The Company is last – Sacrificed for personal gain – Part 2 of 2

Team

The third dimension uses the team as a factor in selecting talent. Who can work with the team or who is best to lead the team? Blind obligation to the protégé has allowed the wrong person to be hired to manage a team. Incompetent managers destroy a team by firing or chasing away strong talent. So, it is important to wisely consider the impact of a new person on the team. One manager was complemented and received accolades / rave reviews for clearing out the alleged deadwood in his new District. The entire team of nine people could not have been dead weight, especially when some were recently star performers in national contests.

Individuals who hire or promote properly with the team in mind, ultimately make decisions that benefit team and company. If a team is lacking a certain skill set, it is prudent to hire and bring that into the group. The rationale of helping the team function stronger to reach their objectives is an outstanding method of managing / leading the team. It is also, prudent to train appropriate people with the aptitude on the team, to develop these skills.

There are countless examples of high performing teams receiving a new manager. The team performance plummeted when the new person arrived. This happens in sports and in business. The ability of the leader to bring out the best is a talent that should not be undervalued.

Larry Brown, the professional basketball coach was a phenomenal teacher. When he was give a team with young eager players who wanted to learn the basics of professional basketball he excelled. When given a team of veterans his results were not as spectacular. The veterans would view him as a micromanager and his constant instruction was not well accepted. Superstars will blossom in a different system, with a coach who knows how to appropriately challenge them.

If a manager is hired who does not use the right style the team does not develop to its potential and the team and the organization suffers. Regardless of the talent, considering who is best for the team is a valuable tactic in accelerating results. So often we expect the team to conform to the manager or else leave the organization, but it may be wise to hire the manager to match the talent or the team.

Conversely, managers have declined to hire the right person because members of the team were biased in giving feedback about the candidate. Men have said no to women candidates because it might change the culture of their team, especially their meetings. Generation X and Generation Y at a stage of their development were viewed in a negative light. Incumbents felt threatened by their perceived technological advantage and being low on experience, otherwise known as wet behind the ears.

Minorities have been denied access to teams because the manager did not think they would fit in well. A manager has to be mindful in making decisions that are good for the team, but not at the expense of the company’s competitive positive in the marketplace.

Organization

The fourth perspective is who is best for the organization. This should weigh heavily on the minds of the managers / leaders. After all, the company is the reason for selecting talent in order to serve the needs of their clients. This is a prime area where the business case for diversity plays an important role.

Diversity of thought, ideas and perspectives are a valuable asset to any organization. Diversity of age, race, ethnicity and gender are excellent surrogates for diversity of thought. People are different, with different interests and influences which gives them a different perspective. This is vitally important in solving problems in a new way.

If a manager is insecure, they may not like to be questioned, so they use an autocratic, “because I said so style.” They view questions as challenges and may squelch, denigrate or punish those who do not abide by the status quo. She understands the status quo. They view those who persistently question as trouble makers and traitors to the rich tradition of the group.

New managers are prone to this since they have not developed confidence in their competence. Veteran managers are not immune to this predicament for they may feel authority is being threatened, when they are questioned. A company is held hostage if these practices diminish or stymie creative expression. Innovation is necessary to survive in a competitive environment, where similar or superior products are vying for the client’s attention and business.

In a global market place, ripe with generational variation and ethnic/racial diversity, organizations that display this richness may be poised to attract and retain talent and business.

A competitive advantage can be gained by expressing cultural awareness and competency in a business setting. Sometimes you don’t want to be at a competitive disadvantage by a lack of diversity, especially if the competition is portrayed as having better managers.

The four perspectives should be considered in decision making. A manager might focus on the first two steps at their peril. The team and the organization become secondary and morale and the monetary consequences are detrimental to the business. Managers must be held accountable for decisions, so that they ultimately benefit the organization and the shareholders.

An over reliance on steps one and two manifest itself in poor morale, lower employee engagement scores on internal surveys and higher turnover rates. Individuals may not apply to your company, nor interview for a position, or join your company if they find out you have a poor reputation for employee development or have a toxic climate. Candidates are very astute in their research. A manager questioned extensively by a candidate to make sure she was applying for the current manager, rather than the correct territory. She had heard about a particular manager’s harsh management style and she wanted to avoid him.

Focus on the protégé only has enabled incompetence to destroy many teams, lose customers and increased the number of lawsuits for harassment and discrimination. Team focus should not be heavily focused on maintaining the status quo if it has become stagnant and inflexible.

Candidates have gone to other companies and employees quit to join the competition because of a toxic climate and the manager’s insistence to hire and stay with a manager exhibiting pernicious managerial malpractice.

Consider the competition and how they utilize the four perspectives. Do they make decisions based on team and organizational benefits? Are they stuck in personal benefits and rewarding the protégés? Are their decisions for the business, such as minimal customer interruptions, more veteran representatives, competent management to develop the people and the business.

When discussing hiring and promotion decisions with managers, ask the following questions; “How does the person benefit the team and the organization? What skills are they bringing forth that match the needs of the team and what strategy did they disclose that shows an understanding of working to bring out the talents of a diverse team of employees. You really need to know how they are uniquely qualified to add significantly to the bottom line and what in their past or their interview comments convinced you that they are the best person for the job.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

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