Posted by: kenwbudd | February 23, 2009

Managing the pack – Leadership

In the absence of good strong definite, disciplined, leadership, subversive elements will move in to take over that position and assume dominance over the pack /team.

These subversives are normally the very ones that are threatened by the lack of leadership and discipline. They need defining rules and boundaries, because they are very insecure. They want to be given direction, to be told what to do and how to do it.

The more independent types will be less concerned about weak management and leadership, because they can manage and lead themselves. They are very at ease with co-operative and supportive behaviour and are the backbone of any pack /team.

Unfortunately subversive leaders are ill-equipped for the leadership or governing role and become more insecure, distressed, unpredictable and aggressive. In the absence of hierarchical controls and strong executive management, subversive managers can easily become abusive and vindictive.

In dogs this shows up as unwanted aggressive behaviour when in contact with other dogs, particularly those of a lower standing in the pack. Pulling aggressively on the lead, in a direction chosen by the dog, to the pain and detriment of the owner. Plus inappropriately attacking everything that comes along, and treating it as if it were a major threat e.g. cats, dogs, postmen, skateboards, etc. It is all driven by fear and lack of confidence in the leadership abilities of the owner.

In managers it is slightly less obvious but not much.

  • Loud and disruptive at meetings. (attacks other subordinate members of the pack)
  • Dominating the conversation (unwanted prolonged barking)
  • Averse to change (attacking anything new as if it were a threat)
  • Aggressively defending their position and ideas (doesn’t mix well with others and quick to bite)
  • Hijacking the strategic plan and moving it in another direction entirely, to the detriment of the company and the annoyance of the executives (pulling on the lead in the wrong direction).

So, how are your pack leaders? Are they calm assertive or excitable aggressive? You hire the employees that you need and you get the managers you deserve. Be the leader of the pack, the one that keeps them under control at all times. That way you can let them of the lead and know you can call them back to heel, when required, and you will not be afraid to have them play with small children, occasionally.

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