Learning Management and Leadership


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Learning Management and Leadership

  1. 1. Learning about management / leadership <ul><li>Join a premier b-school like IIPM or IIMA </li></ul><ul><li>Read best-selling books by management gurus: “Count Your Chicken Before They Hatch”, “You Can Win”, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from your boss/organization </li></ul><ul><li>Google “How to become a manager” </li></ul><ul><li>A fifth approach? </li></ul>
  2. 2. By Mathew Eranat Management Lessons from the TV Show
  3. 3. Contextual familiarity <ul><li>“ The Office” follows the seemingly mundane office lives of employees in the local branch of a paper sales company </li></ul><ul><li>The branch manager, Michael Scott, is incompetent and clueless </li></ul><ul><li>Wide range of characters as employees </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Scott provides the best lessons on what NOT to do as a manager </li></ul><ul><li>Issues like racial diversity, office relationships, employee morale, efficiency, performance feedback </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mid-presentation Audience Analysis <ul><li>As MBA students, such anecdotal learnings are not likely to impress you </li></ul><ul><li>You need more than funny situations that illustrate management lessons </li></ul><ul><li>You need…. </li></ul><ul><li>THEORIES </li></ul><ul><li>JARGONS </li></ul><ul><li>FRAMEWORKS </li></ul><ul><li>And DIAGRAMS!!! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Presenting… The Gervais Principle <ul><li>tries to explain how someone as incompetent as Michael Scott could become a manager </li></ul><ul><li>developed by Venkatesh Rao, a researcher at Xerox </li></ul><ul><li>named after Ricky Gervais, the creator of “The Office” </li></ul><ul><li>draws upon the works of stalwarts like Hugh MacLeod (“Company Hierarchy”) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Other theories to explain incompetence of bosses <ul><li>The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>people are promoted when they prove themselves competent at their jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at some level of the hierarchy a situation arises where the skills required exceed their competence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>from this point, they are not promoted and thus incompetent bosses languish at this equilibrium </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to middle management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>this is to limit the damage they can do </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. MacLeod’s Company Hierarchy <ul><li>Sociopaths – drive the growth of company, ambitious </li></ul><ul><li>Clueless – middle management, buffer between top and bottom </li></ul><ul><li>Losers – worker bees, losers only in context of organizational stature </li></ul>
  8. 8. Not all losers are alike… <ul><li>According to the Gervais Principle, there are three types of losers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overperforming losers: put in too much effort without realizing that it is worthless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Underperforming losers: realize that their future lies elsewhere, take a gamble by underperforming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bare minimum effort losers: happy and content with their current role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different types of losers have different career paths </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Gervais Principle <ul><li>“ Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Or in 1000 words…
  11. 11. How The Office illustrates this principle <ul><li>Career path of Michael Scott </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of best salesmen in history of company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incompetent in all other respects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoted to branch manager (clueless middle management) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career path of Ryan Howard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Temp who couldn’t make a single sale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attended part time MBA programme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoted to VP at HQ in New York </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Where do the characters fit in? <ul><li>Sociopath – David Wallace, Josh Porter </li></ul><ul><li>Clueless – Michael Scott </li></ul><ul><li>Overperforming loser – Dwight Schrute </li></ul><ul><li>Underperforming loser – Ryan Howard, Jim Halpert (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Bare minimum effort loser – Just about everyone else </li></ul>
  13. 13. That was the Gervais principle <ul><li>More theories based on The Office </li></ul><ul><li>The Four Languages spoken in the office - Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk by Venkatesh Rao </li></ul><ul><li>Book: Leadership Lessons from The Office: What Not to Do in the Workplace from Michael Scott and the Gang by Terry Kirkpatrick </li></ul><ul><li>Key takeaway: Watch as many television shows as possible. It can be more educational than you think. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Coming soon: My new talk <ul><li>Dirty Scum: Urban Waste Management Lessons from </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>Rao, Venkatesh (2009). The Gervais Principle, or the office according to “The Office”. Ribbonfarm.com . Retrieved from http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/ </li></ul><ul><li>Buchanan, Mark (2009). Why your boss is incompetent. New Scientist . Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427392.600-why-your-boss-is-incompetent.html?full=true </li></ul>