Dr. Adizes’ methodology has been one of the reasons that we have grown from $12 million in sales to over $750 million without any outside financing.

Stewart Resnick, CEO, Roll International

Leading Management/Mismanagement Styles: How to Identify a Style and What to Do about It

Book summary

Management guru Ichak Adizes believes that one person is not able to perform all the four roles necessary for the effective management of the organization at the same time. One cannot effectively be a producer of results, an administrator, an entrepreneur and an integrator all at once.

There is no such thing as “the perfect manager.” This is a fantasy concept. A concept that is effective in the real world must replace it. There can be no perfect manager. However, there can be a complimentary team of managers. Each of team member should excel in one of the roles mentioned above. Each should also be able perform the other three roles at an acceptable level.

It is important to have no managers in the team who focus only on one role, entirely forgetting about the other ones. Such distortions make management inefficient and threaten the fate of the organization.

This book will teach you to assess and improve your management style and the management styles of your colleagues or subordinates and to understand how to form a complementary team of leaders.

Management/Mismanagement Styles

“Management/Mismanagement Styles” is Dr. Adizes’ latest book on Management Styles. It takes a much deeper and extensive look at Dr. Adizes’ Management Styles first introduced in the classic “How To Solve the Mismanagement Crisis.”

Chapter 1. What is Management?

Let’s determine the role of management depending on its function: what it is needed for. What will happen if there is no management? I suppose that management can be considered successful if the organization is effective and efficient in a short-term and long-term perspective.

During years of work, I have concluded that in order to do this, management must perform four functions. These functions determine the management process, since each of them is necessary, and collectively they are sufficient for successful management.

The first function that management in any organization must perform is Producing, or producing the results. The job of P, the Producer, is to ensure the effectiveness of the organization in the short-term aspect. The second function, Administrating, or administration, is needed to control the order in organizational processes: the company should do proper things in proper sequence with proper intensity.

The task of A, the Administrator, is to ensure efficiency in the short-term aspect.

Then, we will need a visionary. He determines the direction to which the organization should adhere. Such a person is intrinsically capable of proactive steps in the environment of constant changes.

This is a function of the Entrepreneur, effective in the long-term perspective.

Finally, management must ensure Integrating, or integration, which means that it must create such an atmosphere and a system of values that will make people act together and will not allow anyone to become indispensable, which makes the organization efficient in the long-term perspective.

During problem solving, each function is aimed at a particular type of objectives: P – What? A – How? E – When? I – Who?

As soon as one or several functions stop being executed, the organization becomes inefficient or ineffective in the near or in the long-term perspective.

We face a predictable, repeatable model of mismanagement, the same in any corner of the world, regardless of culture, technology or the size of the organization.

Any combination of the executed functions presents a style. If a representative of this style is unable to perform one or several functions, we are dealing with mismanagement.

If all the functions are performed at least at a satisfactory level, management can be considered successful.

Moreover, if a manager copes with integrations and at least one other function brilliantly, and all the other functions are performed satisfactorily, it can be said that it is not just a manager in front of us, but a leader.

In order to simplify the comparison of proper and improper managerial behavior, I decided to describe five extreme manifestations of mismanagement. The types that will be spoken about are The Lone Ranger, P—; The Bureaucrat, -A–; The Arsonist, –E-; The SuperFollower, —I, and Deadwood, —-.

All these are managers who are able to perform no more than one of the four main functions of management.

With the course of time, I have concluded that PAEI-code can be used to describe not only behavior or style.

The significance of PAEI-functions changes in a particular sequence during the life cycle of any organization. Eventually, one function becomes less, and the other ones more pronounced, which creates typical problems that can be foreseen and avoided.

The Myth of the Perfect Manager.

Try conducting such an experiment. Invite top management of the company to the meeting hall and ask each of those present to make a list of five most urgent problems your organization is facing. It is necessary to mention in it only those problems that are within the field of expertise of those who are present. You cannot blame the others.

Instead of complaining that “it’s raining”, you should write, “We do not have an umbrella” or “We did not find time to listen to the weather forecast.” Ask, “How many of the listed problems were relevant last year?” The usual answer is all of them! And two years ago? Almost all of them, right? And three years ago? Once again – almost all of them! How many of these problems will you face in three years’ time? The answer is, most of them!

How can this be explained?

Look at the list of problems one more time. How many of them would someone present be able to solve single-handedly? Not a single one of them! If there had been such problems, they would have already been dealt with long ago. Now ask, “How many of these problems will disappear if I give you a magic pill that will allow you to come up with a unanimous decision, provided you will work as a united team?” All of them, to the very last one. Won’t they? These problems can be solved only as long as all those sitting in this hall come to an agreement among themselves.

“What is enumerated in your lists is not the problems themselves, but their external manifestations.

The main problem is in YOU! – I say. – You cannot work in a team. That is what it is all about!”

Why can’t your managers work together? Because the business world is held captive by erroneous conceptions about the individualistic nature of management. It is thought that a single manager should personify the whole managerial process, having unsurpassed skills of planning, organization, development, building motivation, leadership, keeping discipline, communication, and forming effective teams, capable of handling the set tasks on his or her own. In other words, we are talking here about the imaginary PAEI-manager.

I call such an abstract PAEI-leader a “book manager” because he can only be met on textbook pages. However, such a manager simply does not exist in reality, since it is impossible to cope with all the listed tasks single-handedly. Management is a way too complicated process for one person to handle. Unfortunately, schools of management still aim at training perfect lone managers. Any manager makes mistakes by definition. How do we solve this problem? We must learn to rely on those who complement us and who can compensate for our flaws.

Why doesn’t the perfect PAEI-manager who can do it all exist? There is a significant ground for it – what is subject to change cannot be perfect. Nothing is perfect because nothing remains static. Everything has its life cycle. If we say that anyone and at the same time no one can be a good leader, this statement can seem controversial. However, it becomes reasonable in the following context: anyone can be a good leader in a particular situation, but no one can be a good leader under all circumstances.

There is yet another reason that makes the existence of a perfect manager impossible. The four functions cannot be considered mutually exclusive. However, they are incompatible in the short-terms aspect, meaning that one function hinders the execution of another one. The ability to perform one of the PAEI functions successfully will definitely reduce the ability to perform another one. Due to these problems of incompatibility, most managers successfully cope with one or two functions, and building their line of conduct, prefer to apply those skills of which they have a good command. It is these dominant elements that I call management “style.”

In other words, the style of any manager has a corresponding dominant, which makes him either a Producer (P), or an Administrator (A), or an Entrepreneur (E), or an Integrator (I), or allows him to handle a certain combination of corresponding functions successfully. However, a PAEI-manager does not exist.

No blanks in the PAEI-code. If there is no PAEI-manager, is any head destined to mismanagement? Nothing of the kind. A manager should excel in one or several functions, and perform the other ones satisfactorily. A P-manager must be a Paei, and not a P—, an A-manager must be a pAei, and not a -A– , etc. The style -A—is dysfunctional not because it focuses on one function, but because the other functions are not executed at all.

A manager must perform at least one function at an unsurpassed level, and have a minimum knowledge and skills to perform the others satisfactorily. Why is that? Firstly, he should be ready to take any responsibilities himself, in case of emergency, and secondly, he has to be able to communicate with those people who excel in tasks that are hard for him.

It is impossible to build a team of four men who have unified thinking. Team members should adhere to different approaches and at the same time should get along.

The Workable Solution: a Complementary Team.

I am convinced that different people should execute separate functions. In order to manage successfully, you need to bring together managers with different approaches and way of thinking. A difference in styles automatically creates a conflict and divergence of views even if all members of the team are mature people ready for a dialogue. At the same time, each style has its special manner of communication, and the same words spoken by representatives of different styles often have contrary meaning. All of this leads to misunderstanding and quarrels. It is extremely important to admit that conflicts and dispute are an unavoidable and even a desirable aspect of management, if you learn to channel them into the constructive framework.

Leadership: As a Thumb. Every person is a hidden PAEI, able to perform any function, but not all of them simultaneously. Whether our inclinations will develop or be wasted, depends on the conditions in which we will work. A leader differs from a good manager in the fact that he does not only perform one of the managerial functions brilliantly, but also is an unsurpassed integrator. According to my belief, a leader is a thumb. Why is it so? A thumb can work together with any finger or with all of them – and this allows the hand to do its job.

Chapter 2. The Producer Paei and the Lone Ranger

The first and the most important function that management must perform in any organization is P, or production of results, for the sake of which this company or structure exists. I believe that profit is a result of good management and not its purpose. Thus, the task of management is to create and provide the work of the viable organization, which performs all the four functions. The evidence of its viability is cost-effectiveness in the short-term and the long-term perspective, which means stable success. Profit is the result of management, and not its driving force.

I call a manager with Paei-code the producer. Such a manager must be knowing and committed. The Producer feels the most urgent need to achieve a goal. He wants to get the reward immediately. The producer should know the technology of his work well. It seems obvious, and still I have to hear quite often that a good head will be successful in managing anything and will master a new technology – “from boots to chewing gum” – in no time. They say, in order to do this, it is enough to master the methods of planning, organization, etc. This simplified approach can become dangerous if we do not add two words to this phrase: with time. You will spend this time on studying the particulars of the organization that you manage. What does this organization live by? How do its markets behave? What are peculiarities of its production system?

