Years of experience, working with different people, I have realised that there are common aspects that come thru, particularly when it is the business owner cum manager. These behaviours are at times good, but mostly detrimental to the organisation growth & culture.
1) Filtered information – A classic case of not allowing everyone to know the game plan. There is always a problem of ‘common ground’. This keeps everyone off balance, on tenterhook at times. The reason being – ‘Nobody can become powerful, all pervasive’- Shades of old British empire?
2) Selective hearing – This is a not mutually inclusive to only owners+managers, but a lot of leaders. The convenience based hearing allows an one way communication/demands of results, rewards.
3) Wishful Thinking – Always, always comparing with others, wishing, why can’t we be like that? Why are we not like that? – without making an attempt to understand How they are like that? and What did they do differently & consistently.
4) Fear – This is very convenience based. Decisions that they wish to take against advice would be termed as ‘Entrepreneur’s risk/judgement call’ whilst holding people accountable. Or always fearful, particularly when an employee who has worked hard, deserves better, is not given and decides to leave – then try and hold at whatever cost.
5) Emotional investment – Always believe that besides them, nobody cares for the company, everyone is out to cheat them, so much so that it affects business logic at times.
6) Unrealistic expectation of capital markets – The bane of existence for professionals in India. Every small business wants to be an ‘Ambani’ without the effort.
7) One side loyalty – It does not matter how progressive they are, at the heart of things, the loyalty is one sided – employees need to be loyal to them, whilst they are free to be disloyal when required. If business not doing well, it is fine not to conduct appraisals, but a performing employee wanting to leave is disloyal.
The above behaviour is in no way 100% across the board, but some of the points are always to be found in Owner + Managers. AND yes some leaders too.
*Owner+Manager here specifically refers to those who whilst being the owners of business, are actively involved in day to day operations, whilst still claiming to have handed over charge. *