GeneralHr Library

MONKEY MANAGEMENT STYLE v/s CAT MANAGEMENT STYLE- What holds good?

Source | Linked In | Ganesh S Padmanabhan, General Manager at CIEL HR Services

The Managers, Leaders and Events depicted in this blog are fictional. Any resemblance or similarity to actual events, entities or leaders, whether living or dead, is entirely coincidental

No Managers were harmed while writing this blog

One of my bosses explained to me his thoughts around the Monkey Management Style v/s Cat Management style- new to me then. The major difference in these styles can be observed if you know the difference between how a cat carries kittens v/s how a monkey carries its babies. For those stuck in concrete jungles for a good part of life, check picture.

The objective in both cases is transportation from Point A to Point B for food, water or shelter. However, the difference is in the ownership and accountability. In case of the cat the onus is upon the senior to ensure safety while carrying the kitten. Whereas in case of the monkey the onus is on the junior to cling on to the senior and stay away from harm’s way. Something tells me, if left alone, baby monkeys have a better chance of staying alive, given that they have been struggling for survival by default. It’s easy to see the Monkey Management style and Cat Management Style in corporate world as well. Simply put, I would categorize most Managers who exercise Centralization, have not empowered people sufficiently, micro manage a lot and don’t involve subordinates in decision making as fans of cat style. The monkey styled managers are those who follow a liberal approach, decentralize, empower subordinates and involve all in decision making.

A decade plus of Industry experience gave me opportunities to work with a varied set of Managers, of different sizes, shapes and mental frame work. A good number of them made me apply for multiple jobs, many of them made me realize that anyone can grow in system, some of them brought out a loyal follower in me and a few shaped me to become a leader. Many of these managers were born leaders, completely independent, exhibiting consistent greatness across favorable and unfavorable times. My paths also crossed some great Managers who were supported by a Senior Leader and unfortunately in the absence of the latter, these Managers ceased to showcase the same greatness once associated with them. It may be due to the fact that they had been always under the shadow of the bigger boss and when left to fend for themselves- gaps emerged, that nobody knew existed. Reminds me of Dennis the Menace, such an accurate title.

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