A manager who does not know fundamental technology makes wrong decisions. He makes mistakes, solving the issues of what, when and how. It is not enough to be a knowing specialist. Some people, distinguished by their excellent awareness, do not produce results. They can make a brilliant report and pass the right judgement – but lack that, what psychologists call “achievement motivation” – a craving to achieve and do. A manager that is well familiar with the technology but does not strive to follow the matter through often becomes a staff worker.

The Lone Ranger P—. Such a manager fails to handle administration: he cannot organize, coordinate, delegate powers, control and supervise the course of work. He is not the entrepreneur: he does not generate new ideas, lacks creativity and cannot stand taking a risk. At the same time, he is not the integrator: he does not have a flare for interpersonal relations, does not care about group dynamics and people’s feelings. It is hard for him to make personal contacts. He does not form a team and does not develop the potential of those who work by his side – he is too busy with production. If he is informed of a new problem, he leaves whatever he is doing at that moment and seizes the new job without figuring out what the matter is. He is constantly hurrying from one task to another, from one crisis to another. It seems to him that the more he dashes around, the better he works. I call such a manager the Lone Ranger.

Having found out what the task is, the Lone Ranger turns into an exemplary soldier. He will achieve it with the work done on time. This is his strength: he is faithful, loyal and pathologically industrious. But, such zeal spreads only to one management function – the other ones simply do not exist for him – and therefore, he can become a burden. He is focused on what needs to be done. While he is busy with something, he does not think about whether it needs to be done.

As a rule, he confuses quantity with quality. He does not realize that quality is an indicator of an entirely different kind. It seems to him that working longer and more intensively, he will achieve better results, when in reality he should work less but more reasonably. He measured his value with the amount of crises, which he fights. The Lone Ranger’s predilection to work is pathological. He is a workaholic. If you tell the Lone Ranger, “I have a problem, what shall I do with it?” He will say, “Leave the materials on my desk.”

Another nickname of the Lone Ranger is Crisis Manager. He does not pay attention to the problem until it turns into a crisis. When this happens, he starts rushing about like mad. The Lone Range understands everything literally: “yes” is “yes”, and “no” is “no”, even if there is something else behind those words. He does not recognize nuances. Everything is simple for him. Everything has only a literal sense. Tell him “yes” or “no”, but do not use words such as “maybe”. Striving to achieve the result immediately, the Lone Ranger overcomes any obstacles and doing this quite often allows himself insulting tricks.

Being a man of action, P is rather impatient. He does not like to muse and analyze for a long time. His motto is “Act!” “Shoot first, aim later.” The Lone Ranger cannot stand sitting at meetings and pondering. He does not like to deal with uncertainty, with alternatives, with ambiguity. He distinguishes only black and white. In the course of slow thoughtful solving of problems, P often announces, “Why make everything so complicated? Let us be guided by common sense.” On the other hand, if you control the Producer’s impulses and do not let his impatience triumph, his natural inclination to simplify everything around him can be useful for problem solving. You will not find any books on philosophy or spiritual issues in the library of the Lone Ranger. Most likely, you will find there all sorts of practical manuals.

Why does the Lone Ranger prefer to do everything himself? First, he wants to make sure that everything is done properly. “If you need a guarantee that a job is well done, do it yourself,” – he likes to repeat. Besides, he cannot stand being idle – it makes him feel like a parasite.

The Lone Ranger delegates work to others only when it is too late. Today he gives an assignment to do something that had to be done two weeks ago. Why did he not do it earlier? Because he hoped that, he would handle it himself. Only when the situation becomes hopeless, does he start looking for assistants. Therefore, he is constantly in crisis. His subordinates are late for work; they wait and hang around idle. Suddenly the situation becomes critical and everyone starts running back and forth, occupied with extinguishing the fires. That is why another nickname of the Lone Ranger is the Firefighter. He waits until the siren sounds and is capable only of taking reactive, not proactive steps. The Lone Ranger respects P who is as committed and as industrious as he is. He does not trust E because that one is too changeable and his instructions are incomprehensible. He considers everything that I-type is occupied with a waste of time: for P the Integrator is a despicable politician who exists because he can manipulate others. And he also wastes time. All that he is capable of is creating obstacles to the producer and hindering him in his work.

Used to doing everything himself, the Lone Ranger hates meetings whole-heartedly. For the Lone Ranger to manage means to fulfil a task, to follow the matter through. People for him are just means of achieving a goal. He does not pay attention to their feelings and needs. The result of such attitude is political naivety of P—. The Lone Range is unable to do everything himself; therefore, he uses his subordinates as his messengers. Does the Lone Ranger delegate any powers to his subordinates? No, he doesn’t. He answers the question, “Why don’t you trust them to do it?” with “They won’t handle it. They will fail. They did not have proper training.” How long have they been working under your command? “For twenty-five years.” Then why don’t you teach them? “I have no time.”

He does not see any sense in systematic training of the subordinates. The relations of a master and an apprentice suit him much better: the subordinates master work, watching him do it himself. He cannot set the priorities. He invariably promises to make a plan later, “when he will tidy the desk.” Since the Lone Ranger is short-sighted and is constantly busy fighting crises, he hates changes with all his soul. Changes break order. All that he is capable of is rushing like mad in the chosen direction. The need to turn around to face the other direction may lead him to a disaster.

The organization managed by the Lone Ranger cannot grow because he, himself, does not grow.

Chapter 3. The Administrator pAei and the Bureaucrat – A —

The Administrator controls the system, takes the right steps timely, and does it in the sequence needed and with required intensity. Some people use terms “management” and “administration” as synonyms. I prefer using the term “management” to describe the managerial process as a whole, denoting with the word “administration” its separate constituents connected with introduction and organization.

One of the fundamental differences between administration and management is that in administration, especially at the state level, everything that is not permitted is prohibited. The Administrator is given the rules by which he plays. The entrepreneur acts in completely different conditions. Everything that is not prohibited is permitted. Such a manager shows initiative. He determines limiting factors himself, taking into consideration the limits of possible and legal restrictions.

A-manager focuses on administration, but should assist P, greet E and cooperate with I. Therefore, P-, E- and I-functions in his code are denoted by small letters — pAei.

The Administrator pAei is methodical and likes when the working environment is thought-out and well organized. When you have an idea concerning business, especially if it is a crazy idea or if you fear that it will turn out to be crazy, you go to such a manager to cool your ardour. He will be able to assess the matter. He will ask questions that have not occurred to you. He will see all the pitfalls that you have not taken into account. Give him your business plan to read and he will tear it to pieces. Moreover, you will be grateful to him! Foreseeing the problems, you can solve them before they grow into a crisis, or refuse the unsustainable plan.

A good administrator watches the details strictly. I need two accountants: one to give tax recommendations —of a paEi-type – and the other to fill in tax declarations — of a pAei-type. A good administrator is indispensable in the growing organization.  A young company develops too, in many directions at once, and in the absence of an A, it can easily take the wrong step and become broken, not realizing for some time that it is bankrupt. The entrepreneur needs a good administrator more than anyone else does. A good administrator covers your back. He makes sure the gates of the castle are closed and that the enemy – chaos – does not get inside. However, he does not produce that, for which the organization exists.

The Bureaucrat -A–. What happens if a manager is aimed at A only, while P, E and I remain at zero level? What bothers -A–? If the Lone Ranger is interested in what, -A—is interested in how. I call such a manager the Bureaucrat, “It does not matter what we do, what matters is how we do it.” Although A-function is an indispensable part of management process, abundance of administration can turn out to be counter-productive. The higher the centralization of the system is, the more administrative work (and not managerial one) middle managers do. It contributes to bureaucratization, which affects most of the hierarchical structure of the company.

The Bureaucrat will bring you a budget for one million three hundred thousand dollars and fifty-five cents, and at the same time, it will turn out that the policy of revenues and costs is wrong in its essence. The sums are counted to the very last cent, but the rationale for the expenditures is untenable.

The Bureaucrat behaves as if he believes that the system generates the function. The Bureaucrat always has a scheme of the organizational structure at hand – at the same time, he does not need any papers as he remembers it by heart. He finds necessary rules and procedures without effort, and if there are no such rules, he invents them on the spot. “From this minute a new corporate principle comes into effect,” – he proclaims. He manages using directives, usually written ones. He cannot stand it when his subordinates break the rules even if it is necessary to achieve the needed result. In his opinion, the form exclusively determines the mission of the system, and therefore he believes that the most important thing is to introduce a system and to protect it. When he manages to find a violation, he designs a new form, a new kind of a report or a new rule so as not to let the repeated violation happen again.

-A— is not capable of guessing. The Bureaucrat thinks that while there are doubts, it is unacceptable to make guesses. The Bureaucrat suffers from a disease, which is called “mania of creating instructions”: everything is documented, a detailed description is made for any process, and the organization cannot take a single step without a written directive. Having found a violation in the system, the Bureaucrat tries to remedy the situation by creating new rules and instructions. These instructions give rise to still more violations as the degree of detailing of the system under control grows.

If you ask the Bureaucrat to find the essence of the problem, he will start with Adam and Eve, will go through the history of the question in the tiniest details and will make you listen to everything that he has learnt. In the sphere of management it is called “analytical paralyses”. E cannot stand A and considers him to be a slow, blunt obstructionist and an unreliable partner for creating a company. The Bureaucrat knows about all costs, but has no idea about value, since costs are determined and value is hypothetical. Taking decision in -A– style in rapidly changing market conditions is a true way to failure.

