Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

Recently I was browsing through the pages of Ogilvy on Advertising – a book by David Ogilvy, the legendary advertising executive. David Ogilvy was one of the founders of Ogilvy & Mather, a leading agency which subsequently became a part of WPP.

The book features a section where in David Ogilvy wrote about the relevance of quality talent in an agency followed by a recruitment advertisement, which he had used while looking for a Creative Director.

A thoughtful advertisement. It not just conveys the expectations from prospective hires but also outlines the typical personalities that exist at any workplace.

While the illustration, speaks of – five kinds of Creative Directors, we can as well borrow the idea to identify as many kinds of managers at workplace.

I am sure you would have seen people belonging to these categories.

  • Executives who are sound on strategy, dull on execution
  • Good managers who don’t make waves.
  • Duds.
  • Genius, who is pain in the butt for his team & colleagues. A lousy leader.
  • The real leaders – people who exhibit a balance of genius, inspiring leadership, ownership and delivery.

Yeah, it’s interesting to see the  Duds category. In fact there are tonnes of them at every work place. And they are not laggards – they also do well, and they also rise up in their careers.

Praveen Mishra

Praveen is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Khedge Business Consulting Pvt Ltd. He works with organisations in areas of business strategy and human-resource management. Over the last 15 years he has helped various organisations with their HR processes, structure, alignment and effectiveness; and talent strategy and processes. You can connect with him at 

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