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11.10.2015 Feature Article

Know why your are alert?...a HR management message

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Should we conclude the leadership approach and style of people in corporate based on different behavioural indicators and signs what they display or we should go to the underlying reasons for such displays or manifestations of the behaviours? This question has been already answered by nature.

Look at the two scenarios carefully.
In jungle, all the prey animals (deer, wildebeest, and zebra) always display suspicion and alertness because of the fear of predators. Naturally the prey animal has every reason to fear about the predator.

Interestingly the predators also would exhibit more or less same level of suspicion and alertness especially when it had achieved a hunt. Why should the predator exhibit fear especially when it had achieved something? Is the reason for the fear of prey animal and predator are same?

Nothing strange is there to discuss about the fear of prey animal.

But the reason for the fear of predator is different. The predator fears only about another predatory animal in the vicinity. Why the predator has to fear another predator as two predators killing each other and eating is not that common. Lion do kill hyena only to protect own cubs but seldom eat hyena.

Although every predator has strength to kill the prey but 90% of their kill success is only due to their cleaver and cunning strategy. It means, they make the kill largely due to cunningness and clever strategy. The origin of their fear also comes only from cunningness.

The predator that had made a kill fears the cunningness of another predator in the same ecosystem that might snatch its kill. So it exhibits high level of alertness and suspicion. Whenever cunningness and cleverness has helped one to make an achievement, however strong the person may be, carry some level of suspicion due fear of loosing such achievements.

In corporate, subordinates fear their boss is quite natural although owes no meaning, logic and justifications. But the bosses do fear about their colleagues and sometime own subordinates. It is because of the cunningness.

The bosses know that the subordinates cannot directly harm them because of the position and authority. Imagine, if the bosses have obtained such position and authority not due to merit but due to cunningness, then they have every reason to fear as the truth might get exposed easily. It they have obtained it out of own merit and uniqueness, then they have no reason to fear about anything.

The finest management message needs to be decoded from the above context. If a boss holding highest position and have authority, displays suspicion and skepticism over his people, it means the boss is in serious doubt about own merit. Or such bosses may be engaged in many shady activities.

The fear of Lion in loosing its kill is not due to its doubt in own strength but due to the cunningness of other predatory animals. The lion has made its kill largely due to cunning and cleaver strategy. Strength is stable but the strength obtained due to cunningness cannot be stable. Such strength is situational.

The HR must understand the leadership dimension of people as to know whether people, despite power and authority are still achieving success due to cunning and cleaver means. If so try to change the order.

Go after reasons and never conclude anything based on the manifestations of some behavioural traits.

Dr S Ranganathan

S. Ranganathan, Dr.
S. Ranganathan, Dr., © 2015

Dr.S RanganathanColumn: SRanganathan

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