Morsi: A Management Issue?
Or more sinister forces at work and play?
I live in a posh area – I have a big villa – I have a good job – I drive a posh car – and my children go to the best expensive school – BUT I SIMPLY HAVE NO FREEDOM! – Demonstrating Woman Against Army Take Over to Al Jazeera TV>
August 19, 2013
Outpoint – Before I start on the topic.
I will try my level best to keep this article simple and apolitical – though I am still trying hard to understand and comprehend how GCC countries like KSA and UAE had supported the ‘military coup’ in Egypt – and even after massacres of innocent Muslims too – and despite the fact – whether we like to accept it or not – and whether we like Muslim Brotherhood or not – and of a first time elected government under Morsi after years in Egypt under Mubarak et al. This fact cannot be denied under any circumstances.
If it is a question of removing an elected government because of ‘gross mistakes violations and errors of judgment ‘ – then one can imagine of a lot of military coups would possibly take place in a number of places – using the same terms and references – as plausible strong reason and excuse?
In my article – Episode 14 – ‘Advice To A New CEO’ – dated August 27, 2003 in Book One – Between Us Only! – and over 10 years ago- I had said – Quote – .
The new CEO? Welcome Aboard! – …. But don’t change a thing! – The worst thing a new CEO can do is to sideline or marginalize those who have been actually running the establishment for many years (some very long plus 20 years!) and even before the CEO had joined. Key words are esteem, ethics, professionalism, esteem, respect and reciprocal good treatment!! And also leading by good examples and in leadership demonstrations.
DON’T CHANGE A THING! – In its October 2002 issue, Harvard Business Review – HBR (Ideas with impact), noted famous Management Magazine notes the following in one of its topics – New CEO, Welcome Aboard (But Don’t Change A Thing)” – some quotes: –
“The folks at ……… were thrilled when they got a new CEO with fresh, bold ideas – until she started to act on them”
(Old CEO to NEW) “Everyone here is in the slow lane. They are all wedded to the way things have always been done. You have to understand, this is a very old company. You may need to pull people along more slowly to make sure you don’t end up tearing the place apart”
“She (New CEO) – if she is not clear with this team, she’ll be no better with the next. She should not make personnel (staff) changes until she has given the current team a chance.
This is a commonly held Management Concept for Success for the CEO – especially the new one!
The role of the Chief Executive Officer – including especially The New!
Refer to any Management expert or books on Management, the one fundamental advice that is always given to a new CEO or Official in joining an organisation, is never to ‘rock the boat’ on day one of joining! – However, good sincere and genuine your intentions may be!
In his book ‘7 habits of highly effective peoples’, Dr. Stephen Convey, a Management ‘guru’, says that in addition of being proactive and think win/win, ‘it is very important to seek first to understand and then to be understood’. Others are Begin with the end in mind; Put first things first; Synergize, and sharpen the sword (socially, spiritually, physically & mentally).
Other references and quotes –
‘It is impossible for anyone to perform well in these continually changing roles without help from his subordinates in the organisation – he needs to have a well – informed objective understanding and supportive sounding board with whom he can freely discuss his doubts, fears and aspirations’.
– Robert L. Katz ‘Skills of an Effective Administrator’ – Three Skills Approach (Technical Skill, Human Skill and Conceptual Skills).
‘The first duty – and the continuing responsibility of the Business Manager (CEO) are “to strive for the best possible economic results from the resources employed or available – by Peter F. Drucker – another Management guru.
Good Ideas – Bad Implementation Practices!
Where have we heard this one before? Many establishments, some of them international Conglomerates, have collapsed because a new CEO was installed who wanted to make fast, rapid and drastic changes, without first getting to know the establishment well and its peoples, and what made them tick.
Success may have seemed to come with immediate effects (with the usual ‘colourings’ of press and for coverage) but in the medium to long term, the consequences are detrimental to the healthy running of the establishment and in its eventual early collapse and demise.
The worst thing a new CEO can do is to sideline or marginalize those who have been actually running the establishment for many years (some very long plus 20 years!) and even before the CEO had joined. When you transgress such a group, you are not only asking for trouble, but also putting your own neck on the line (shooting oneself in the foot too!).
The resentment, antipathy, anger, fury, animosities, frustrations and disappointments felt by such peoples (maybe results not visible immediately) but eventually can cause havoc and disaster to the organisation.
