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View Diary: Corporate Life In The Rearview Mirror: Plenty Of Bosses And Managers, But No Leaders (15 comments)

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  •  I worked for some real winners (5+ / 0-)

    I worked at several companies with good proucts, large customer bases and great employees who really delivered value. Unfortunately, these companies were run by guys with no leadership ability. They watched other companies or listened to consultants (don't get me started on Mckensey) for clues to what they should do in the future rather than listen to their own people. They diddled while opportunity raised it's fair head, waved, asked to be let in, then sadly wandered off to enrich some other, better run company.

    What's amazing is that two out of three of the biggest losers failed up. After running one company into the ground--or at least setting it on the path to ruin--they'd get hired to lead some other company. Where the same result obtained. Only one had the decency to go into some other line of work. Well, not work, actually. All of them failed lucratively. Today they travel between the places and compounds where other high net worth failures hang their hats..

    For examples, look to the bios of these guys Dale Fuller, Antonio Solerno, Sam Inman, Dale Yokum.

    And to see an ongoing example, watch the travails of poor HP. When a CEO declares that they are going to remake their company into a new version of IBM, focusing on consulting rather than products, watch out.

    •  Very true, bobstandard (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Diana in NoVa, MKinTN, Uncle Moji

      When management brings in management consultants, it's a reminder that they really don't have a clue, As you said:

      They watched other companies or listened to consultants (don't get me started on Mckensey) for clues to what they should do in the future rather than listen to their own people.
      Nearly any employee would have useful ideas to contribute. The managers will only look outwards, unfortunately, believing - mistakenly - that high-priced management consultants know (or care) what they should do.

      My former employer kept the same inept executive team in place as the company grew to massive proportions by acquisition. They than turned to Bain & Company for millions of dollars' worth of ongoing services rather than bringing in people with the experience in running a large firm. It was a disaster, but they're still following that path.

      Meanwhile, Bain makes money the whole time; they're perfectly happy to enrich themselves off the lack of confidence of corporate managers.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:33:32 AM PST

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      •  Management Consultants (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina

        I was often recruited by highly paid management consultants when I worked in HR.  The inside joke was "It's fun. You get to walk in, take a snapshot, tell them what to do, and then walk away, and make a ton of money.  Implementation is their problem. "  Needless to say, I didn't find that an attractive or honorable way of earning a dollar.  

        Leading is hard work.  It requires skill and a commitment to the people who do the work (your staff or employees) and faith that the work you do together has value worth doing.  These were lessons I learned from my long deceased father who was, himself, a great leader and a great father.  

        There should be honor in work.  People should feel proud of what they do, of how they help each other succeed, of what they accomplish together.  

        A young fellow I worked with once, was like a young Mitt Romney - smiling, charming, successful.  He blamed all failure on others, and took any and all credit for success.  Mitt Romney and that young fellow are evidence to me that moral cowardice and self-delusion paired with shocking personal entitlement and uber self-confidence is part of the modern key to professional success.  Unless you ask the voters or the workers to grade you.

        Thank you for you enjoyable diary.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:06:12 PM PST

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        •  Thank you, Uncle Moji, for this insightful (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji

          and literate comment, summing up much of what's wrong with the modern corporate world.

          I met with some of the young MBA whiz-kids from Bain, as part of my task was explaining what my group did. You're right: they start as blank slates, and customers subsidize their learning curve. They then make recommendations which - in this case were useless - and get paid to revise them again and again. Literally millions of dollars went to Bain & Co. while I and my colleagues were tossed into the volcano to make the numbers each quarter. Someone's laughing all the way to the bank... in the Caymans.

          Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:11:10 PM PST

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