The Bureaucrat can distort the goals of the organization, insisting on abiding by the law, even when it is vitally necessary to diverge from it. He thinks his main, or even his exceptional duty is to implement the plan – it does not matter whether it is reasonable and suits moral standards. It is hard for the Bureaucrat to reconsider his decision at the implementation stage. Very often, you cannot do without it, because while you are occupied with the introduction of the decision that has been made, the conditions have time to change. The world changes, outpacing us, and it forces us to make corrections in the accepted plans.

An assessment criterion for the Bureaucrat is how successfully he controls the system, stops violation of rules and reduces uncertainty to zero. The Bureaucrat cannot stand interpersonal conflicts. He believes that such conflicts “rock the boat” and hinder controlling the system. Therefore, he bans conflicts. Such a position makes people sweep their problems under the rug. The bureaucratic organization is flawless only at first sight – it seems to you that everything is tidy and orderly around you, until you look under the rug.

The Bureaucrat thinks in a linear fashion. He gets terribly upset if he sees that the discussion is not going as planned. It is too complicated for him. “Wait a minute! What are we talking about? What are you getting at? Why are we discussing this question? Does it have anything to do with the issue?” It gets the entrepreneur, for whom everything is connected, mad.

Doing company reorganization, I mark every department of the company with a certain color. Thus, the green department is responsible for profit. The red one handles management and service. The brown one is in charge of service maintenance or production costs. This process confuses the Bureaucrat, “You will destroy our database”. The bureaucrat employs people similar to him, who do everything the way they are told to do, and do not show any initiative. I call the subordinates of the Bureaucrat yes-men or office drudges.

Does the Bureaucrat have staff meetings? Of course, he does! Every Monday and Friday from nine to twelve. A secretary writes the minutes, the final decisions are discussed and their implementation is controlled. Such is the order which is invariably accompanied by boredom and checking an immense number of details. The Bureaucrat loves training. He would like to program everyone and conduct all processes according to a preset algorithm.

What is the typical answer of -A— when a subordinate asks to allow him to do something in a new way? “No.” You do not even have the time to finish the phrase. Changes present a serious threat to the Bureaucrat. He shows an incredible inventiveness, hindering new projects, which makes him an obstructionist. Under the guidance of the Bureaucrat, strategic planning is an exercise in prognosis at best. The Bureaucrat hates uncertainty. He does not understand that taking no action in the time of changes is far worse than uncertainty. However, the moment the Bureaucrat leaves the organization, it can get so stuck in rules and instructions that it will be difficult for it to adapt to internal and external changes that have happened during this time.

Chapter 4. The Entrepreneur PaEi and the Arsonist –E-

Since changes are unavoidable and constant, good management cannot do without E-function. It makes the organization effective in the long-term perspective. The Entrepreneur analyzes the changes of external conditions significant for the organization. In order to determine a strategy in changing conditions, he must be inventive and courageous. If the E-function is not performed, eventually the organization will lag behind more inventive and more prompt competitors.

It is the E who manages the organization when it has to face changing realities. In my opinion, a suitable metaphor for E-function is the ability to “see through the fog”. An uncreative person waits for the fog to disperse, the sun to rise and everything to become clear. Then he will say, “Here you are, I thought so!” He does not add any information to what he sees, and does not create anything, while a creative person fills in the blanks in the information fog using his imagination. However, being a creative person is not enough. Professors in business schools and employees of consulting companies are extremely creative people. However, if they teach others to make money, why are they not occupied with it themselves? Because they lack the second quality needed for an entrepreneur. They lack the ability to take risks – to move forward, in spite of the fog, and to act implementing their dreams into life.

The Creative Contributor paEi. In the book “How to Solve the Mismanagement Crisis” where the PAEI model was presented for the first time, I defined the person who performs the E-function and has the code paEi as the entrepreneur. This book was written almost thirty years ago. During this time, having studied these codes more thoroughly, I changed my opinion. A paEi-type manager is not quite the entrepreneur. In order to become the entrepreneur who creates organizations and ensures their development, you need to have distinct P-skills. One E-function is not enough. I now call the person who is aimed primarily at E-tasks and handles the P-functions satisfactorily but not brilliantly the generator of ideas.

The generator of ideas cannot create an organization without the help of a strong P-manager. He will incessantly rush from one idea to another, not following a single matter through.

The Entrepreneur PaEi. He has an idea, a concept, and he is able to transform this idea into tangible results. A true entrepreneur must have the PaEi-code. If at the same time the manager excels in the I-function, then he is not just the entrepreneur. A representative of PaEI style is the leader of transformations.

The Arsonist –E-. What happens if a manager is only brilliant in the role of the entrepreneur, and other functions are left unattended? Such a manager directs all the efforts of the organization to innovations. It does not matter what we do. This is the field of expertise of the P-manager. It does not matter how we do it. Let A think about it. The Arsonist is interested in a question why not.

The Arsonist needs an audience; he loves making performances and cannot stand being left alone. He constantly summons meetings, doing it each time another striking idea comes into his head.

In the organization headed by the Arsonist, who rises from trenches and goes to attack? Novices usually do. They do not know yet that here people are not accustomed to rushing headlong nowhere. Old sea dogs wait. The boss probably means something entirely different. Besides, he can change his mind. Experienced subordinates know that you need to consider whether it is a fleeting idea that came into the boss’s head or whether he has taken a decision that will stand the test of time. Therefore, they do not hurry anywhere, but wait for the Arsonist to calm down.

A need to seek for enemies is part of the culture of E-oriented ethnical groups. All representatives of mismanagement styles crave for controlling the situation, but this craving shows in different ways. P— tries to do everything himself.  -A—creates a system of rules and corporate principles that nobody dares to break. — I achieves unanimousness. –E- takes over the authority, single-handedly providing ideas and making decisions, and those who do not agree with him or do not express their delight approving his actions become his enemies. “Who is not with me, is against me,” – this is the typical position of the E.

The Arsonist constantly puts off the goal and is always discontent with his subordinates. The Arsonist likes it so much when his initiatives cause a sensation. He likes the atmosphere of time-trouble and watches with pleasure how his subordinates rush about like mad, trying to solve urgent problems, which he himself created.

The Entrepreneur must be placed in a strict framework, since he cannot hold himself back. Strict limitations sober the Entrepreneur. They allow to curb the indefatigable creativity of the entrepreneur and to dispel his illusions, letting him understand that his abilities are not limitless. Finishing work is like death for him. While you are able to improve your child, it lives. Therefore, E hates restrictions – and those who introduce them – with all his heart.

Details are the Achilles’ heel of the Arsonist. –E- ignores them. The medicine wheel of Native Americans shows the Entrepreneur as an eagle. The Arsonist is driven by emotions and nervous energy, often of a negative kind. E is too faultfinding, and it often makes life harder for him. The subordinates of E are constantly on the verge of being fired.

The Arsonists thinks that silence is a sign of agreement. It becomes a source of misunderstanding, especially when he has to deal with A, for whom silence is equal to disagreement. Working with A, I taught myself to make pauses more frequently and to ask, “Do you agree?” Talking to E, there is no need for this, because he will announce his disagreement without delay.

“You need to get your thoughts in order, – I tell E. – People will hardly be able to understand you until you understand yourself. Take a seat. Take a piece of paper and write what you want to say. Now read what you have written. It will probably cause some objections. Rewrite your speech again. Continue doing it the same way until you feel content with what you have written. It means that you are ready to express your ideas to others.”

Never charge E with writing the minutes of the meeting. When he will be deciphering his notes, an idea may dawn on him that will seem to him way better than the decision made collectively, and as a result the minutes will have little in common with what was really going on.

The Entrepreneur, especially if he is –E-, talks nonstop. It does not only confuse people, but also leads to the fact that people stop trusting the Arsonist: the more he talks, the more he contradicts himself and fusses in vain. People around him stop considering his opinion.

Apart from the ability to express your thought clearly, the ability to listen is also necessary for successful communication. From four types of managers, –E- is the worst at listening to other people. Sometimes omissions are more important than what is uttered aloud. E has no idea about it. The Arsonist is an emotional and an expressive interlocutor. In E-cultures, particularly Israel and Greece, everyone talks simultaneously.

Such a manner of communication is very close to narcissism in the psychiatric sense. A narcissist suppresses his subordinates during meetings. As a result, he takes risky steps that can lead to a disaster. It is primarily important for the E-type to control others. He is far less interested in self-knowledge and self-discipline He is very hard to teach, since he is not capable of empathy and is distinguished with extreme independency.

The Arsonist is used to exaggerating. He loves the words “never”, “always’, “impossible”. In bureaucratic organizations where A-culture dominates, people treat E with mistrust. Here he is considered a pathological liar who manipulates people. Until E puts his signature on the document, his words remain hollow sound. With the course of time, A-culture gets rid of E, thus nearing its own demise.

If the Arsonist manages the company, Monday morning is a dangerous time, since –Е- had time to think at the weekend. What could be the result? New instructions, new goals, new tasks. However, it is due to the abundance of ideas, priorities and goals in the company headed by the Arsonist that nothing special happens in it.

–E- confuses the desired with the required and strives to fulfil all his wishes. Such inability to distinguish one from the other hinders him in distributing company resources taking into consideration primary tasks. The Arsonist does not measure the costs on those plans with their value. If you paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it can be said that he, “knows the value of everything in the world but has no idea about the costs.”

