The hero culture is alive and well in many organizations.
Riding in on a white horse to rescue the company from a downward spiral, occasioned by a history of poor decisions, will win you lots of recognition and rewards.
On the other hand, insisting on the importance of truly understanding customer needs prior to deciding on a product’s features… or really thinking through the technical challenges associated with achieving a desired outcome… or taking the time to engage people before instituting a difficult reorganization, will likely gain you the reputation of being an obstacle, poor team player, or just plain indecisive.
Unfortunately, being the person who seems to know all the answers and can turn things around by telling everyone what to do is often what we are looking for these days.
Creating an organization that is agile and can run on its own — where decisions are made close to the customer and higher level managers only need to provide strategic direction and uphold key values — is not the fastest way to “the top” these days.
Making sure your thumbprint is on every critical decision and that you’re the person who always has the last word with the CEO.
So by all means — if you want to get to the top — do not make your organization self-sufficient, do not develop your successor, and do not make yourself anything but “indispensable”.
Barry Gruenberg is a highly experienced speaker, consultant and facilitator whose current passion is helping leaders in turbulent and highly complex environments create a culture and a context in which they can realize the greatest potential in themselves, their co-workers and their organizations.