“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope”- Anon.



All organizations have been created keeping in mind some purpose and the ultimate goal of the organization is to consistently work towards to fulfill this purpose.


One of the key elements that make the Organization successful is its Employees. No organization can succeed if the employees are not motivated. Ergo, one of the major organizational goals is to create a productive environment for all its employees. This is essentially required so the employees’ deliver better on the internal performance parameters thereby maximizing shareholder’s value.


An employee looks up to his supervisor as a role model and draws inspiration from him. Majority of the supervisors come from within the ranks and are equipped with the skills that the organizations desire in them. They are able to appreciate the work of their team members and empathize with them whenever required to suitably motivate them.


However there is one trait, and a very important one, which makes them a good or not so good supervisor. That is their inherent Leadership style. Great leadership is both pragmatic and inspirational. Not all employees, not even the exceedingly skilled and high performers, can make good leaders.


A good leader can make an employee more confident in approach and make him more productive. A not so good leader or a Theory X supervisor, on the other hand, can make his entire team pessimistic.


Douglas McGregor propounded the Theory X & Theory Y in his book, The Human Side of Enterprise. Theory X assumed that:

The average person dislikes work and will avoid it if he can.
Therefore most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work       towards   organizational objectives.
The average person prefers to be directed; to avoid responsibility; is relatively un-ambitious, and wants security above all else

A theory X supervisor cannot trust his team members. Since he firmly believes that his team members do not really want to work, he tends to get negative and spreads his negative thoughts via review meetings, conference calls, e-mails and one-to-one meetings or any other form of official communication. It has been noticed that the supervisor would constantly present the negative thoughts about an employee to the HR department or the management thereby building a negative perception of the employee in the system.

Sooner or later, a theory X supervisor becomes an impediment in to employee morale and productivity. It is not surprising that employees who were celebrated under some other supervisor soon lose their sheen and are branded non-productive under a Theory X supervisor.

It is very important for the organizations to identify such supervisors and train them accordingly to their organizational beliefs. This is also important to curtail the employee turnover. Otherwise, it’s now a common knowledge that an employee does not leave a company, he leaves a boss.





Ashutosh is Banking & Finance Expert based in South East Asia
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