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Dear Members,
I request you to read through the following case study and provide us your valuable suggestions.

One of the senior management personnel in X company is leading the company with below average leadership skills. This is leading to heavy attrition as employees are unable to work under such incompetent manager. This person has been in this position for a couple of years now but has not taken any initiative to develop his skills and personality which is also negatively affecting the development of company’s business.
Despite having so many negative attributes and close to none positive ones, not even up to the level of an executive, this person is not affected by any feedback and believes that he is perfect and others are wrong and gets too involved in micro management of the company instead of concentrating on sales growth and business goals.

This person, on the other hand, knows how to impress the board of directors in order to keep his position in the company. The majority of employees and managers in charge of the company's departments are dissatisfied with reporting to this person since, despite his senior management position, he has no understanding of the core functions of any department to advise them. There have also been numerous occasions where potential candidates have declined to join the organization after having interview with this individual because they recognized his incompetence during the interview and were unwilling to work under him.

I rely on your experience, expertise, and qualification to help me understand how to deal with such employees who are overconfident in themselves and don't see the ramifications of their incompetence at such a high level, which could have a significant negative influence on the company and business.

From India, Bengaluru
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Dinesh Divekar

Dear Prathibha,

You have written several times that "this person is incompetent". However, this is an inference. What led you to draw this inference is not known. You have not provided sufficient evidence of his actions.

Ok. For the time being, we will take at face value whatever you have written. However, if the person is occupying a chair with the blessings of the BoD, then nothing can be done. If the senior management personnel is the cause of the employee attrition, then it is the fault of the owners of this company who allow him to continue.

By the way, no amount of feedback to this person will work. This is because nobody can convert an arrogant person into a humble person. A desire for change should come from within. No amount of external goading works. Therefore, if someone approaches and tells you that personal coaching or NLP techniques will work in this case, it will be a wild goose chase.

This reminds me of Nitishlok taught in the school. It is:

स्वभावो नोपदेशेन शक्यते कर्तुमन्यथा |
सुतप्तमपि पानीयं पुनर्गच्छति शीतताम् ||

Meaning : - One cannot change the nature of a person by giving him advice or telling him good things. (as even) If water is heated, after some time it again attains its normal temperature.

अर्थ: - किसी व्यक्ति को आप चाहे कितनी ही सलाह दे दो किन्तु उसका मूल स्वभाव नहीं बदलता ठीक उसी तरह जैसे ठन्डे पानी को उबालने पर तो वह गर्म हो जाता है लेकिन बाद में वह पुनः ठंडा हो जाता है |


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

If this is a case study for a university course etc, then you need to provide answers to the questions and then ask for our opinions on your work.

We are not studying your course, YOU are. If we give you the answers you will not learn anything, and you need to learn the skills if you are to work in HR.

So please prepare your answer to the questions, and then come back to us for to review your work.

If you are struggling with the assignment, please talk to your professor or tutor and seek their guidance.

From Australia, Melbourne
Dear Mr. Dinesh,

Thank you for your valuable inputs.

I would like to answer to your query on "why I have written several times that this person is incompetent"

Few instances to brief in precise.
1. This person is at the senior management position, where department managers report to him and he is absolutely clueless about the basic functions of any departments and rely only on the department managers to manage without his support.
2. This person procrastinates whenever asked for expert advice and gives all sorts of excuses for not giving his opinion from the management perspective.
3. This person is scared of taking any decisions on his own and always finds reason to pass the responsibility to others so that he will be out of it.
4. Potential candidates who will be shortlisted by the department managers/HR manager will not show up after the final round of interview with this person as they come to the conclusion that they will not get any career growth joining this company led by such senior management personnel and many senior positions potential candidates have given this feedback to the HR team for not accepting the offer/joining the company.

This person does not showcase any attribute which employees look up to in the senior management personnel.
The above main reasons are building up very negative environment and employees feel they are not led by a good leader and they look for opportunities to leave company.

From India, Bengaluru
Dear Mr. John,

Please note this is not a case study of any course.

This is a actual situation in one of the reputed company and the senior HR personnel of that company is seeking support from Experts and Consultants to deal with this situation. I am holding a good position in Human Resources in a MNC company and many HR colleagues from different companies are using various HR forums to provide some sort of a solution for this colleague's dilemma.

Hopefully this clarifies your doubt.

From India, Bengaluru

From all the narrations given by you, and after carefully perusing the same, the inference drawn up by me is as follows:-

The "highly incompetent senior management employee" is a trust-worthy person to the owners or the Directors (who have major holdings in the company) - who prefer to engage such person on the top of the hierarchy of any company (More so, in private companies). Such persons need not be a mentor to the next lower level management personnel.

You can ask your colleague to come closer to the person. Once your colleage becomes in the good books of the senior management person, things will have a sea-change.

It will be futile exercise for your college to assess his leadership style or his professional competence.

From India, Aizawl

This executive is able to convince/ impress the board of directors which implies that he must be possessing excellent communication skills and also must be having in depth knowledge about upskillng all those working below him. To successfully deal with board of directors is not so easy task. It appears that the writer is biased against this executive.
To my mind the officer had capability to manage.

From India, Gurgaon


Stop wasting your time with that organization and find a new job, if not possible face the situation. there is noting you can do if director is supporting him..

Many companies were closed in past due to such management.

From India, Hyderabad

Hi Pratibha,

Hope this will work for you!

Currently you are accessing/discussing 2 parameters of this fellow.

Intellectual Intelligence V/S Emotional Intelligence.

This person, who is screwing every employee around him is exceptionally well in Stake holder & Client management (Which is a strong sign of Emotional Intelligence). So no amount of anger, frustration or feedback will work for him.

Now, this goes without saying that he clearly lacks in Intellectual intelligence, which I personally feel that is not needed for now as he has already secured a good place in this company.

Solution:- Create a whistle blower group, which should involve all the core members of your Organization & educate/encourage the members to report any malpractices/incidents/issues on this ID. The person who will raise the whistle blower will always remain anonyms right from the investigation to till it gets addressed.
If you start getting emails then you can use them as a base & put this on table for discussion with the Core committee members & proceed further.

And and and, If you don't get any emails pertaining to any wrong doing in the organization, specifically done by him, then pls try to accept his personality with a pinch of salt & change your perspective towards this fellow, if you do not have any plans to change your job any sooner.

Or else, you can simply start looking for options in the market & change this job asap for mental peace & sanity.

From India, Thana
the entire post appears to be more of a disgruntle person than of a person of depth and wisdom. the fact that he is there by the choice of the management ,sure enough management knows whom to keep where.the long list of judgmental statements only reflects and exposes it is more of a personal views that concrete supported argument.
is there a problem of you not adapting to the leadership because of personal is difficult to imagine so many not so useful behavior of a person sitting firm in that high office, are you assuming that you are better than the management in assessing this someone has said in the replies, why not give the solution too. personally i feel there is a bif frequency miss match from your side. you are looking at so many negatives. not one positive from you,

From India, Rajkot
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