Introducing corporate principles, the Arsonist often becomes the first one to violate them. According to Bernard Shaw, “Reasonable people adapt to the surrounding world, and unreasonable try to change it. Therefore, progress is the doing of the unreasonable.” Such a definition of an “unreasonable” person quite matches the image of the entrepreneur. Practical P and A, who is not inclined to risk, do not create companies: they look at the reality, count how much the desired will cost and come to a conclusion that it is better not to experiment. E implements his desires into life, regardless the fact that his chances of achieving a success are little.

He tries to do too many things during the period of time that is too short. He is not able to assess the time correctly if he does not use what I call a “correction ratio.” If he is soaring like an eagle at 10 000 feet high, it seems to him that the work can be handled effortlessly in a week, when in reality it takes six weeks. In this case, the correction ratio is six. Since details bore the Arsonist, he is a supporter of decentralization of management. However, at the same time it is important for him to control the process of decision-making. As a result, his subordinates face “catch-22”. They are required to make decisions – provided those decisions coincide with their boss’s opinion.

It does not interest the Arsonist whether the work is done and how it has been done. He is interested in whether he should do it, or to be exact, whether he wants it to be done. The Arsonist usually generates fantastic ideas, hoping that others will come up with the way to implement them. If you demand the specifics from him, he will lose his temper. Support staff is afraid of the Arsonist, since he is always spouting with ideas and never thinks about the difficulties or costs of their implementation. He behaves aggressively at meetings and makes decisions single-handedly. At the end of the meeting, its participants feel offended and awkward.

The Arsonist cannot work in a team. If you offer an idea to –E-, he says without thinking, “No, I cannot agree with you.”  However, a week later he will present the same idea formulated in a new way. He will then pass it off as his own. It produces a rather unpleasant impression on people. The Arsonist is quite favorable to the Lone Ranger, since that one labors for the benefit of the organization by the sweat of the brow. However, this favor cannot be called unconditional. The Arsonist is constantly quarreling with the Bureaucrat, but gets on well with the SuperFollower, since — he can flatter his ego.

–E- quite frequently surrounds himself with weak people. Why? Because he must come out of any argument as a winner, and a weak subordinate will never challenge him. The typical subordinates of the Arsonists are a group of sycophantic followers. The subordinates of the Arsonist learn not to reject his ideas openly: –: –E- considers the rejection of his ideas as a personal insult. I constantly remind, “It is not that what is required, but that what is controlled is done in the company.” E manages, guided by his own expectations (which change incessantly) and, therefore, he constantly feels disappointed and deceived.

If the Arsonist fires someone or forces someone to leave at his own wish, it is not hard to guess whom he will dismiss. His choice usually falls on “A” Since it is “A” who from time to time says “no.” Who does –E- appreciate? That whom he has recently employed. At first he never gets tired of extolling the novice, “You just look at him! He is so good!” The novice lives in clover for some time. However, soon a favorite of the boss faces the lot of his predecessors who one after another were unceremoniously pushed off the pedestal into dirt, while the Arsonist starts looking for a new favorite to himself.

The Arsonist likes to employ I who always agrees with his boss. The Arsonist loves conflicts. He often creates them himself in order to stir up the organization. Due to the same reason, he likes changes. He is convinced that since people do not understand him and do not share his point of view on the future, they are not the ones to judge what is important and what is secondary. It would seem that in the organization headed by the Arsonist, a creative atmosphere should reign. However, the opposite is true. The Arsonist is certain that he alone has the right to create. Leaving the organization, –E- leaves behind chaos and exhausted people who pine for peace, quiet and stability.

Chapter 5. The Integrator paeI and the SuperFollower —I.

Integration of the organization minimizes losses of time and money and contributes to following corporate principles, not letting them multiply excessively. This function makes a company effective in the long-term perspective, since in places where people work in a team, there are no indispensable workers, and such an organization remains viable and continues to flourish even losing separate employees. The organization must be managed in such a way that will allow it to keep viability for thousands of years. The Integrator forms the culture of the organization, and culture unites people.

If the atmosphere in the organization is imbued with mutual mistrust and disrespect, most of efforts are wasted on internal disputes. Therefore, the most valuable company asset is the culture of mutual trust and respect. From the point of view of the integrator, we work not as a group of individuals, but as a team. A good management team cannot do without a representative of I-style – a person who helps to reach a consensus and to secure collective support of the ideas and their implementation. To integrate means to achieve the phase when the organization sees itself not mechanically but realizes its organic wholesomeness.

The Integrator paeI. Integration can have three different directions. Upward integration or integration directed up is an ability to unite people who have a higher status, powers or positions, etc. Horizontal integration is an ability to create a well-consolidated team from your equals. Downward integration or integration directed down allows one to become a leader by consolidating the subordinates. You can seldom meet a person who is an unsurpassed integrator of all the three directions.

However strange it may sound, the Integrator has the most distinct creative abilities in comparison with other managers, since he has to make decisions based on a more dispersed and less structured database. Integration is even less programmable than entrepreneurship.

The integrator clears the misunderstandings, finding the connecting lines of the profound – and not of the superficial – identity of views and reconciling contradictory value orientations, settings and expectations. At the same time, a skilful integrator takes care not to become indispensable. The integrator feels other people subtly, empathizes with them and is capable of deductive thinking – he understands the difference between what is uttered aloud from what the person actually wants to say.

I-function is unique because without it a manager cannot become a leader. Apart from all the rest, a leader must encourage and build motivation, which means he must integrate. There are several models of leadership: Pael, which I call the Shepherd, pAeI – the Democratic Administrator, paEI – the Statesman, PAeI – the Benevolent Prince, and PaEI – the Leader of transformations.

The SuperFollower—I. He is interested in the question who. He does not care with what and why we agreed and how we came to the agreement. One thing is important for him, “Do we agree?” He is not a leader. He is one of those who ask, “Where would you like to go? Let me take you there.” — I has an unsurpassed ability to adapt. He wants everything to go smoothly. Like-A– , who is stuck at the discussion stage when making decisions, — I is obsessed with the reconciliation stage. He tries to find out what plan is acceptable for the majority of influential people and with the help of it tries to unite them. He is not a leader but a guided one. He consolidates people not knowing what for he does it.

A SuperFollower worries not so much about the future as about the absence of disputes in the present, “Do we agree?” He will lead you to the edge of the abyss happy and content. He conducts negotiations, achieving the semblance of consensus but not solving profound problems, which gave rise to the conflict. “We have reached consensus,” – he rejoices, although the company will go broke any minute.

If the SuperFollower has free time, he spends it communicating with people, listening to complaints or expressions of consent, which with his help acquire new details and new accents. —I strives to control the situation, achieving universal agreement. He cannot stand deviations from the political course and can suppress people not less, but even more than the Bureaucrat can. The SuperFollower relies on the unscripted rules, which everyone must follow.

The SuperFollower does not say what he thinks; he asks what you think. He is extremely evasive. — I does not want to bind himself with any kind of obligations. He can say something like, «I’ve got an idea, but I cannot say that I accept it unconditionally.” What does the SuperFollower do? He launches a trial balloon in order to see which way the wind blows. If you do not like some idea, he will be ready to agree, “I knew it. I think so too.”

He always finds a way to elude, having wriggled out of your hands. His usual complaint is, “You just did not understand what I really meant…” You will not be able to corner him. This will allow him to remain in power for a long time. He calculates who will win and immediately takes their side. The SuperFollower tries to avoid decision making as long as possible. When making a decision becomes unavoidable, he prefers to be occupied with arriving at a consensus and not with considering a plan of actions.

He counts primarily on the group, and not on himself, and tries not to make decisions single-handedly. Driven by the need to please, he does not have firm beliefs and changes his views quickly and easily. He is always ready to support a popular point of view. —I is not content with what I call a working consensus – a solution that is not perfect, but allows to get support, sufficient for productive implementation. If someone is displeased, there is nothing to do about it. We need to move on. This is a constructive approach characteristic of P. However, the SuperFollower does not understand that it is better to implement a temporary solution – let it be controversial in some way – than to be late waiting for unanimous support. At the same time, it hard for the SuperFollower to comprehend that if people have come to a single solution, it does not mean yet that they are really going to implement the selected solution.

If you need to know what was going on at the meeting, —I will help you out. He knows who was talking and who kept silent, what sounded and what was not expressed aloud, and even what would have been said if the circumstances had been different. If the SuperFollower becomes the head of the organization, his approach quickly becomes dysfunctional, as instead of uniting people, he suffices with the illusion of a union. I call the subordinates of the SuperFollower the informers and the oilers. What do they spend their time on? “What is going on?” “Who said what?” “What does this mean?” “Who has political support?” The SuperFollower hires those who are just like him, people with political flair. The SuperFollower promotes only those who can get on with people.

Being a politician, the SuperFollower does not want to sacrifice momentary unanimity for the sake of long-term goals. He is not a statesman, who is ready to take a risk and get into a conflict today because he understands the need of changes in the long-term perspective. To achieve consensus for the benefit of future generations means to take up projects, the result of which is unpredictable. You need to risk your political reputation for this, but the SuperFollower tries to avoid such a risk. —I does not try to rise over the momentary needs of the organization or change the course which it is following. He does not wish to put the existing consensus at risk.

The SuperFollower does not have a certain goal, or, to be more exact, his goal is limited to inclining those around him to consensus at this moment. He resembles a fish that is watching an underwater current trying to choose the necessary stream and merge with it. Instead of moving towards a certain goal, he goes with the flow. Of course, this does contribute to achieving the company goals, since under the leadership of the SuperFollower factions united with short-term interests thrive. The SuperFollower believes that planning allows people to speak about their intentions and expectations openly and gives an opportunity to detect conflicts, which can be solved further on. In the long-term perspective, working under the leadership of the SuperFollower can lead to a disaster. He has neither goals, nor a plan, nor courage.

