Tribal Neutrinos

A neutrino is a subatomic particle which has no electrical charge and a very small mass. It has very little interaction with matter: For example, it takes approximately one lightyear of lead (about 10 trillion kilometers, or 6 trillion miles) to stop a neutrino.

Neutrino leaders are leaders with the attitude to avoid any interaction with their environment, thus shielding themselves from outside stimuli. Of course, this mindset can be fatal for business success, especially when they ignore employees and customers. Yet, a third often overlooked category is to ignore interaction with peers. Leaders of complex organizations often have the tendency to become tribal: They optimize their own business function, almost in isolation. At the same time, they ignore the overall result of the organization. These leaders are called Tribal Neutrinos.

For example, not long ago, I came across an organization which had just optimized its sourcing process for cash flow: They informed its vendors that payment terms would be extended. Little did they realize that many vendors were customers of other parts of the organization as well: Thus, the favor was quickly returned and—to the horror of the sales department—the extension of payment terms had now to be granted to many of their customers.

To avoid becoming a Tribal Neutrino, it’s essential to create a success environment with your leadership peers. In this setting, you not only focus on the common interest of the entire organization, but you focus on helping your peers become more successful as well. 

Don’t waste time on internal competition with your peers for resources: Save that attitude for dealing with your competitors.

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/bluebay2014

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