In my opinion, the presence of a dominant, alpha-male complex, is an integral part of the managerial psyche. However, I do agree with Bob Brennan, the Iron Mountain CEO, that the negative effects of this trait may interfere with the efficiency of a working environment. John T. Landy analyzes this balancing effect in Breaking the Command and Control Reflex. Effectively, both Brennan and Landy affirm that in the current upper-management arena, employees still operate with a questioning attitude towards cooperation. As Brennan presents it, “Most managers can’t help but see collaboration as a kind of threat to their territory, and they raise a variety of ‘defense mechanisms’ to thwart it.”
To battle these common cooperation anxieties, and consistent trends of “good at holding subordinates accountable
but bad at setting clear expectations,” Brennan has reworked his hiring process, and therefore, his systemic management. I throw in this lofty economical adjective in order to easily segue into an analysis that I believe Frederick Winslow Taylor would find applicable.
Taylor was the pioneer of scientific management, and he believed in pursuing industrial efficiency through the re-structuring of systemic management (i.e. employee training, hiring, etc.), not through a refining of the search process for the “perfect” employee (in this case being a manager). Isn’t this exactly what Brennan is doing?
Earlier in Brennan’s career, the most popular managers, e.g. the most perfect managers, held the strongest command and control complexes. The changing tides of business management have placed less emphasis on this dimension. In framing this trend as more effective than its predecessor, one might argue that Taylor’s initial analysis of business efficiency in the early 20th century holds true today.
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