Friday, June 15, 2007

Lessons of Power and Politics 6: The Bilingual Manager

Life goes on. It's pretty hard to get back to usual stuff. On top of that I'm getting less and less thrilled by assignments, and the ones that are still on are real drags. Big mistake, I know. Especially since, having missed some classes of one of my favourite INSEAD Prof. (Accounting super God Jake Cohen), I'm now regretting that. You know that feeling: "Wow it's just so insightful I wish I could master the trick better". On the other hand, since Jake's course is all about Managers playing dirty accounting tricks, it's just as well, since I will be a manager right after School, not to know/understand about all these things. I must say the accounting bad practices can have particular appealing names for who is into that: Cookie Jar, Massaging (numbers), and with a little bit of imagination, Channel Stuffing...

But, I'm digressing again. Back to P&P. Oh, on this, before I forget. A Wharton groupmate of mine is so elated by her INSEAD experience. She is finding Electives soooo good, much better than at Wharton (so she said), at least in Finance and OB...

So last classes of Power and Politics were very insightful and practical as usual. Of interest, is the concept of the Bilingual Manager: having a language for Top Management, and another language for Employees and Peers. Pressure absorption, rhetoric on the one hand, and distant influence, on the other hand.
The analysis was taken from best seller "The Soul of a New Machine", which was really insightful in terms of organisational structure (how to use it as a Pull influence strategy). Really cool.

Prof. Alvarez's takeaways for us in our current situations were clear.
1. Don't be easy, Be difficult. That motivates peers and subordinates to work hard for you to get attention.
2. Beware of the "You are free" trick when proposed a tough assignment. Top Management has a sales pitch for you, don't feel pressured to step in what could be a big mess.
3. Don't be blinded by self-esteem. We tend to link pain (reality) to satisfaction (promise of a good thing). Lots of time you'll get the real pain, but not the promised satisfaction...

Tomorrow is the Summer Montmelian Ball. It'll be awkward. Show must go on...

Quotes of the Day:
"He is trying very hard to hide his superiority complex. But when you dig a little bit, you find out he thinks we're all monkeys..." P5 student confessing about his P1 Core group experience.

"There are 2 sorts of non emerged countries. The emerging, and the non-emerging. The non-emerging suck, and they are going to stay there.", clearcut Kevin on why Risk free rate is high in Zimbabwe (well, something like that).

"Are risk free rates different across countries?" Kevin to Student
"Hum, it depends on what you mean by risk free rate..." Student to Kevin
"It depends on what you mean by different too!" Kevin to Student. I like Kaiser, he's uber cool.

"I represented our section at the E4 reunion last Sunday, and would like to report back that our reunion was, as I am sure you would expect, a far classier and fun occasion." Cool Brit on defending our Section values!


For your Summer holidays reading:

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