Finance Jobs in Africa

Corporate narcissism… SA’s secret curse

corporate narccisist Signium SocialIt is the unspoken curse stalking corporate South Africa. Few people talk about it but many executives encounter it and may be vaguely – or acutely – aware of the danger to organisations and careers.

The potentially toxic issue is corporate narcissism and its personification, the corporate narcissist.

Psychologists, consultants and corporate head-hunters have been aware of the issue for many years, though it came into sharp focus internationally following the 2008 financial crisis as the egotism of some business leaders may have paved the way to the Great Recession.

Specialists describe corporate narcissism as a corporate culture characterised by excessive pride, leading to destructive behaviour and strategies that boost personal egos rather than a company’s long-term prospects.

 

Looking for Finance Jobs in Africa -Click here, Signium Africa is a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa.

It is often found in large firms, especially those with clear hierarchies as corporate narcissists favour structures that support their power and protect their position.

One chartered psychologist notes negative correlation with honesty and humility, yet positive correlation with openness and extroversion.

Executive retrenchment becoming the new normal

Finance Jobs in Africa

No job is safe, no future secure. That’s the new normal as executives in both the private and public sectors confront a disturbing reality – retrenchment.

Executive head-hunters are today witnessing an upsurge in the number of senior candidates who are in the job market for one reason only: recent or imminent retrenchment.

Looking for Finance Jobs in Africa -Click here, Signium Africa is a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa.

The development is not purely local. These days, international candidates with quality CVs often test the South African waters after being blindsided by retrenchment.

The drivers are fast-changing technology, tough economic conditions and belt-tightening by private companies and public services. Cost savings are substantial when ‘tall poppies’ are cut.

How should executives react to an environment in which seniority is no safeguard and delayering of organisational structures ensures some top managers, advisers and professionals will be redundant?

Misfit – an ill fitting executive

Having been “raised” in companies with healthy talent planning processes, one can easily take for granted the benefits of having a bench of strong internal candidates and few talent crises. 

Injecting external talent, nevertheless, is an important aspect in maintaining a healthy and vibrant organization. However, the same processes that help prevent a poor internal selection are not as effective in the case of that occasional external hire.  An external hire, unless handled by an experienced professional, is exposed to fewer quality controls to ensure organizational fit. 

Looking for Finance Jobs in Africa - Click here, Signium Africa is a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa.

What needs to be avoided?

For example, I have seen time pressures cause the “fast-tracking” of an executive search that ignored warning signs in a high level hire that was ultimately removed.  In other cases, in the name of “confidentiality”, interviewing and selection teams are often kept small, easily enabling any disenchanted executive team member to say “I told you so…”.  These are both huge mistakes one would think should be easily avoided.    

Shadow director jeopardy stalks SA advisory boards

Advisory boards seem an obvious way forward for companies run by executives with limited global leadership exposure.

One of the biggest advantages of advisory boards in South Africa is the facilitation of input and advice from wise old heads. In this way, highly respected, vastly experienced managers can make an important contribution to the company and the new South Africa.

Looking for Finance Jobs in Africa -Click here, Signium Africa is a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa.

At the same time, younger managers and business school graduates benefit from the sort of knowledge not found on an MBA course.

So, where’s the potential flaw?

The pitfall is found in the grey area between advice and direction or between a general observation and a specific instruction.  If an instruction or direction is given, an advisor may be regarded, for legal purposes, as a ‘shadow director’ and that could spell trouble for any advisor who has not taken out insurance to cover the risks run by formal boards of directors in the event of liquidation or fraud.

Signium Africa

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Signium Africa (previously Talent Africa), a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa offering head-hunting and leadership consulting services in sub-Saharan Africa. www.signium.co.za