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The Image and Behaviors of the Executive Published: Sunday, October 7, 2001 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

Much has been written about the dynamics of executive behavior (Leslie L. Kossoff 2000). A point to be stressed is that executives form their organizations in their own image. This is both adequate and to be expected. On many occasions the culture of an organization is the outgrowth of the executive himself: his dream, vision and actions in getting where he is, and his beliefs about himself, about people and his organization.

It is important for the executive to realize that consciously or not, the organization will adopt, to certain extent, what it believes to be that image. Whatever it is that the employees see, perceive, or believe about their executive will be reflected within the architecture of the organization.

No matter how complex or simple the structure, or how many locations domestically or internationally, no matter how many products or services provided, the organization will be a reflection of its executive. It will be like a kind of organizational genetic code. That image will be persuasive in both the thinking and the actions of the management and employees at all levels. In most cases the executive has created a perspective and mind-set that configurate the basis of how the organization operates.

If the executive is perceived to be aggressive, so, too, will the organization be aggressive. If the executive is prudent and soft-spoken, so, too, will the organization behave in that way. This kind of social psychology implies that the organization will follow what it sees, perceives and interpret of its executive. Of course, there is also a reciprocal interaction between the executive and his organization. Organizations can teach fundamental things to the executive…

If managed properly this progress could be a clear advantage for the executive, especially for the task of giving the organization a robust sense of purpose. No matter the size of the organization, as long as the executive works hard on projecting and portraying an understanding of where he and the organization are going and why, the body of the organization will follow those passages.

No matter whether employees are working in a job to keep the bills paid or in a career toward a more glorious future, they want to know that they have allied themselves with an organization that will get them there. It is the executive to whom they look to determine whether or not that will be the case. That is why, employees are constantly seeking the participation of their executives in key meetings. Hence, leaders should reflect faith in victory, transcendence for higher purposes, audacity of their undertakings and the potential to take risk.

By acting in the perceived image of their executive, employees feel themselves rewarded just by the virtue of their doing the right thing. They believe that they are acting, as their executive wants them to act. Taking this perspective to the extreme, this will result in monetary reward. The monetary reward is not the driver, but it is the expected result. The driver is the desire of employees to be part of something of value. What is considered of value is that which is interpreted by the employees as being of value to their executive.

A very simple researched lesson. The executive should be aware of the image he is projecting and understand that people are looking to him to determine the image and behaviors they must elicit.

Copyright 2001 QBS, Inc.
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