“You should understand the history of this organization before taking any decision on this.” Crab Manager was commenting on the proposal brought by the Young Professional. This professional was recruited to set up the department in the organization. Crab Manager was nominated as the Head of that department.
“See, I am working with this organization for last 18 years. Precisely speaking 18 years 4 months 28 days; this organization is 80 years old and such decisions may creates the dissatisfaction among stakeholders including owners. You should be very careful while implementing this. Please send me your detail proposal on this.” Crab Manager asked some more amended proposal to the young professional.
Young professional worked hard on the proposal and submitted to the Crab Manager.
“This is not the way to work. Please go to Mr. Fandapurkar. He will explain you the history of this organization.” He asked Mr. Fandapurkar was one of the cheerleaders of the Crab Manager and was head of the one section in the organization. Young professional went to Mr. Fandapurkar, “Mr. Crab Manager is an excellent person in the organization and he is the Guru of all of us. He is mentor, coach, and god for us.”
“Oh, is it so… good, I came here to understand the history of this organization.” Young professional told. “Oh sure, I tell you, Mr. Crab Manager is the only person in this organization who can run this business. In fact he brought me here to head this section.”
Mr. Fandapurkar spent almost 2 hours only speaking about the Crab Manager. Poor young professional could not grab anything from Mr. Fandapurkar. He understood that Mr. Crab Manager is the history writer of the organization and the important projected character in the organization.
The young professional could not do anything because Crab Manager and other cheerleaders including Mr. Fandapurkar would create problems politically.
If young professional would go with the proposal, Crab Manager would ask him to do the thing differently. The expectations were not cleared. Crab Manager would ask him to write proposals, Standard Operating Procedures and would insist on writing everything. Young professional was not authorized to take decisions even the increment of the driver and office boys. One fine morning young professional put down his papers not due to any other reasons, but only due to Crab Manager.
You also must have seen such Crab Managers in the organization. Are they really worth to call even Managers? Who are these Crab Managers? They are actually like the Crab. Crab attitude. They will not allow to grow their sub-ordinate. Following are some traits of Crab Managers.
1) They are very old employees in the organization and are much closed to the top level people including owners/directors because of their loyalty. They also arrange plumber for director’s house toilet, cook or driver for them.
2) They are the encyclopedia of the organization. They know everything about the organization. This is the only USP for them.
3) They project themselves as the power station in the organization and have the strong cheerleader base. Followers are mediocre and unsuccessful. They also need such superior because they can not survive outside their world.
4) They are always in their shell and project as sophisticated by nature but very dangerous. When something goes wrong they will scapegoat somebody.
5) They never take any decisions neither allow others to take decisions. They project themselves as detailed oriented and demand more and more data to delay the decision. Documentation of everything is their favorite task.
6) They are very insecure with talented people. Hence they always restrict their growth by sidelining the talent.
7) They want their subordinate to behave rudely and aggressively with others. But they project themselves as polite and humble. They are not. They actually spoil the career of somebody.
8) They have the answers in philosophy and good story teller. Philosophy is their favourite topics.
9) They speak about deliverables of others, but they do not believe on their own deliverables.
10) They do not like change and like status quo.
11) They have their people everywhere in the organization. They keep the repo with them by calling and asking information about other people. By doing this they gather lot of information about people (most of the time biased) with them.
12) They are not sure of one thing; hence always change their opinion about issues, people time to time. They always talk and like to listen convenient to them.
13) Their transactional style is “I am ok, you are not ok.”
14) They are very bureaurocratic and believe on red tapism. They like signing every paper, they like attend every meeting; they expect that their subordinate should communicate everything to them.
15) They creates clerks and do not develop managers.16) And many more….
Unfortunately they survive in the organization and last for long time. But during challenging, transition period they measurably fail. When they are forced to leave the organization after failure, they are alone. They carry the legacy of paradoxes and do not get the job outside. They have to work as self proclaimed consultant finally or survive on the pension and investment.
Vinod is the seasoned HR professional working with DSM Eng. Plastics India as the HR Head for India operations. He has wide experience in Indian and MNCs like M & M, Semperit Group and Sakaal Media Group on senior level positions. He has rich experience in HR and IR. He has an expertise working on greenfield projects and establishing HR department.