Chapter 6. Deadwood

After your moment of glory comes, the situation starts deteriorating inevitably, since conditions change, and people oppose opinions. Sooner or later, a person turns into an anachronism, because he hopelessly lags behind the situation.

Deadwood stays in apathy. His only goal is to keep his small world untouched. He understands his own vulnerability before changes. Trying to increase his chances for survival, he avoids changes and evades new work and new projects. He does not resist anything. Resistance makes him noticeable, which means vulnerable. He agrees with everything and does nothing. Deadwood is tractable, friendly and safe. He is loved like a friendly old uncle, but he is not respected. People tolerate him and try not to offend him. Meanwhile, the organization suffers.

He is usually outside the network of information exchange. However, if he has access to it, then he highly appreciates this opportunity and uses it at every convenient moment even if the data known to him is irrelevant to the case – just to show that he is informed and that there is life in the old dog yet. If you put him in charge of a department, this department becomes invisible bit by bit. There are four features characteristic of Deadwood:

  • Low managerial metabolism.

He acts purely mechanically.

  • Absence of complaints
  • Refusal to fight changes. In order to detect Deadwood in your organization, you need to ask, “Are there any problems?” The answer, “There aren’t any problems, everything’s fine” is the first sign that there is Deadwood in front of you.
  • The subordinate of Deadwood is also Deadwood. Not a single employee who wants to grow and develop can implement his plans under the leadership of Deadwood.

If Deadwood is in charge of the organization, it is real trouble. Such a manager does not want to strain and does not want changes. He is content with his former achievements. Sometimes such management disguises as conservative, but in reality, it is dying.

[1] Metabolism — the sum of chemical reactions that appear in the living organism for supporting life.

Where does Deadwood come from? Some people think that it is all about nepotism. Others will say that the root of evil is a tradition, according to which the oldest worker gets a promotion, regardless of his professional competence. However, I am convinced that those are not the main reasons of the appearance of Deadwood. First of all, it is important that each of the described types— the Lone Ranger P— , the Bureaucrat -A– , the Arsonist –Е- and the SuperFollower — I — is already Deadwood by three quarters! These managers are distinguished with neither diversity, nor flexibility, which allow them to adapt to new situations. Therefore, eventually, they burn out at work.

What makes all the four cases similar? Changes do! The Lone Ranger and the Bureaucrat are not able to adapt to new methods of getting new results. The Arsonist cannot treat changes selectively – he shoots in all directions until he runs out of bullets. The SuperFollower loses the ability to do integration since he is unable to influence the internal balance of power in the conditions of time deficit. Rapid changes turn inflexible representatives of the described mismanagement styles into Deadwood.

Deadwood is a cancer tumor that affects the organization. The structure of “modern” organizations presents a bureaucratic model of the military standard. It ensured adapting to changes the length of which was measured in years, but was not designed for rapid changes. We have neither experience, nor technologies that give an opportunity to handle such a situation. Therefore, the malignant tumor that is affecting companies –Deadwood – causes enormous damage to productivity and cost-effectiveness.

Why does the structure of the so-called “modern” organization exacerbate this problem? A traditional corporate structure is a hierarchical pyramid: top management is on the top, middle managers with the corresponding volume of responsibility are below. The paradox is that there is nothing modern in such a structure. The Pharaoh’s army in Ancient Egypt was organized just the same way.

Separate levels of such a pyramid structure inevitably begin to oppose changes. It happens because this structure was originally designed for quick and effective execution of orders, and not for facilitating changes. Which functions are performed on the lowest level of the hierarchy? These are almost exclusively P (Figure 1). What happens one level higher, in the middle part of the pyramid? Here we see several layers of A. As the organization grows, there are more of them. What function is performed by the person who is at the top of the pyramid? His business is strategic planning, E-function. Where is I? As a rule, his place is somewhere on the intermediate level, in human resources or a department of a similar kind. When a problem comes up, it is I who summons the meeting to “unite” people. However, integrators are not included into an executive committee.

Figure 1. The structure of organizations.

What is the problem of such a structure? In order to answer this question, two types of decisions should be delineated. They can be programmed and non-programmed. An example of a programmed decision is a way home. When you learn to drive a car, you program your actions. Non-programmed decisions are those that you have not had the time to make yet. Conducting business consists entirely of ready programs – how to manufacture produce, how to sell the product, how to make a budget. An example of a non-programmed decision is “How to enter a new market?” I have concluded that hierarchical organizational structure, or the so-called pyramid, in the form, in which it was used for hundreds, if not for thousands of years, is not designed for rapid changes. It is suitable for implementing decisions of routine nature and ensures efficiency and effectiveness in the short-term aspect, but not in the long-term perspective. This structure is linear. It assumes that the world is flat. The energy flow has a single direction – top-down. The open doors policy, management rounds and attempts of the president to settle issues is simply a bypass surgery on arteries, which are plugged according to the idea of the creators of the system. Deadwood flourishes in such a structure.

When your company was young, you had a lot of Ps. Everyone was occupied with production of results like obsessed. That is why young companies are relatively disorganized. Here there are very many Es and few As. With the course of time, something rather interesting happens. Administrators multiply. Now a new manager, now another coordinator appears in the company. The organization develops according to Parkinson ’s Law. The volume of work remains the same, while the number of people who supervise the process increases steadily. They begin to force out Es, and then Ps. As a result, the organization chokes with overabundance of As and dies.

The typical structure of the organization emphasizes functional specialization, and this hinders learning various skills and mastering the spheres, in which we do not feel very confident. As a result, we lose the ability to react to changes promptly. For instance, in order to develop, a P-manager must master administration from scratch. If he fails to learn to perform the A-function quickly enough, he will turn into Deadwood. What happens to A who gets a promotion? He has to take up performing E-function at once. He has been occupied with administration exclusively, and you should not count on the fact that he will turn into an E in a single day. He is occupied with A in a position which requires E. Such behavior is dysfunctional. Instead of leading the changes, he obstructs them.

Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull call this principle “the Peter principle: “Every employee in the hierarchy strives to achieve the level of his incompetence” (read more “The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong.”)

The reasons why Deadwood appears are closely connected with the structure of the organization. The danger hides here exactly. If the organization does not change its structure in such a way that gaps in PAEI-codes of managers disappear and does not start encouraging flexibility, Deadwood – a cancer tumor that sooner or later kills the organization – will appear again and again.

Chapter 7. Performing Several Functions But Not All at Once

Widespread combinations of functions give us ten more mismanagement styles. It is to these styles that this chapter is devoted: the Slave Driver PA–, the Benevolent Prince PA-I, the Paternalistic Bureaucrat -A-I, the Little League Coach P–I, the Sprouting Founder P-E-, the Solo Developer PAE-, the Demagogue –EI, the False Leader -AEI, the Pain in the Neck -AE-, the Charismatic Guru P-EI.

How to Solve the Mismanagement Crisis

Diagnosis and treatment of management problems

Management is harder than it seems. Each manager who has already gained a great deal of experience and who has faced the main management crises will agree with this. Dr. Ichak Adizes, an acknowledged business and management theory guru, talks about these difficulties, why they arise, and how to overcome them, in his book “How to Solve the Mismanagement Crisis”.

His book is a true management Bible. In fact, the Adizes methodology has successfully been used by more than 2,000 companies in 50 countries.

The companies that followed Adizes’s method admit that the process of communication got easier. Because of this, problems were spotted faster; turnover of staff fell to a minimum, the working environment improved, and productivity, profitability and market share increased. People in these companies are now more positive, get along with one another easier and do their best to help one another.

Contrary to the popular belief that a company’s success depends on the manager, Ichak Adizes claims that no one can be a perfect manager. He describes this in the book, and explains that ignoring this fact leads to a fall in productivity and a loss of income for the company.

Management is such a complex process that it is simply no use hoping that one person can perform all the managerial roles with equal success. Each role needs a special style – a particular behavior in specific situations. Dr. Adizes explains that these roles often contradict each other. Thus, a person can play these roles in different periods of life but that individual will never be able to play them all simultaneously.

People are the Reason for Management Problems

Companies’ management problems are always caused by people – to be more precise, by their inability to perform the roles assigned to them. Due to this realization, Dr. Adizes developed and offered his typology of managerial roles in the company:

  • P – The Producer – he sells, engineers, runs the production system, or effectively completes research assignments. He or she is more capable of achieving results and is more results-oriented than others.
  • A – Administrator – he provides for efficiency. He or she is a manager who plans, coordinates, supervises and controls the fulfilment of the assigned tasks, and successfully manages staff and projects.
  • E – Entrepreneur – a manager-entrepreneur who is in the creative pursuit, who launches projects, invents and creates, and who finds the way for the company’s development and profit making.
  • I – Integrator – a manager who is concerned with people, who is concerned with smoothing the workings of the system, combining the processes so that employees can work as a team.

There are no managers who can perform all of these roles equally well.

Each player has a certain set of qualities. Together they bring balance to a company’s management team.

Wrong Management Styles

When the manager ignores or doesn’t perform one of the four managerial roles (P, A, E or I), the wrong management style is formed.

There are 5 absolutely wrong management styles and they are widespread. Each style implies that the manager has one prominent managerial role while other roles are not present at all.

