Darwin stated in his natural selection theory that organism suited to their surrounding have better survival chances on an individual level. Recently, Harvard’s Edward Wilson suggested that the same concept can be applied to groups given that the constituents of this group demonstrate selflessness; sacrificing individual interests for the benefit of the whole. One’s sacrifice could lead to a collective win down the road. If true, corporate managers can easily entice their subordinates to view the organization’s successes as that of their own. If the tendency towards group oriented behavior plays a role in survival, managers shall be optimistic.
The mutual benefit between the organization and the individual is evident during business fair weather. However, ever-changing markets put companies in situations where its internal life is impacted. During these times, managers and subordinates tend to draw the line between personal and organizational interests, which could harm the organization.
For instance, it is often at critical moments that the conflict between ideas of personal progress arises between two individuals.
One school of thought views personal progress as a result of one’s competencies and hard work. They rely on recognition to be the passage in which they partake leadership roles based on their contributions.
Another school of thought relies on power they attain as a method for advancement. They don’t undermine competence; however it’s not their cornerstone.
Both schools of thoughts are crucial for organizational advancement.
Employees of the former school are companies’ value bank, namely during times of turbulence. Siemens for instance relied on its competence to achieve record profits at a time its management was let go in a bribery scandal.
The latter school is as crucial. Its members view power as a reward not to be confused with competence. Attaining power is synonymous to deserving it. These people take decisions on the spot with no fear of being wrong, knowing that a wrong decision is better than none.
These distinct schools coexist symbiotically. When they go head on it’s at difficult times when growth is limited where personal influence is favored, therefore the latter school supersedes the former.
The competence school of thought prevails when a manager quits out of the blue. Value is then credited to new sources and the reporting pathway is shuffled. It’s pivotal that remaining managers take note of when drive for power takes over competence at this change.
Senior managers can notice competent workers when they decide to leave after critical communication. conspicuous internal communication and defending internal practices take up the time of internal managers , draining the resources of the company even more in hard times.
The danger in power driven employees lies in their ease of spread. Tacit knowledge sharing may stop, including lists of clients and work methods. This knowledge is used is power tug-of-wars to move ahead. The more specific the knowledge is, the more likely the employee is to switch sides and move to a competitor’s team. This process is manageable under certain circumstances such as the character, timing, and understanding of the manager.