If you are an Empty Suit….: how can you look @ yourself in the mirror…?

Out of curiosity: A poll targeting all the Empty Suits, i.e. the MBA’s, sales guys, project leaders, managers, and marketing managers etc, all those who ‘govern’ businesses or operations, but without having a clue about those businesses or the customer’s,  out there:

If you’ve been set to lead a business, a team, or an operation, in a domain that you have absolutely no clue about, no knowledge, no experience, how can you look yourself in the mirror…?

For instance, if your are set as the leader of a team of programmers, and you have no idea about what programming is… how will you lead your team…?

I mean, what exactly qualifies you as a leader of this business/operation…? Your exam..?  Your good looks…? Your MBA degree..? (that  btw is based on fundamentally flawed theories..)?

What happens in your first meeting with the (intended) customer, when the customer describes their problems and all you can contribute with is a stream of buzzwords. canned pitches and powerpoints.. when it becomes painfully obvious that you have no clue about what the customer does, what problems the customer has, and how to solve those problems… ?

Management by KPI’s, canned pitches and spreadsheets might look good on the surface, but really – do you really believe that you are the right person to steer  and lead a business where you don’t even know the basics…?  Where you can’t provide anything of value over and above a carrot or a whip to your team…?  Not to mention the customer….?

I’d be interested in your views, if you fit the description above: what makes you tick (over and above the commissions from the sales targets) ?

Somehow, I’m awfully impressed by people like you – your ability to ‘fake it until you no longer can make it’ is impressive. Myself, I simply don’t have the balls to play the game like you do – in order to have an opinion on anything, I feel I must have some hands-on experience of that ‘anything’….


About swdevperestroika

High tech industry veteran, avid hacker reluctantly transformed to mgmt consultant.
This entry was posted in Functional Stupidity, Grandiosity, Leadership, Management, Organization and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to If you are an Empty Suit….: how can you look @ yourself in the mirror…?

  1. mlewerth says:

    While there may be many people with fancy titles that does not know what they are doing/managing, many do. There are sales people that knows tech sufficiently well to both understand customer problems and envision solutions. There are project leaders that actually *can* lead projects because they have both an understanding of technology used and what it takes to lead people towards a common goal. Apparently, in (and by) our own organization many customer needs are sufficiently well satisfied by what we sell to make the customer happy and successful, and this starts with the sales rep and ends with a successful implementation. But of course I agree that some guys with fancy titles are “Empty suits” – but really not all.

  2. Micke-Ponken, I’m dealing with the generalities, the averages here: of course the are sales folks who know what they are doing (I consider myself being one of those) but I’m talking about the ‘normal distribution’, the averages.

  3. mlewerth says:

    I realize you don’t mean “everyone”, but if you’re saying you’re dealing with “averages”, do yo believe that it is more common that a person with one of these fancy titles is an “empty suit” than not? I would claim that it is more common with the opposite (but I have no data to back it up).

  4. In my experience, based over the 30 years I’ve been in the business, the ratio of empty suits to non-empty suits is greater than 1.

  5. mlewerth says:

    That’s bad. Do you think it’s the same for all businesses? (I guess you only have experience from one, maybe two, businesses?) Is it the same in e.g. the medical device business?

  6. My comments are exclusively from the software tool business.

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