This is how Dr. Adizes characterizes the wrong management styles.

P000 – the Lone Ranger

It’s easy to recognize the Lone Ranger: he’s always up to his eyes in his work while his subordinates perform the role of gofers. He doesn’t let them develop and doesn’t delegate any tasks to them. The thing is, the Lone Ranger is absolutely sure that only he himself can achieve results! A recipe for the Lone Ranger’s success is hard work and blind commitment. It would be all right but for the fact that sooner or later the Lone Ranger’s “inner engine” burns out. To make matters worse, the Lone Ranger’s staff is left feather-brained and unlearned. Even if the Lone Ranger continues producing results, eventually, the crisis becomes inevitable.

0A00 – the Bureaucrat

If you phone a company because of a problem and you’re told that they can’t do anything about it because it’s not allowed by rules, you should know that a Bureaucrat manages this company. The most important thing for the Bureaucrat is following the rules, the rest is secondary. Moreover, the Bureaucrat is not goal-oriented at all. Changes are the most horrible thing for the Bureaucrat. Stability and certainty are essential for the Bureaucrat which leads to the suppression of any initiatives and ideas in the company. Meanwhile, the staff turns into a passive cog in the rusty machine.

00E0 – the Arsonist

The Arsonist is the management style, in which the entrepreneurial function suppresses and pushes other managerial roles out. This means that the company will be torn apart due to a bunch of tasks and ideas that the Arsonist believes should have been accomplished yesterday. It’s crucial for the Arsonist that each employee in the company be busy with something. Although, the employee often doesn’t do anything because they don’t know what to do. Plans, tasks, motivation can be changed every day. If you dare object to the Arsonist, you can be fired in an instant. Such a manager needs subordinates who are his fans applauding their boss’s every idea. As the majority of tasks are not completed, sooner or later, the company under the Arsonist’s control faces serious problems.

000I – the Superfollower

The absence of conflicts in the company is crucial for the Superfollower. The Superfollower has neither ideas nor aims. He doesn’t accept a specific system because there will be those who don’t like it and it’ll be necessary to seek compromise. The Superfollower spends the majority of his time on meetings and discussions, and is afraid to take the lead and make a decision. He or she also spends a lot of time listening to complaints and dealing with the staff’s problems. The company will develop to a certain extent as long as the majority of employees are satisfied with everything. But as soon as the majority is opposed to something or doesn’t get what it wants, the collapse of the company is inevitable!

0000 – Dead Wood

The Dead Wood is the last wrong management style. Dead Woods are pseudo-managers who didn’t succeed in management and who don’t have any developed managerial role. They are quite widespread. Burnt-out Lone Rangers and Superfollowers often turn into Dead Woods. These may also be people who got the job because of the pull or the “good old boy” network. The Dead Wood is like a poison that slowly kills the company and leads to its collapse.

Try to analyze the roles of your team and maybe it will be the key to conflict resolution?

What Should a Real Manager be Like?

In order to understand how to solve the mismanagement crisis, it is necessary to realize what a real manager should be like. A good manager can’t possess all the skills and qualities that should be characteristic of good management in general. However, a manager must have 9 important qualities for successful work in a team.

1. He can perform all four managerial roles though not equally well.

He’s great at performing at least one of these roles, while only performing others satisfactorily. In other words, he hasn’t got zeroes in his PAEI description.

2. He is aware of his strengths and weaknesses.

In order to manage successfully, we should know ourselves well. We should know which standard PAEI roles are our strengths and which weaknesses should be overcome. In order to get to know themselves, managers should build rapport with the external world that is less prone to censorship. In order to have a good rapport with yourself, the manager needs to have a good rapport with others.

3. He liaises with the people around him.

He listens to criticism of his work so as to better understand himself. He understands that he is what he does.

4. He has a balanced vision of himself.

He takes into account his strengths and weaknesses.

5. He accepts his strengths and weaknesses.

He doesn’t try to be someone else, at least in the short run.

6. He can assess and admit the excellent work of others even if performing the roles that he’s not very good at.

7. He accepts others’ opinion on the issues where it can be more profound than his own.

8. He can resolve conflicts, which inevitably arise when people with different needs and styles are in one management team.

9. He creates an environment that fosters learning.

A good manager should create a learning environment where a conflict is perceived not as a threat, but as a chance to learn and grow. People learn from each other in this environment, the differences in opinions are perceived as an opportunity for each party involved in the conflict to discover something new.

It’s hard to be a good manager. To achieve this, a person should be fully developed and mature. But the very structure and purpose of companies can often minimize the ability of people to become good managers. That’s why a manager should understand what good management means.

What Does Good Management Mean?

In order for a company to be a success, it is necessary to adhere to 2 key conditions:

1. The company needs not one manager, but rather a group of managers who:

  • can play all four managerial roles;
  • are aware of their strengths and weaknesses;
  • accept themselves as they are;
  • accept people who differ from them;
  • can assess others’ capabilities which they themselves don’t possess;
  • can work with people who differ from them.

2. Each member of the management team must:

  • meet the requirements connected with his task;
  • be able to make decisions on his own;
  • complement other team members;
  • match the company’s organizational environment.

Provided the first group of conditions is met, we get a management team. If the second group is met, then the management team meets the company’s needs. Good management is possible only when both groups of conditions are satisfied.

Some Interesting Quotes in the End:

In the Israeli kibbutz a manager (the kibbutz secretary) administers for several years and then returns to his usual responsibilities, for example milking cows… Israelis don’t tolerate professional management, and if anyone tries to actually manage others – i.e. instruct them on what to do and how to do it –, he can be simply withdrawn by voters.

They say that sitting once in a café during the French revolution, Robespierre, saw a group of Jacobins speeding past him. He began to hurry, drinking up his wine. “These are my people. I must follow them and look where they are heading because I am their leader.”

The managers who don’t respect themselves and can’t accept those who differ from them are afraid of more talented employees. Their team consists of by no means the best. They are similar to an owner of racehorses who, having filled his stable with ponies, hopes to win grand prize at the races.

10 Reasons to Read this Book:

  • You will find out what type of manager you are;
  • You will identify your strongest leadership qualities
  • You will understand how to create a team of managers that will provide a stable growth of a company;
  • You will get acquainted with Adizes’s method of management;
  • You will define which stage of the lifecycle your company is in;
  • You will find out how to turn a conflict into a constructive process;
  • You will discover common problems that hinder you and your company’s work;
  • You will be able to do the necessary therapy of your company and also find out how others do it;
  • You will become a good manager.

If you want to manage and do it well, you should know what is generally needed for effective management and learn to see the qualities, which are underdeveloped in you, and in others. We should learn to value the people that can complement us and our management styles.

But first, we must learn to understand ourselves.


Order the paperback on Amazon.com.

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The Ideal Executive

Why You Cannot Be One and What to Do About It

In this book, Dr. Adizes discusses why management education is barking up the wrong tree and why no one can be the perfect, textbook executive that management education is trying to develop.

Everyone knows the legends of business, films, music. Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Mick Jagger. It is the names of these leaders that, as a rule, are considered to be the reason for the fantastic success of their projects.

Here, a myth about a super-manager who can do everything emerges.

However, in real life, would Apple have become what it is today without Wozniak, Ive, and many others whose names we do not know? Would Spielberg create his masterpieces without an equally genius cinematographer, without a group of brilliant editors? No, they would not!

In any good company, blockbuster, or TV series success there is teamwork.  “Apple,” “Ocean’s Eleven”, or “Suits.”

Oleg Tinkoff and Richard Branson have been working with their trusted teams for decades, successfully creating projects in entirely different markets. Their genius is not in some advantageous topic, which they have come up with and implemented. Their main victory is that they managed to create and lead good teams, in which everyone successfully complements the others.

These achievements, just like any other ones, can be attributed to luck or to an accident.

However, Ichak Kalderon Adizes has proved in theory and in practice that the process of creating a perfect team that consistently gains success after success is science and paperwork. He has developed a clear formula, which can be used to determine why an organization may be working inefficiently, and more importantly, how to change it.

1. Functions of Management

The key objective of management is an efficient organization today and over the long-term. If you have managed to achieve this objective, it is enough for the success of any organization.

In order to achieve a stable, efficient organization, you need to perform four functions.

  1. Production of results today.
  2. Administration, which provides efficiency. In order for everything to be done properly and on time.
  3. Entrepreneurship – a vision of the future. How the organization can meet the demand of the market in future? How can it be efficient tomorrow?
  4. Integration – creating an atmosphere, an environment, and values that encourage people to do efficient teamwork. Encouraging them to interact and not to be “lone rangers”. This is the basis of the long-term efficiency.

Failing to perform at least one of the functions above leads to a model of mismanagement.

Understanding what functions are performed badly gives you a chance to detect which problems the organization will face, and what needs to be done in order to change the situation for the better.

A perfect fairy tale-manager “from books” is a 100% Producer, 100% Administrator, 100% Entrepreneur and a 100% Integrator. It means that he excels in and copes with all the functions equally well. However, in most cases, managers are successful in performing only one or two of these functions. That is what forms their managerial style.

For example:

(Producer – 100%, Administrator – 0%, Entrepreneur – 0%, Integrator – 0%) – this is a typical dedicated workaholic.

A good manager should master all the four skills at an elementary level. And, for a proper manager, one of the functions should be dominant.