Many CEOs do a fundamental (grave) error of judgement when they remove (enmasse especially) the ‘old guards’ and put in their place ‘new likeable faces of his own’ choice into positions of power and authority. Not only these old guards pretend and act to go along with the changes, but they sure take aim and target to ensure the ‘introduced changes’ are sabotaged and killed from within.
They do these carefully and viciously, because the least thing they want are to be found out and be caught in the process. The process is exacerbated when you have still in-fighting within this group too (some at even senior levels), but who will attempt to come together against the new CEO and his intended changes per se!
For the short span of time and duration, things may even seem to work with new creativity, ideas and innovation coming from those ‘replacing new bright younger brains’ – but eventually we are all human beings, and the fear and dread of what may turn up next gets the better of all of us!. This is especially when the new CEO keeps asking ‘for more and more’ ideas and innovations to keep him in the limelight and in coverage! It puts a lot of pressures on the work force, with the ‘bubble bursting’ in the final analysis.
The ‘new blood’ start to feel (as they are all human too) that if an ‘uncle’ or ‘elder relative or fellow worker’ was so easily sidelined and marginalized in his duties and in his responsibilities (he saw it too, perhaps they came to his office to ‘cry’ too), why the same cannot be matted out instead to them eventually and in the course of time.
This creates uncertainties, apprehensions and worries and instead of being a morale booster, actually turns up to be quite the opposite in results, outcome and in consequences.
The new CEO may find support and encouragement from the Board of Directors and in the Chairman, but when morale, motivation and performance and profits (for which results are all paramount oriented and based) fall, ‘heads will definitely roll, however, they liked you before!’
In this scenario, the CEO will be required to change his outlook, focus orientation and in pursuits. He has to do this immediately if he is to survive. Otherwise it will mean that he will need to ‘Update and Validate’ his CV in pursuit of other new job venue and opportunities – if any – especially if history will record his ‘killing off and collapsing’ an otherwise operation of a successful and profitable establishment (killing the goose that laid golden eggs) – be it that there were even a lot to be desired to be modified or changed in the old structure of the establishment.
Continued – I had said – It is also in Countries and in Politics!
These things do not only happen to establishments but even to countries (example recently in Iraq and in Peru).
This situation goes on to even to the highest office in some lands. A new President is elected by popular vote- he gets a popular rating. Greater percentages of the population have voted him in. So what is the first thing he does? He removes all those in top positions (early retirement is a good option!), and puts his crony friends in their places. He feels now confident that he has the support of all his friends.
He removes all the top brass professional Generals and puts his cronies in their places instead. History then proves the rest – one of his most reliable and trusted General ‘takes over the helm of leadership’. The man ends up in jail, or he is allowed to ‘abdicate’ if he is so lucky. The ‘cut outs’ professional but not trusted other Generals ‘shake their heads in sadness and disbelief – perhaps if they were still there, this would not have happened!
The General is a human too. If he saw his peers sidelined, what guarantee is there that it will not happen to him – especially in a disagreement or confrontation module with the boss!
In life we all go on to do the same things, at our own levels in life. As the CEO, we remove the assistants we think we cannot trust, or move them to positions of less significance but of grand newly designed titles – ‘Head of IT Development and Implementation’, or ‘Strategic Management Business Head’ (early retirement here too is a good option!).
‘Live Personal Examples’ per se!
In my life career, I had one Company Director who wanted to make drastic and rapid changes on day one he came in! As is my usual self, I always try to maintain a balance of being pragmatic and proactive vis-à-vis to follow formal instructions (for my next pay cheque), so I had the ‘guts and the audacity’ (catching the bull by its horns, so to speak!) and to tell him that these changes he wanted would not augur well with affected staff, especially local.
I had also cautioned him of the ‘consequences of making many changes rapidly and in a short tenure of time. It is not only peoples getting lost, but the antipathy, cynicism and the disenfranchise elements emanating from the ‘affected Staff’ per se.
Though initially he was taken back by this response from the good self, but to his credit – being an educated, proactive, and pragmatic and highly profile person, he was able to see my views and points, and more importantly the dire dangers and consequences that he wanted to drive us all through.
Some of my friends thought I was ‘naïve and a fool’ to risk my career (putting a rope around your own neck to hanged!). “You could have been sidelined / marginalised or even be terminated’, my good friends advised, ‘why bother? He wants it that way, just do it – it is his own funeral!
