My friend is the CEO of a major division of a huge Indian conglomerate. He oversees operations in multiple countries and manages a workforce in India and the US. He has a brilliant business mind and brought this division up from substantial losses to profit in a difficult industry.
Yet when I chat with him, the thing that’s always on his mind is dealing with his Chairman and all the other conglomerate leaders. From the outside it looks like a giant mess. One CEO doesn’t like the other one because of something that happened ten years ago. The Chairman’s son is being groomed for a top position, but no one wants to be pushed out. So on and so on.
Ego works around the world, but he seems to pop up in India a lot. He’s a tough person to work with because it seems like he takes all of your emotional energy, and with one bad move, he’ll run you out of town.
Ego doesn’t work just in the C-suite. She’s there among middle managers and freshers and everywhere in between. You can never escape from working with her.
There are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to working with Ego. One is to ignore him, pretend that he doesn’t exist, and beat the hell out of anyone you might think is working with him. The other is to worship him and spend all of your time appeasing him. If you’ve been in India long enough, you’ve likely seen the failure of both of these approaches. [Read more…]