Tag Archives: Human Resources

Avoiding Captain Queeg

5 Jul

The Caine Mutiny (1954)  Directed by Edward Dmytryk  Shown: Humphrey Bogart

The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 Oscar nominated movie starring Humphrey Bogart as an erratic US Navy disciplinarian posted to the U.S. Navy destroyer minesweeper, the USS Caine.

The crew is undisciplined but perform their duties well.

Bogart plays the role magnificently, depicting Queeg as a ball-bearing rolling paranoid sociopath with little self knowledge. He makes authoritarian decisions that have negative impacts on the vessel, crew and missions.

My past few blogs have been about putting up with bad leadership and management – focusing on the team and just plain ‘getting over it and on with it.’

Bad boss personality a fact

But this week an article was published around a Norwegian business school research project identifying that people with narcissistic personality disorder often assume leadership positions through their strength of personality, self confidence and willingness to make tough decisions. In fact these types are destructive and “don’t think twice about using others to achieve their own goals.”

It’s fair to say that not all human beings are high minded. People can act badly and unconscionably and hurt others in the blink of an eye. It’s a fact. There are also great people who lead and inspire. Who are open to innovation and creativity and work well with others.

Should you suffer under the stewardship of a Captain Queeg and hope that things will get better?

No.

Speak up. Move on and find a place where you can flourish and create.

Like cornered animals they will fight and manipulate with amazing ferocity.

Life’s too short.

What gets you up in the morning?

27 Oct

Image

A good friend of mine and my former boss applied for a position with a company the other day. He was contacted by phone and one of the questions he was asked in a semi formal telephone interview was ‘What gets you up in the morning?’

I thought about that. Why he was asked that question when he was obviously a highly qualified and experienced candidate with a huge background and lots of runs on the board?

How do you answer that?

What’s the question driving at?

Some answers might be:

“I love my work. I’m lucky!”

“My kids school fees.”

“Life gets me up.”

“The smell of the coffee brewing.”

“The alarm clock.”

Sometimes it seems that HR people want to hear responses so that they won’t hire great people.

I know there must be some deep psychology behind that question, I just don’t know what it is, and I’m not criticising the HR person here. I’m sure they know why?

I get up for all the aforementioned reasons.

And I’m lucky … I do love my work. I don’t care what anyone else thinks.

Doing the absolute best that I can is just something that was hardwired in me by parents and circumstances.

But the barriers are put up. The hurdles to jump over.

People don’t score well in interviews for many reasons. Possibly the same reasons why different kids get bullied at school. They are different, unique, smart, sometimes odd, and … they don’t run with any pack.

As we all know, a lot of those kids went on to start up global phenomenons in the fields of art, business, music.

Let’s try and let the sometimes awkward ones in and lead them well. Stop putting up the hurdles.

Give them the confidence to do what they do best.

Do better things differently.

Revolutionise.

I believe it’s called constant improvement.

I just noticed that the clock is set to wake me at 8.02 PM. Better change that.