Moved by our “Learning and Teaching” value, since 2010 Prof. Falconi shares his management experience and knowledge with the readers of Exame magazine on a monthly basis. Through objective answers, he establishes a dialogue and clarifies doubts about methods, entrepreneurship, career and leadership, among other topics related to the business world.
Check out the October/2016 column below. Enjoy your reading!
THERE IS NO USE RECRUITING A GOOD COACH IF THE TEAM IS BAD
Reproduction: Revista Exame
1. I’d like to make a comparison between the corporate world and what happened with Brazil’s soccer coaches. Coaches are invariably dismissed if the team does not perform well. Where, in your opinion, does the problem actually lie? Among the coaches or the players? Zeferino Sealabrini Neto, from Minas Gerais
There is a maxim in the general theory of systems that goes as following: “If you place an exceptional leader in a bad system, the system will always win” In my most recent book, True Power, I mention the case of an excellent sales director from a company I know intimately. He always attained his goals and had firm control of his team, which was also exceptional. Then a competitor made him an “offer he couldn’t refuse” in the hope that he could reproduce the same performance there. He accepted the offer and failed hopelessly. He didn’t even send a year at the other company. I’ve never heard of him again. If he had known that the system always wins, he would have accepted the offer under the condition that he be allowed to build his own team. And he should also have said, from the start, that this would take, at least, five to ten years.
It is vital to pay careful attention to a cultural change to ensure it occurs in practice. To form a champion team that does not depend on very strong leadership, before anything else, you must have the right people. Along the way, it will be necessary to make decision and change people in the team. As well as a good starting point, it will be necessary to invest in exceptional and constant training. Many people think that training means providing a course and the objective is complete. That’s an illusion. In formal training, the explicit information is provided. Using the analogy of teaching someone to ride a bicycle, it’s no use simply telling a person to sit on the seat and pedal. This is the theory. One can only effectively learn to ride a bicycle by trying, falling and trying again. And it is something that only develops with time. This is what we call tacit knowledge.
Tacit and explicit knowledge reiterate each other over time and, as such, there should be lots of training opportunities. Including repeated training. A company culture cannot be changed from one day to the next.
To conclude, one of the tasks of a leader is to build his or her own team because the one attaining goals is the team and not the leader. Obviously, as you develop your team, the results begin to show. If you are persistent, the performance will improve gradually until you reach the desired level, after about 5 to 10 years.
2. I currently work for a multinational firm that is enjoying growth, despite the crises. I’m a consultant in the sales department and I’ve been doing this job for almost six years, two of which have been at this company. We recently had a few modifications, all of which we prearranged, with managers having their preferred candidates. I am often praised, but up to now I have only received promises. What is the best decision to make in this type of scenario? Anonymous
It’s difficult to analyze your case without a little more information about you and the company. As such, I will speak in general terms. Firstly, I would like to say that you are completely right about wanting to change your tasks. It’s no good sitting on the same chair behind the same desk for too long. The best bet is to maintain the same activity between three and five years. The explanation behind this is simple: we have to learn continuously in our daily routines. Human beings don’t learn in leaps and bounds, but a little every day. For this to continue happening, we must be challenged with goals or changes in position at the company, even if that means lateral movement – that is, without promotion – but something that provides new situations and new problems.
Goals and changes challenge us to learn and grow professionally. There are companies that are concerned with their employees’ learning and try to keep them moving with the objective of improving their formation. And in others, not so much. You career will depend greatly on the company you choose. For example, at least in theory, all companies agree with the basic principles of meritocracy. But imposing real meritocracy in which promotions are only given purely on merit is something restricted to very few companies. This is so because, in certain cases, it would be necessary to leave a friend, family member or countryman behind and promote another that is simply the better person for that job.
A performance appraisal system must be very efficient and independent of personal opinions. This is something hard to find. When there is true meritocracy, over the years people get used to the fact that promotions are given sparingly and consider the judgment of all. And those left behind also know why.
Source: Exame.com – Visual Management column – 10/07/2016
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