Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kill First, Investigate Later

The controller in one of my clients is originally from Mexico.

At a management off-site the other day, when discussing leadership styles, he explained that in Mexico they have a saying, born from years of brutal leadership - "kill first and investigate later". It was pretty funny.

We've all seen companies where that's the leadership style. Something goes wrong. Shoot somebody.

It's highly ineffective. It just about guarantees that no one in the organization but the leader will make a decision or take action. Progress, trust, teamwork, initiative are pretty much all out the window in those organizations.

Lots has been written about how organizations and employees have changed...about the lack of loyalty shown by either side any more.

It's true.

I still find it bothersome based on years of observation, how acceptable and easy firing one, several, many employees has become. OK fine, the business is well managed, the bottom falls out for whatever reason and survival is at stake - then I get it. I've been there.

But too often what I observe is that's not the case. Hirings are done poorly and without proper planning. Lack of training ensures the employee never reaches their potential. Strategic planning and day to day leadership are haphazard. The organization staggers from trouble spot to trouble spot. And employees get shot.

When companies are hiring, if they know what they're doing and to avoid mistakes, they do their homework on the potential hire.

Employees jumping to new organizations should do the same.

Sure the job sounds great but do some research! Find out what the leadership style is. Find out how the company is managed. Figure out what people in the organization think about their organization.

Here's a simple tactic - don't take the job without interviewing at least 3 people in the company at or below the job level being considered.

Get on Linkedin. Hook up with past employees.

Sure it's a pain, but it could save some serious job grief down the road.

No comments: