August 12, 2012

Fake Leadership versus Genuine Leadership

Organizations need leaders, genuine leaders and not the fake ones, to attract and retain the right talent. This becomes all the more important in organizations that are started by a few individuals. Such organizations need to hire senior professionals to help grow the organization. These professionals hired from outside can easily determine whether the existing leadership is fake or genuine. Fake leadership as against genuine leadership is evident when the leadership team doesn't walk the talk.
 
Signs of Fake Leadership

Here are some usual signs of fake leadership:
  • The top man in the organization, MD or CEO tells the senior professional hired from outside that an initiative must be completed by a certain date no matter what, despite repeating umpteen times that no short-cuts should be taken. The rationale is that challenges are part of any initiative or project and must be managed. And the message is sent across indirectly through an artificially created reporting structure.
  • The MD or CEO doesn't allow senior professionals hired from outside to grow in the real sense. These professionals are made to report into the MD or CEO through an artificially created reporting structure.
  • The MD or CEO takes arbitrary decision without taking the senior professional hired from outside into confidence. The attempt is to show that the artificially created reporting structure is adding value when in reality that may not be the case at all. This in some way is a justification to legitimize the artificially created reporting structure
  • The MD or CEO has pre-conceived and  strong opinions and is not willing to consider differing thoughts. In some ways she would take the decisions on her own and then fake discussions with the senior professional hired from outside to give an air of genuineness to the whole affair.
  • The MD or CEO talks about empowerment but doesn't allow true empowerment to the senior professional hired from outside. These professionals don't share the accountability with the artificially created reporting structure if things go wrong but are made to share the successes with the artificially created reporting structure if things go right.
  • The MD or CEO talks big about motivation and recognitions but fails to duly appreciate and recognize any big achievement of of senior professionals hired from outside. In fact the success of senior professionals hired from outside is completely diluted by giving a "run of the mill" award to something significant and special. The fake leadership becomes all the more evident when this is done through the artificially created reporting structure.
Handling Fake Leadership for Senior Professionals

The senior professionals hired from outside should not remain long with an organization if they realize the leadership is not genuine but fake and that their growth is artificially contained by the skewed organization structure. Hence the "Importance of Appropriate Reporting Structure". This is generally one major reason "Why New Hires May Quit Early On!"

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