For example:

(Producer – 20%, Administrator – 90%, Entrepreneur – 30%, Integrator – 30%) – this is a good Organizer;

(Producer – 20%, Administrator – 10%, Entrepreneur – 20%, Integrator – 90%) – this is an inspiring Motivator.

In order to understand the importance of having all the functions for a manager, let us take a closer look at them.

1.1. Production of results

What result is expected from a company? The most frequent reply is “Profit!” How right is that? Can such a result be given top priority or is it a positive side effect of some other result?

Let us imagine a team that is playing basketball and constantly looking at the scoreboard, anticipating victory. What are its chances to win? If the team focuses on every serve, every pass and on every shot – it has immeasurably higher chances of winning.

How do you understand what result is an objective in itself for your organization? Ask yourself the  following questions:

  • Who needs us (me)?
  • Who needs our organization?
  • Who will regret it if we stop working?
  • What is everything that we do for?

Satisfying clients’ needs is the purpose of a company’s existence. If a company produces something that its clients need – it is effective. Meeting the needs of the client allows the company to achieve profitability in the most efficient way.

This is already good management and as a result – the company profits.

1.2. Administration

At a certain stage when producing results is gaining speed, the Producer has to interact with other people. He delegates, coordinates, controls. Here the second function comes into action – he becomes the Administrator. He controls the production of the company, producing the necessary results and he does it properly, efficiently and on time.

Performing their functions, the Producer and the Administrator guarantee effectiveness and profitability to the organization in the short term.

Without the Administrator, there will be no efficient system. The work will be chaotic, inefficient and, most likely, unprofitable. A manager-Producer aims at the result. A manager-Administrator likes and is able to control everything. The cool calculation of all minuses and costs is important for him. He is methodical, he notices details, foresees problems and pitfalls. A good Administrator is vitally needed for the company during the growth stage. He will cover its back, will not allow chaos, and will not allow important details to be missed.

1.3. Entrepreneurship

Is it enough to just produce and administer? Maybe it is, but only for the time being. However, everything changes. Needs, fashion, cultural values, technical capabilities and many other things. What is valuable today will turn out to be history tomorrow.

In order not to lose your position in the market tomorrow and to remain valuable for your clients, you need to look into the future.

The Entrepreneur follows the changes and tendencies, analyzes, and then foresees new needs. And, this function concerns not only business. Politics, culture, art, finances, and education have their own Entrepreneurs.

Changes are constant, rapid and unavoidable.

If you ignore the function of the Entrepreneur, you may end up lagging behind your competitors very quickly. This is true, even if other functions are performed perfectly.

1.4. Integration

Imagine a manager who is good at coping with three functions (Production, Administration and Entrepreneurship). He is productive; he controls everything, feels the market well and foresees the changes of the market and the industry in advance. He implements timely changes in the organization, which allow it to show a stable growth and development.

And now, think what will happen to the company if something happens to him? (Nobody lives forever, indeed.) Most likely, the company will leave the market following such a manager.

Environment/atmosphere/conditions must make/teach/motivate people to interact, to work in a team and to compensate for each other’s flaws.

When there is an Integrator, who creates a conducive atmosphere such as this – the team will cope with any task efficiently.

A vivid example of a lack of integration in an organization is a situation where, in the absence of a manager, work slows down, the team is unable or afraid to make decisions, and there is no initiative or informed actions.

A manager who is able to perform the function of an Integrator is not only a good executive – he is a Leader.

2. Mismanagement

The Lone Ranger

(Producer – 100%, Administrator – 0%, Entrepreneur – 0%, Integrator – 0%)

This guy is a result-producing machine. He is determined and purposeful. If you give him a purpose, he will break the walls. He is entirely a non-creative person, who does not like to take risks and offer ideas. He does not feel people and has difficulty building personal contacts. He is the first one to arrive at work and the last one to leave it. He works industriously.

He’s a regular workaholic who focuses on short-term tasks. He does not know how to delegate and does everything himself. He necessarily must be indispensable! Because of this, his subordinates turn into “errand boys” who are constantly waiting for today’s new order.

The Bureaucrat

(Producer – 0%, Administrator – 100%, Entrepreneur – 0%, Integrator – 0%)

This type of manager is a master of meticulously following the rules. He spends a great amount of time on details, but does not see the whole picture. He never takes a risk. His reports are perfectly precise, even if they tell about the collapse of the organization. He will glean information but will lose precious time and opportunities. He hires subordinates that resemble himself. They do as they are told – they follow instructions and do not ask additional questions.

With him, a company finds it hard to adapt to any changes.

The Arsonist

(Producer – 0%, Administrator – 0%, Entrepreneur – 100%, Integrator – 0%)

His motto is – “Why don’t we…!” He is able to create a large company and then lose it very quickly. He constantly generates new fantastic ideas. But, how does he implement them? Let others think about it. Nevermind – tomorrow there will be a new set of ideas!

The Arsonist hears other people worse than any other managers do – he is so absorbed in his own ideas. He is not interested in the results. The process and novelty are more important for him. Therefore, almost nothing goes on in his organization except meetings where he gives out new ideas.

And just try leaving him without ovations – it will be taken as a personal insult. He knows everything better than anyone else does. Having surrounded himself with weak and spineless employees, he should always come out of any argument as a winner. Still, he likes to complain that nobody understands him. He leaves after him a staff tired of chaos and noise.

The SuperFollower

(Producer – 0%, Administrator – 0%, Entrepreneur – 0%, Integrator – 100%)

A slick opportunist who is deft at adapting.  The main thing is for everything to go smoothly. He avoids any critical decisions, even the most necessary ones, as long as he doesn’t flare up tension. He likes to listen but only in order to know which way the wind blows. He does not have particular goals. This manager is not a leader, but a guided timeserver. The Producer and the Administrator sort out the mess after him.

3. Proper management

3.1. Team

If a manager who combines all the functions perfectly does not exist, and a one-sided manager is very bad and inefficient, then what should a competent manager be like?

The answer is simple – these are combined efforts of a team, in which people complement each other and make up for each other’s flaws. Each member of the team excels in one of the four functions (ideally, in two of them) and performs the rest at a sufficient level. Everyone has drawbacks and weak points. You should accept it and build your team based on this understanding.

Family relations are a good example of the advantages of such a team. When one of the partners is impulsive, quick off the mark and ready to take a risk bravely, then his second half acts as a balance – counts the risks, cares about stability and sticks to the plans.

However, a full-fledged team is not a team of equals. It should have a recognized leader.

3.2. No blanks!

All team members should master each of the functions at least on a minimum level. That means there should not be any blanks.

If a manager is not familiar with one of the functions and does not understand its essence, he will be inflexible and intolerant to the colleague performing this function. In this situation, there will be no proper teamwork.

For example, a good Integrator who is unfamiliar with work and duties of the Administrator will always feel annoyed and not content with the “bureaucracy” of the Human Resources department with their constant meticulousness and even callousness.

3.3. Successful and not very successful combinations

The simplest and clearest model of a team consists of four people, in which there is a distinct Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur and Integrator and each one of them is sufficiently familiar with work of his three colleagues.

A more successful combination is the one where a distinct Producer and Administrator are complemented by an Integrator who has sagacity and boldness (Entrepreneur).

Even two people can set up a successful company. A classical small family business is the one in which “father” is a Producer-Entrepreneur, mother is an Administrator, and they both value and understand each other’s skills.

Here is an example of a combination that is unproductive from the start:

A leader (Producer-Administrator) who aims at the result today according to the strict worked-out plan, and his subordinate (Entrepreneur-Integrator) who is a threat to stability with his fantasy and over-flexibility, as well as sentimentality.

4. Conflicts are great

4.1. It is normal and inevitable

Some believe that peace, quietness, and harmony should be the normal state of things, while  conflict is a deviation. In a graveyard, this opinion will be shared unanimously. However, in an organization where managers have various styles of work, thus complementing each other, a conflict is not just a norm, but also a proof of efficient work.

Moreover, due to differences in experience, education, and upbringing, people see different meanings in different words and notions. These different points of view create additional misunderstandings that lead to more conflict.

Ask ten people to describe how they understand the notion of “dog.” You will not get a unanimous answer. There will be answers such as “lap-dogs”, “Spaniels”, “Dobermans,” etc.

Ambiguity and misunderstandings increase because people constantly confuse ideas of “real”, “wanted”, and “needed”, and interpret them in differing ways.

People indulge in wishful thinking, saying, “We are number one in the industry”. They also say one thing, while actually thinking something else. They say, “We have to postpone this project because we currently lack resources for it”, although they mean quite a different thing, “I do not believe in this project and do not want to waste my time on it.”

The difference of world perception is a source of conflict as well.

The Administrator controls every tiny detail, and his plan is scheduled for every minute. His budget is planned to the last penny. The Entrepreneur thinks globally, his picture is painted with broad strokes. Any delay is a missed opportunity. Risk is a necessary element of work.

The Administrator and the Entrepreneur themselves are inherently an eternal and inevitable conflict.

4.2. Attraction and repulsion.

As a result of many years of research, the Gottmann Institute found out that people get married and get divorced due to one and the same reason. Those differences, which had attracted them at the beginning, later became unbearable.

Differences in a team can both create and destroy, in just the same way. Thus, the issue is not how to avoid conflicts or how to ignore the differences, but how to use them efficiently as intended.

4.3. Constructive and destructive conflict.

If conflicts are inevitable and even necessary, you need to learn to control them and use them efficiently. However, first, you need to learn to determine the type of conflict.

A destructive conflict is dangerous. It is irrational and devastating. It leads nowhere and can destroy the organization.

