May 2015 - Superglue

Some people running businesses create untold stress for the management team that try to work with them. Someone told me last week that her leader is like a runaway vacuum cleaner without a dust bag, racing around at ninety miles an hour, whilst she tries vainly to follow after him clutching a dust pan and brush.

These charismatic leaders are full of energy, ideas and enthusiasms, but nobody else really knows what is going on in their head. They often have no patience with standard best business practice such as the Bull's Eye, SWOT analysis, 360 degree appraisals, facilitated staff and customer surveys, monthly management meetings.
It is not uncommon for these MD's to have some very successful years in terms of both cash and profit. Equally these same people have other years when there isn't much of anything and they can go spectacularly bust too.
At the other end of the scale is the sort of person that runs the company like clockwork. All the financials are prepared and discussed during regular scheduled meetings. The senior management team is pretty stable, the same faces may have been in post for years and years. The day to day atmosphere is generally calm, relaxed and under control.
If you see this person at a children's parents evening, in the pub on a Sunday lunchtime or at a business event their demeanour and behaviour is exactly the same.
It's very much 'business as usual' for these organisations. Not many really ground breaking ideas or actions happen from one year to the next because this type of leader tends to be risk averse. Nonetheless the business often produces steady, if unspectacular results, over a long period of time.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if you could cut these two types in half and then stick the best bits of both back together again.