Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lessons of Power and Politics 1: Knowing where you're coming from

I was not in the mood to attending classes. After skipping a couple -under the lamest excuses to myself (it's cold, need to do the laundry, need to clean up P4 stuff on my desk)- I found the extra motivation to reach School.

Four classes today (including 2 audits). God that was great. I'll write tomorrow about the BIG Star of P5 Kevin Kaiser, because his class was just, hum, just... I just cannot find the right word. A mix of fantastic, amazing, funny, fun, insightful. I know some will think my ability to discriminate is low (totally untrue), but this must be one of INSEAD gems. But, for tomorrow, because there's just too much to write about and it's midnight.

First, I started the day with Power and Politics. There must be something in Spain about OB, because Prof. Alvarez comes from Spain, and the class is something like OB4. It was a bit of a slow start. Like PIM, but Fernando had the advantage of being really funny.
Basically, using a Michael Lewis case about elbowing your way up in the corporate world, the Prof. separated people in two categories: the High Self-Monitored and the Low Self-Monitored. The Highs value prestige and mobility, and adapt very quickly. They are good at learning, imitating, and on the dark side, lying, cheating. The Lows value work autonomy and own job definition. They do not like to micro-manage, look for Fit. They are true to themselves and the others, but on the dark side, they are not charmers or entertainers.
There are two ways to interpret: 1/people have a natural tendency for either category, and 2/people may evolve towards Low with time.

To validate his point, Prof. Alvarez made a test. I got 6. The cut-off for High was 11. Ok, I'm a Low, then... Surprisingly, I found the fit pretty good. I mean, presumably Highs are very good in Corporate world, and Lows in entrepreneurship. Prof. Alvarez suggested one other option, that Lows be kicked out the class and take a crash course with you-know-who on "Customer Service, My best practice", which had everyone laughing out loud.

To know more about Michael Lewis's "Liar's Poker"

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At 12:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi domo,

totally agree with your opinion on Kevin Kaiser. i was able to attend corp restruct + fin disgress last year during a class visit.

definitely powerful and entertaining at the same time.


At 1:15 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hi gx. Where are you now? Intake of July 08?

At 9:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

nope, but hope to attend his course next year.. um, somewhat vague, since it's a p5 course anyway.. well, u get the message ;)

gx, btw thanks for your blog - invaluable insights!


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