Not many senior peoples inhigh echelon positions take kindly to be “confronted” by those junior or lower to them, and these “brave and courageous’ peoples found too late that their careers were not only dented, but faced an early death. Early Retirement is what ‘the game is nowadays!’
This Director – we still correspond, at least at the end of the year. He keeps referring to me as ‘a friend’, but also as ‘a best example of a risk taker’ he ever knew for a while!
There is nothing so bad and damaging than frustrated staff that suffer in disdain and in quiet, frustration, rancour, bitterness and in apathy and in disappointments. When staff are ‘not healthy’ the organisation also suffers eventually. Productivity is affected. You can forget ideas of expansion; survival of the establishment is highly taxed and put to great risks, deprivation and in detriment.
The concepts of Change Management are in itself complex in that even the Management do not agree to each other on what is the right approach and perspective to ‘influence change’ in itself per se.
It is essential and vital to get everyone on board when contemplating and formulating changes. The underlying factor is that the new CEO especially has to understand and appreciate that he is dealing with the most complex of his resources (albeit it being the most paramount and important one too).
It is critical and extreme too if these changes would incorporate drastic changes or reversals in peoples entrenched formal positions (worse in informal leadership positions!) or their continued existence in the Organisation, that the new CEO uses all his tact, interpersonal and managerial skills to see participation and involvement of all the staff (or majority) in these changes per se.
It is very important to make Staff feel that no particular polarization or group is being targeted in these changes, even if the intentions maybe good sincere and genuine, and this was ‘not in the plans’ per se!
My advice and counsel to CEOs and ‘the new man in Charge’ is that not many of our subordinates are ready to take a risk to tell you exactly what they think or feel – especially when they see very bad and raw treatment vetted out on the long serving staff.
It is not a question of just getting rid of only old staff who perhaps may be truly ‘transfixed and rigid in their outlooks and approaches, or even ‘dead wood’ for that matter.
It is a question of how you get to know the establishment well first, to get to know its social culture and its environment and modus operation, and how you tackle the issue and convince people.
Even armies if they are not convinced, they will surrender and let the enemy take over. We saw that even in Iraq just only recently! The same ‘convinced army’ will fight to its death in protecting and honouring those it is supposed to serve and protect. We have already seen examples of that recently.
The thing is called “tact” and the right and correct approach and how equitable, ethical and right approach and cohesion is taken.
Key words are esteem, ethics, professionalism, esteem, respect and reciprocal good treatment!! And also leading by examples and in demonstrations.
This is my (humble) advice to any CEO who wants to make a niche and name for himself, and to be acknowledged as a ‘successful CEO’ – and not a loser (and either be sidelined / marginalized or even eventually be jobless, what goes around, comes around!).
Remember you are the driver of the car, when your passengers are scared, they will not tell you of the obstacles you cannot see. You will only see after inadvertently you have hit them!
That is the worst-case scenario for any CEO! New or Old!
The rest is history on what had happened to Morsi. A lot of ‘Conspiracy Stories’ are now emerging as to why he was removed from power – including The Ethiopian Dam Link – The Israeli-Saudi link – and the usual of The West not wanting an ‘Islamic Government’ to succeed in Egypt – after The Turkey and Senegal experiences etc – and ‘refusing to accept ‘Democracy results’ in previously Algeria and Gaza.
Anyway, as I had promised in the beginning I will stop here – as my usual style in writing of ‘taking you up to the bridge – and then letting you decide if you want to cross it – or go back.
Images – For and Against Morsi – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
This article is dedicated to the innocent lost lives and maimed ones in the ‘unneeded and unwanted called for’ massacres – instead of following our Religion and The Hadith in solving our own problems our own ways – by frank honest sincere genuine one-to-one – give-and-take – face2face discussions – and in making hard, difficult complex decisions for compromises, settlements and solutions.
Let us only hope and pray MB does not go underground – as Muslims (Arabs) lose confidence in Elections! Making Another Syria – the worst nightmare scenario!
May Allah God Guide us and Protect and Preserve us all from His Anger and Fury – Amin
With sincere and due apologies,
Majid Said Nasser Al-Suleimany
August 19, 2013
The Writer is a weekly Column Contributor in The Oman Observer Features under ‘Between Us Only’. He has published 10 books – more details here at http://www.myownmajid.com
He has worked for over 25 years as a Human Resources Professional in mainly Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). And a Management Expert, Consultant and Advisor for the past 12 years – now fully retired. He holds an MBA in International Management (UK).
Scanned Photo with you.