Kumbaya Leadership. . . or, how to ensure that nothing gets done in your organization.
Unlike true leadership, Kumbaya Leadership is a whole different flavor all together. Here are a few examples to describe what I mean.
- Make sure that your organization has an unbalanced number of ex-management consultants who have mastered the art of business-speak, have never managed an operation or people, are greasily good at selling an idea but are completely inept at execution.
- Concensus — yes, build concensus and ensure a zealous focus on concensus because this just might lead to paralysis and then nothing will get done in your organization.
- Grandiose quotes framed on every employee’s wall proclaiming belief in something that is worthy and true but made very cheesy by that framed quote — make sure all your people have one — no, two, of these.
- Must Have: Amorphous and generic mission statements — these are great and are meaningless. Make sure your organization has one or several and make sure that each department has one too — and spend days or several hours with dedicated FTE’s to create one.
- 3/4 or more of your organization should be Business Development folks — this way, everyone can focus on growing the business instead of running the current one.
- Pedigree — yes, not the dog-kind, but the school kind. Make sure the people in your organization rely on their pedigree instead of accomplishment. Quotes like “I’ve never managed an operation but I learned about it at b-school at [name drop here]” is what you want to hear to ensure zero gets done in your organization.
- Retreats and Gratuitious Offsite Meetings — yes, hold several of these over the fiscal year — 2 or 3 per month is ideal. I’m not talking about the fun, go-to-a-movie kind, but the full-blown, emotional, facilitator-led kind with highly paid facilitators that tell great stories, make you laugh, but leave you and the team empty: a twinkie-like experience — twinkies taste good, but have no substance.
There are more . . . from your experience, what are some of yours?
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“Grandiose quotes framed on every employee’s wall proclaiming belief in something that is worthy and true…”
Peter, I have a feeling that you’ll really like these “demotivational posters” from Despaire, Inc.
They’re pretty darn funny.
Easton Ellsworth says
Fun stuff, Pete! You ought to run this by Jocelyn at ItsBadBusiness.com.
Love those Despair “demotivators.”
Joshua Steimle says
Well, I’m proud to say my company has none of the above. Well, except that I have a fancy sounding degree but I own the firm so I don’t think that counts.
This was somewhat implied, but how about meetings in general? We used to have plenty of meetings around here because you’ve got to have meetings, right? Then I realized you don’t really have to meet, nobody likes meetings, and we haven’t had meetings since. That is, we have meetings, but they’re the type where someone needs to talk about something face to face so they walk into my office and we talk for three minutes until the matter is resolved and then the meeting is over. We probably save 10 man hours or more per week by not having a weekly company meeting.
Don’t forget to have hire more directors and above. The ideal ratio is one manager per individual.
Also, don’t forget that those new folks that you brought on to initiate change don’t actually know anything even though they have proven track records. Much better to keep them to the side and hire consultants to do the work you hired the other people to do. That has the side benefit of creating more layers.
Make sure that you start several different initiaves in different areas of your business. Each of these should tackle the same problem. Now, it is important that this “same problem” has not been tracked and measured properly. “Rabbit trails” are great for ensuring that nothing gets done!
Dave Robinson says
Can’t have a great company unless every employee is an MBA who was hired to “think” but hasn’t ever gotten their hands dirty in the trenches. Actually, I guess a good counterbalance to this scenario would be to hire a ton of interns!
I’ve worked with a lot of great MBA’s in my career, but have also worked in orgs where everyone was an MBA but it took over a year to udate a few lines of copy on our homepage. Go figure?
LOL regarding the quotes, DH has always loved despair.com for the anti-inspirational quotes – great for a few laughs for sure. Our list is up if you’d like to look¦ have a great day!
Josh Maher says
… So I shouldn’t get the management consultant job?