A constructive conflict is exactly the argument on which thought thrives. However, it will not become constructive by itself. It needs certain conditions for that. A good manager creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Thus, the argument turns from a threat into an opportunity:

– to take into account various approaches and opinions brought by the inherent differences of team members;

– to learn and absorb qualities we may be missing;

– to make more efficient and competent decisions.

Take note! Such an atmosphere requires trust and respect.

4.4. Cost of a competent decision

Is it easy to listen to another person’s opinion attentively? To accept those who think differently? To understand a person who is not like us?

Patience is the price that we will have to pay if we want efficient teamwork. However, it pays off greatly. Indeed, we will learn many new things and they will keep us from making mistakes typical for our style. Time, more of which will be required for discussion, will also require patience.

4.5. Factors of a team with an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect

People. It has been an axiom for a long time that people are the main asset of the company. Many leaders boldly transfer from project to project with a trusted and harmonious team and work efficiently everywhere.

Process. Effective communication between different team members while doing interconnected stages of work is not the simplest task. You need to understand all styles of languages and know how to be clear to everyone. Moreover, it is important to communicate and not to forget about keeping other team members informed.

Structure. Distribution of responsibility, powers and reward. In order to avoid competitive interests within the organization and to prevent long-term and short-term goals from hindering each other.

Common objectives, views, values. A leader plays the key role here in order for the team to look and move in the same direction.

5. Effective communication

Skillful communication in a team can often predetermine its efficiency. Let us look at a set of rules that will help to build communication between colleagues and to realize the potential of every participant.

5.1. How to determine a person’s style?

Of course, you will have to read their CV, you can ask them to do a test, you can listen to their stories about themselves. However, all this will give you quite an obscure picture. Besides, people will present (sell) themselves in a certain way.

The best ways to understand and feel their style are the following ones:

  1. Tell a candidate to ask 10 questions of any kind about the future job. Listen and analyze what this person is really thinking about and what is bothering him.
  1. Having determined the most probable style of a person, talk to them in their own manner and watch if they will feel comfortable. This is the best way to confirm your guesses.

“Who will I have to work with? Tell me about your personnel. What atmosphere is there in the department?” – These are the issues an Integrator will be concerned about.

“What exactly will be my duties?” – This bothers a Producer.

“What is the precise salary? Before tax deduction? When can I plan a holiday leave?” – This is a classical Administrator.

“What is the goal of your company? How are things with competitors?” – This is an Entrepreneur.

5.2. Start with yourself

Misunderstanding is the main source of conflicts. Not only do people speak “different languages”, but also the difference in speed and temperament adds to confusion and irritation.

What matters is not the ability to speak beautifully and correctly, not the ability to convince, but the ability to be understood.

Managers who position themselves as leaders expect others to adjust to them. However, a true leader can adjust to any team member, whether it is a subordinate or a person of a higher rank.

In order to adjust to the speaker efficiently and to get into a resonance with him, firstly you need to know and understand your own style clearly.

Without turning on self-control, we start broadcasting in our own style, habitually. And, in order to switch to a different style we need to know what to correct.

Expressive, pushing and spouting with global ideas, an Entrepreneur should at least “hold his horses” and “slow down” before his conversation with a calculating, strict and disciplined Administrator. Otherwise, the Administrator will lose track of the conversation quickly and will not understand the Entrepreneur any more.

5.3. How to communicate with…

Coming with your business to the Producer, you need to understand that his work is constant problem solving in conditions where there is a lack of time. Therefore, his extreme manifestation is the Lone Ranger. If something does not present a problem – it will wait. To be more exact, it will never interest him at all.

When you want to catch his interest, come to him with anything, wrap “it” up as a “problem”. In order to save his time, start with the end – with the essence. And, give a solution at once. Say that all you need is his approval. His attention and approval are almost guaranteed.

Going to have a talk with the Administrator, be sure to inform him beforehand and come on time. Otherwise, instead of listening to you he will be thinking how much of his time you “stole”. And do not forget to “slow down”.

Tell him that your problem is a deviation from the established rules and signed agreements. What happened is not right. Here are your suggestions as to how to fix it all (it would be desirable to prepare a detailed description). Say that your option is coordinated with everyone, that it minimizes risks and that you take the whole responsibility for it.

There are only two kinds of decisions for the Entrepreneur – his decisions and wrong ones. Therefore, there are two ways to attract his attention and get his approval:

  • Do not make him face the fact, but ask for his advice, ask for his help, “…I was thinking, maybe we should do it this way. What do you think?”
  • Make a blunder in your project, which he will notice and correct, having turned the project into his own creation. But do not make the mistake too obvious.

Presenting the request to the Integrator, show that all team members know about it and have approved your idea. What matters to him is not “what” and “how” needs to be done, but whether there will be harmony in the team.

However, do not forget that the Producer, the Administrator, the Entrepreneur and the Integrator hardly ever occur in their pure form. Most people are cocktails made of these functions. And if you failed to get to the person in one way, be bold to try another one.

5.4. How to turn a discussion into a show?

Why do collective discussions so often happen to be inefficient? Why do many people hate collective decisions?

In recent years, authors of business-books have been trying to prove that meetings are harmful and unnecessary. It has even become a fashion. Why does it happen this way?

Firstly, people see the meeting as a meeting of equals for a cup of morning coffee. Meanwhile, they are naïve enough to count on patience and courtesy of all the participants. They hope that everyone will hear out their colleagues attentively and everyone will take turns to share their criticism.

Secondly, in the heat of the discussion nobody thinks that each participant:

  1. has a different ideas about such words as “necessary”, “problem”, “opportunity”, “ instructions”, and many others; and what those words actually mean.
  1. has different temperament and style of communication.

At a typical meeting without rules, the Entrepreneur is the one who does most of the talking. Especially if he occupies a high position. He interrupts people and constantly corrects them. Meanwhile the Administrator, seeing such chaos and disrespect, becomes sullen and withdraws into himself. This is true, even though the active participation of the Administrator is extremely necessary for an organization in order to balance the fantasy and ardor of the Entrepreneur.

A meeting with improper organization resembles a meeting of people all with different nationalities, where each of them has very little command of English (just enough to ask “could you tell me the time, please?” or “how do I get to the underground?”). As a result of such a meeting, everyone except the Entrepreneur will be exhausted and everyone will feel offended, including the Entrepreneur because “nobody understood” him.

5.5. Constructive meeting. Teamwork. Dictatorship of rules.

However strange it may sound, you can make teamwork pleasant and productive with the help of dictatorship of rules. Not of a leader but of rules.

Step one: This is, perhaps, the hardest step. You need to make the definition of the terms that work in the organization clear to everyone. (Remember an example about “dogs”.)

Step two. Set the strictest rules and regulations of the meeting.

  1. At the beginning of the meeting, ask everyone to take a deep breath, feel calm and slow down.
  2. A reporter can speak as long as he wants.
  3. Nobody has the right to interrupt him, even if he makes a pause or hesitates thinking.
  4. Only when he gives a sign that he has finished, those sitting on the right (counterclockwise) can ask questions and comment. Nobody interrupts them again!
  5. You should address each other only by name.
  6. The meeting starts on time. No being late. No phone calls.

Step three. Subdivide the colleagues’ remarks into “questions”, “doubts” and “objections”. This is because many people take any remark about their speech as a threat, an objection or disagreement, which leads to tension.


What should the right form of management be like?

In order to create an effective organization, one needs a team, every member of which complements the others and compensates for the flaws of others with his own abilities.

Each of us has his strong and weak points. The right mixture of these pluses and minuses will create a team that can cope with any challenge. In order to create this perfect cocktail, one needs to know and to be able to distinguish four functions of management (managerial styles, person’s aptitudes):

  • Production;
  • Administration;
  • Entrepreneurship;

Any gap or imbalance to one of the sides leads to mismanagement; as a result, the organization is doomed. Extreme manifestations of such management are:

  • The Lone Ranger, or a workaholic;
  • The Bureaucrat – a dictator;
  • The Arsonist – a generator of new ideas;
  • The SuperFollower – a politician.

It is of equal importance for every team member to have a minimal understanding of the functions and difficulties of his colleagues (of all the functions). Otherwise, he will not appreciate and understand their work.

In order to interact efficiently and productively, people with different styles of thinking and management need an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect in a team.

For this you need:

1) to accept the fact that conflicts are normal and inevitable;

2) to turn any conflict into a constructive one:

– to create strict rules of communication and discussion in a team;

– to be able to communicate in different languages (adjust to different styles).


Ten Reasons to Read this Book

  1. Learn what management and managing mean
  2. Learn a new paradigm for successful management
  3. Learn about management styles
  4. Learn about mismanagement styles
  5. Learn how to effectively communicate
  6. Learn how to have effective meetings
  7. Learn how to effectively implement decisions
  8. Learn how to effectively reward employees
  9. Learn how to manage change
  10. Learn how to develop managers, executives, and leaders

“While early promotions in one’s career are due to excellence in a professional discipline, promotions to key management positions hinge upon excellence in interpersonal skills. This book is the culmination of Dr. Adizes’ theoretical studies, vast experience and great intuition. It will help you understand and better deal with subordinates, peers, and specifically your supervisor.” – Sass Somekh, Executive Vice President, Applied Materials, Inc.



You can order Dr. Adizes’ book, “The Ideal Executive: Why You Cannot Be One and What To Do About It” at the Adizes online store by clicking on the link below.

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