Follow the leader

It’s only natural for senior managers to take along their closest subordinates to their new employer or firm. This is often because they are comfortable working with these individuals and are fully aware of each one of their capabilities and strengths.

Off late, this has become a trend of sorts where leaders in a company take a few of their close team members to the new organization, of course, if the team wants to. The practice is prevalent and is gaining momentum day-by-day, although the issue in India is minuscule as compared to the US and Europe. In most of the cases, the prospective employer strikes a packaged deal with senior management personnel. Further, the senior management personnel hobnobs with his/her senior key team members and builds in the consensuses to move to the future employer. These phenomena are prevalent in the investment banking, financial services, ITeS/BPO and the IT industry. The rapport members share with team is overwhelming and they don’t want to start from scratch. New team mates, new relations, new interaction, new everything results in a lot of wastage of time and effort. It’s not a difficult task to convince these employees and make them join the leader. It just takes a few hours of convincing and coaxing.

Every leader has followers. And while joining a new company, the leaders might insist that the new organization take a few more people from his/her earlier team, with whom he/she is comfortable working with. But then, isn’t this an extra baggage or the cost that the organization has to pay to get the person in their team?

In most of the cases, this would be prearranged, i.e. the company hiring the top shot would do so with the understanding that the top shot would bring along his/her own team. In that sense, the ‘bunch’ is not extra people but ‘required’ people. It’s a function of the purpose of hiring the senior manager. If the senior manager is being hired to drive change (e.g. brand, services portfolio profitability management in general), he/she would insist on bringing in of his/her own team and it would be acceptable to the hiring organization as well. Overall, it’s a pre-agreed amicable ‘package’ in most of the cases.

For instance let us review the case given here. Apart from being successful entrepreneurs and success stories, there is something else that is common between Narayana Murthy, Ashok Soota and Subroto Bagchi; the three of them left their respective companies to form their own. The three of them did this with the help colleagues who also left with them. Narayan Murthy started Infosys Technologies with six of his colleagues and Ashok Soota and Subroto Bagchi both colleagues left Wipro Technologies to start on their own.

One of the biggest motivators for people to either leave an organization or in continuing with one is the relationship they enjoy with their superior. The comfort factor plays a huge role in this decision of a former employee contacting a senior in a new organization, or the other way round.

There can be many reasons why senior managers like to take their team along in the new organization. These can range from comfort levels to trust, from understanding to culture fitment, etc. But, whatever the reasons may be, the end result is the productivity ad gaining new heights for the organization. The possibility of this team gelling well is high; the organization need not have to worry of the internal dynamics of this team. By taking in everyone associated with a competitor, the employer can get manpower and may be, slow the competition.

It’s only natural for senior managers to take along their closest subordinates to their new employer of firm

The picture is not as rosy as it appears and there can be problems also with the leaders ringing in his/her own team. It could lead to unnecessary group politics in the organization, exclusive ‘cabals’ being formed and it could also lead to over dependence on a limited set of people, leading to alienation of a larger set of people