The emergence of the new YES man
Typically when you hear or read about "Yes man", what comes to mind?
Let me guess, probably people that you might consider having no decision making power, that
just do what they are told, who are "people pleasers", that say yes to be well with their bosses
to keep their jobs, that are "lazy", that can't think on their own, that are the "bosses tool" for
unpleasant tasks and communications, like telling someone of the team that their job will
change, or disappear without any per warning that could indicate so.
Those jobs that the boss doesn't to do because they are unpopular or he / she can't do he /
she doesn't have the courage to “face people in the eyes" and just tell them.
There are a lot of people “managers (?)" like that, they need to be surrounded by yes men (or
women), so that the "dirty tasks" of dealing with people are done, and their conscience is not
so affected (really?).
These people "managers (?)" aren't properly capable of leading people in the terms of what is
needed in today's complex and challenging world.
Giving feedback is for them another task they would prefer to delegate to their yes person, if
they just could do it...
When they are "forced" to give feedback, they generally start by addressing the items where
the person being assessed / evaluated, has not complied/performed properly, or missed any
deadline that puts managers name on the radar on his/her management chain.
This way they are lowering people's Status (as defined by David Rock in the SCARF model),
putting them away and making their motivation and engagement to drop dramatically and
automatically to levels where severe impact to the team's performance can occur.
To Lead is to show the Way things are to be done.
Do these people (Old style managers that like to have yes people) really want that their teams
do the same they do across the organization?
They are unconsciously contributing to success, not of their companies, but of their
competitors. Is this really what they want?
Their so egoistic selves don't usually let them see this. We need to help them open their eyes
so they can see, with a language they will understand, that the overall company's results are
on a fast course to causing increasing damage to a lot of people (their teams, their business
units, their organizations business partners, clients, vendors and other stakeholders).
These people ate not using one of the brain's purposeful features - to be social and to connect
others and with others. As they are going up in the organization and responsibilities increase -
operational, financial, the number of people under their supervision, etc. - their brains start to
shutdown to being social. That's a declining slope that these managers don't see happening,
but everyone else around them has given them early signs that get unnoticed. They enter the
office in the morning with their heads down, thinking of that report that needs to go out, the
numbers that are not good, the stretches and cuts the forecast needs to incorporate - you
name it - and they don't talk to anyone, sometimes not even a simple nodding of the head, a
little smile, a basic " good morning", nothing.
Then they later start to see their employee engagement ratings go down and don't understand
why - “My team is well paid, there is a nice schema of bonuses in place, what's happening here
? " They miss the whole point, people need care, a little " Hey, how are you today Joe?" as they
enter the office can start to turn things around easily, but usually these managers forget the
simple and basic and go for attempts to think on complex alternatives and solutions, hiring
expensive consultancies, that produce 50 page reports, tens of ideas for implementation, only
to find in the next semester/ year that things have not improved that much. The situation is
not a reflection of what they expected, “I hired these top guys, and still, just a tiny x%
It turns out that the solution is very much easier than they think. Just be yourself, connect
yourself to what's happening around you, talk to people, hear them, and they will tell you
what's happening and usually you don't have to spend a dollar! Just SMILE! Say good morning
and have your ears open with no restrictions to what will come up. Sometimes you can't do
much to help, but sometimes the questions are very easy to solve. Just LISTEN to the people
you have around you.
Usually, these managers, directors, executives, come to the conclusion that they are feeling
lonely at the top of their hierarchies, of their fancy offices with stunning views, of their
excellent pay packages, of the latest car model, the new iPhone, the insurance schemes, etc.
They go home in their cars, feeling a sensation of growing emptiness, that reflects not only on
them, but also on their families – husbands, wives, children, sisters, brothers, etc., and friends.
They feel lonely, but the overlaying layers of material goods – good house, good car paid by
the company, good clothes, good lifestyle, etc., blinds them to the early detection of the real
cause of the loneliness and emptiness. They can start going on drinks, drugs and medicine
abuse, which only will make matters worse.
For the business challenges they face, they consider, or are “suggested” to hire a coach, to
help them uncover their real values, the meaningful goals, and the project plan to make the
journey to their new and stronger selves.
For the personal challenges they go to psychiatric support, to go deeper inside themselves,
and sometimes continue hiding the real cause, masking it with a good number of colored pills.
Solutions, however, are not outside of them.