By Tom Lloyd
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Additional resources for Business at a Crossroads: The Crisis of Corporate Leadership
The implications of the difference between reasonable and rational behavior go far beyond fair processes. One implication is that the company’s political climate will be determined, in part at least, by whether employees (embodying the company as a “people”) regard the behavior of the leader (embodying the company as a “state”) as reasonable. 24 BUSINESS AT A CROSSROADS Some will argue that employees cannot be expected to understand or be moved by the need to buy market share, or downsize; that they are not privy to the relevant information, or capable of grasping the thinking that makes such actions “rational”; and that it’s not their place to judge the ways in which their leaders wield their powers of sovereignty.
Most chefs are very interested in developing people. Because of the hours they work they rarely meet, but when they do the talk invariably turns to the people they’ve developed. ’” Brimm’s study of chefs highlights the danger of generalizing about “best practice” in leadership. Most leadership books urge aspiring leaders to praise generously and emphasize the positive. The chefs of top French restaurants do neither. It is partly a reﬂection of the French culture, in which “pas mal” (“not bad”) is high praise, but there is a little more to it than that.
They did the right thing in the end, but you get no credit for behaving decently under duress. How a company behaves affects its reputations with all its various constituencies; suppliers, customers, partners and the communities in which it operates. But we are interested here in its reputation with current and prospective employees. Well-publicized attacks on a company by pressure groups are sure to affect how the company is perceived by employees, because employees are associated by others with their employers’ reputations.