel what is shown: you can’t see it. Of course, with learning or training and with experience you enable yourself to judge others; but that can still be manipulated. Crucial aspect is to acknowledge the presence of such individuals and traits, prepare an organisational strategy to deal with such menace, conduct regular feedbacks and evaluate them; accompanied by a zero tolerance policy. It’s more of a problem at the top level (who are responsible to drive the organisation), than at the grass root. Think about the legacy you want to leave behind, and not just the CV you would carry to next organisation.
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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