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Attack of the clones! Leaders creating teams in their own image.

Q: Ever seen a leader seeking to create a management team in their own image? It’s cloning without the lab coat.

Here’s the deal, what usually happens when a new CEO comes with a new, far-reaching broom? It’s out with the old, in with the new. The result: leadership clones, mini versions of the CEO, appear one-by-one.

Why does the world work like this?

I believe it’s because some people feel it’s easier to work with someone who LIKES them and someone who THINKS LIKE them. Sometimes a clone might even LOOK like their boss! Scary thought huh?

The impact on incumbents is an under-appreciation of their role and results. The clones are shamelessly favoured. Secondly, the clones deprive the organisation of healthy dissonant thinking needed to make good decisions. Lastly, valuable organisation knowledge often gets needlessly swept away.

Here’s three fundamental questions to self-assess someone’s potential for management cloning:

  1. Why do you want to lead people in this organisation?

  2. Why would those people want you as a leader?

  3. How well correlated are both answers? If not, the leader cares more about 1 versus 2, and they are too self-serving .

Thus cultivating the need for cloning.

What has to change to thwart a game of clones?


Life’s great, Bruce

About Bruce Mullan

Bruce Mullan is a Leadership Coach nurturing leadership excellence in health, aged care and NDIS. Bruce integrates leadership strengths, agile disciplines and a coaching mindset to help leaders successfully navigate the growing complexity of our external world.

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