Sit back and think for a moment. How many people have you encountered in your life that have either been different from what you originally believed (pretenders) or simply be superficial? Perhaps a bit too many.
Any self-respecting person can easily identify the latter, but the former requires a bit more finesse and attention to detail. In the personal life, it is all a matter of preference and choice, but in the business world, it could mean troubles and irreparable damage. When you are an employee, there isn’t much you can do, especially if any of those people are your superior. Thankfully, superficial ones rarely climb up the ladder of any self-respecting corporation. However, they can instigate rumors that might hurt your image. On the other hand, the ones who are different than the image they portray can be handled one way or another. In the end, nobody can deny results, but when working inside a company, you need motivation. You need to know that your effort is appreciated.
However, when you run your own business, then your attention is seriously required on both these types. In this scenario, the magic word is “reliability”. When you handle day to day operations, you need to know tasks are handled efficiently and on time. As a leader, the best way to push your business forward is to charge forth and set the example. Speaking of these two categories, however, how do they effectively undermine your business?
This category is basically filled with people that are drawn toward vanity. Their sole focus is materialism, which initially doesn’t seem too bad, especially since profit is something a corporation should seek for the reason of survival and evolution. Though, the core is something that does elude them. What is that? Every company runs under a certain set of rules, also known as “philosophy”. That is a strategic plan that branches out to two main areas:
- The in-house environment
- The company-to-client (or customer) approach
Both are of utmost importance since they are the founding stones that constitute a strong entity that can function and grow in the competitive environment of today’s business world. It is based on communication, understanding, and focus. Superficial people don’t do well in the second. This can result in a questionable performance on the third.
Another reason to be aware of is that vanity-driven people are more willing to undermine their co-workers in order to achieve higher rewards for themselves. This alone can disrupt the workings of a healthy environment.
If you do have these types of people, believe it or not, they could be quite useful in several aspects of social media, marketing, and promotions. Εspecially if your business coincides with their natural interests. So, not all is lost here.
The people who say one thing and are something different can be managed in a variety of ways. An adept managing-level person is certain to figure those people out relatively soon, if not right away. The main characteristic of these people is that they tend to over-promise and under-deliver. Once you get to fully evaluate them, then you can easily estimate their output by asking “above the line” so that you receive what should normally be expected. However, this is not without its downside and it always depends on the level of your cooperation. In startup companies, not everyone joins as an employee, so this type of handling is best handled when the work is contract based and the pool is rather short for the specialty that you require.
However, there is also the philosophy of “fake it until you become it”. This is why I give those people the initial benefit of a doubt. Some of them can truly be driven to advance to the point that they tend to learn what is required. However, a good leader can get through to them and “instigate” a more bidirectional honest approach. The biggest no-no in this situation is to have those types of people as partners initially, as you will end up covering for them, thus increasing your own workload.
Normally, in the case of full-time employment, both the above should be handled with extreme caution and care, especially if their talents are vital to the growth of your company. My field happens to be production and post-production, which has a variety of personalities, many of which join up for an even greater range of reasons. Therefore, managers and leaders in this field are required to have higher levels of tolerance and acceptance than other fields. For example, if an employee promises a budget sheet for a financial firm and fails to deliver it on-time, that can have serious repercussions, so there is no time nor the capacity to pamper them or to undo what has been done.
In production, however, mistakes have the capacity of being covered through various means and techniques, as long as the overall results are above acceptable. Unless your A-List talent doesn’t get the required amenities, in which case all hell might break loose. All in all, every situation is different and one has to see the value vs the faults of each person they work with. Not exactly the easiest task, but hey, if it were easy, everyone would do it, right?