The problem with the courseware on Managerial Leadership

 The single biggest problem that I see in the courseware on leadership and managerial style , particularly the caselets type, like "Capt Dayal- old man with valve gloves" and "Chief Engineer Swamy , man with iron fist" , is that these caselet studies entrap the minds of the learners instead of helping it to open out.

How ?

The courseware captivates away the thinking of the learners to see the leadership roles from the two frames alone -that of 'velvet gloves' attitudes and that of 'iron fist'. 

Many uninitiated learners will get induced through the courseware , to think that the Motivation, which is an important role in the leadership, is done by way of acting soft and Humane, which then is the way to get the job done .

Here lies the trouble.

The courseware tends to send a message that behaving human considerate should bear a selfish motive -  that of getting the job done . A shallow thinking learner may fail to see that the human-considerate behaviour is expected to be done without selfishness, by all  the sources of moral values - the religious philosophies and the society. And as a result , the uninitiated learner may cultivate a kind of a highly sophisticated but pathological mind within himself wherein he would start to  conduct his considerate, human-side  with another  person  in a very selfish manner , that  the receiver must reciprocate in terms of his sweat.

Such an immature learner, through the courseware , may be tricked to think that if his human-considerate side is not being reciprocated properly by the crew members though his labour, then it would put a black mark on his leadership abilities . And in such a situation , he would need to switch to the iron-fist conduct , wherein , in future  it would become legitimate for him to stop granting the human considerate  needs to his crew , no matter how grave the situation may be.

The course material may bear impact on the mind of the crew as well in their off-classroom learners role , wherein they may become immunized to the grants received of Human-value considerations.  The crew may start to  think that every time a master or a Chief Engineer is acting with a velvet glove, then there is a "leadership"-related selfish motive hidden underneath it. The mere knowledge that this the course material on the leadership has these contents will be enough to set a psychological "insincerity" game between the active learners of the course and the off-classroom learners !

The biggest victim would be the humanity itself , wherein , many of the the unmindful active learners may become truly transactional while giving human consideration to each other.
And a large part of the off-classroom learners may begin to objectify the grants that they may have received.  and then act psychopathic on occasions .

The insincerity may become a cultural-attitude , between the classroom-learners and the off-classroom learners. The transactional type relationship would pervade through the society all over.

In my views , the caselets should also send out the lessons that leadership should not cultivate a highly transactional relationship lesson within the learners, in regard to conducting oneself with human consideration with the fellow seaman . One must not forget, in his haste to practice his leadership courseware , to act human with the subordinate in a genuine and sincere manner.

Also, the Motivation function should be prevented from becoming trapped with the 'velvet gloves'" conducts and the "iron fist" conducts .

In my own experiences at sea, where i have worked with slim-manned crew, just around 17 or so , on product tanker ships, and of multinational denomination, I believe that cultural barriers , understanding the cultural Mooring of the people , is more important knowledge in order to get the tasks onboard the ship accomplished .

In my thinking , a free, willing and a submissive person is the best type that we can have on board , both in the leadership roles and the followership roles.

The common mis-knowledge that courseware on leadership and the managerial style brings about with it is that it teaches that the leadership personality should be dominating type , and the followership personality should be submissive type. Consequently, the courseware advocate and promotes the proverbial   wolf-and-lamb combination , wherein more mishaps occur on ships , misconducts and inter-personal troubles are reported on board, and the unwilling , reluctant crew is seen on ships which results into more of Machinery failures due to improper maintenance, under the effect of crew or the officer Playing truant from work.

The real challenge on board , in my view, is to get the free-willing persons on board, those types  who would be ready to contribute their sweat on their own motivation . Towards this, a soft natured officers are important to be present in the senior capacity whose conducts with the submissive crew should not put off the latter.

Filipino crew, i see, are more submissive and high -rated in their sincerity towards work . This is perhaps because of the religious -cultural upbringing that they receive.


By pitting the humane behaviour of the velvet gloved Captain Dayal against the cause of his self-anxiety that he is losing grip over the crew,

The caselet has done a huge damage to the society because the society is induced to think that IN A good , balanced leadership even the humane consideration should be used with transactional motives !

That is a huge , irreparable damage done to the social and moral values of the  society, by such caselet studies.

The effect that the study material being around is somewhat like it immunizes the population to view even the human consideration acts with suspicion. Thus  , in our society the well is dried up from where the genuine motivation could have been drawn. 

Plus, the caselet, by using the humane conduct as a weak sign of leadership , weakens the case of using human behaviour for the purpose of inspiring and motivation in the situations where the  Transformational leadership is required. The caselets , unbeknownst, promotes the Transactional leadership as the only and the best style.

It so happened that in the past that one Changez Khan, the greatest conqueror of Human history , and therefore undeniably a great leader of his time, made his military achievements by way of establishing a fear among his rivals and his own armies alike. The fear was showed by acting too cruel and inhuman with the enemy whom he attacked as a looter and a plunderer. He is know to straight off behead the innocent people in large hordes overnight , which established his strongly fearful image in the population.  It thus came to be understood within the military that fearful image is the best source of motivation and therefore the leadership .
The caselet studies promotes the case but the a convoluted angle. It advocates that the being human is a weak leadership . 

But the truth of the modern democratic society is that Fear cannot and should not be given any place for exercising of the Control within the business organizations in order to be a genuine achiever. 


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