Saturday, July 14, 2007

FastCompany: Bosses and Real Bosses

Leadership: The Boss and the Real Boss got me thinking about some of the more (or less ) dysfunctional teams I have have been part of in the past and the formal or informal leadership roles that are often at play and impact team effectiveness.
What is interesting about my family is that we have all been given the same "bossy" gene. It skipped no one and each one of us is just as confident about his or her "rightness" as the next one. This year, nine of us traveled, and as usual, we stopped in Niagara on the Lake for the first night. My 10-year old son and his 17 and 14-year-old cousins, already fed up with the grown-up's bickering over the best route to the cottage, went into town, "to walk down the street of the last civilization they will see for a week." They are very dramatic! When they returned, they brought us a gift. It was two hats - one said THE BOSS and the other said THE REAL BOSS. They explained that every night at dinner we would designate a Boss and a Real Boss for the next day. The Boss would make the plan and if any disagreement or dissent erupted, then the Real Boss would step in to have the final word. Interesting.

Fortunately, I've forgotten most of painful details of bad experiences to blog about them, except to say that overhead groups that have no revenue requirements or operational responsibilities can be really fun (for a while) -- but can implode quickly and become sheer hell to work work in when these leadership get out of whack.

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