The MD Means Not Managing Director But Management By Delegation

Rohitesh was a very hard working and an assiduous employee in the organisation. Even within his own research & development (R&D) team of a 100 people, he was considered as
30 Jul 2016 08:06
The MD Means Not Managing Director But Management By Delegation
Mayur Kalbag

Rohitesh was a very hard working and an assiduous employee in the organisation.

Even within his own research & development (R&D) team of a 100 people, he was considered as one of the most successful product specialists.

So when the time came to choose the new Managing Director a unanimous decision was made by the top management and shareholders of the organisation.

And that decision was to make Rohitesh the Managing Director.

His entire team was naturally overjoyed. The role was totally different.

He was now in charge of the entire team of 800 employees which also included 500 workers.

Rohitesh was greatly successful as the team leader of his own functional team,  but as the Managing Director the challenges were surely more and even complex to handle.


After appointment

Four months had passed by. And unfortunately the atmosphere with the organisation had turned a bit negative.

The reason for this negativity was the fact that the Managing Director seemed to get involved in each and every decision of his subordinates.

Every morning he would be seen walking across to all his departments and attending all their meetings. And then he would be seated in his office late to complete his own tasks.

“The MD is now Micro-managing everything”; “ We just can’t get the freedom to make our own decisions”; “Even decisions regarding the appointment of a clerk has to be discussed with him” …such kind of comments began to emerge from his own team leaders and even from those who were at just the clerical levels.

Things got out of hand when three senior managers from sales, marketing and product development offered their resignations within the same week.

And the reason that came out was their inability to work independently and the lack of motivation due to the absence of freedom to take their own decisions.

The over-involvement from the MD seemed to have made them take the decision to quit the organisation.

The news of their resignation went up to the entire senior management and the independent directors too.


Leadership style questioned

The senior management got together and invited the MD too for it. In that interaction it was communicated to the MD that his style of functioning was leading to an attitude of fear, anxiety and lack of confidence towards making independent decisions.

Rohitesh was quite aggressive and started defending himself with his own arguments which he seemed convinced about.

And that’s the time when one senior directors, Mr. Johnson stood up and addressed Rohitesh directly.

“Dear Mr Managing Director, please understand that we are not here to reprimand or fire you,” he said.

“I myself have been a Managing Director of your parent company and have spent 15 years in that role.

“I therefore want to take this opportunity to share a few things that may help you in executing your role as the Managing Director in a more effective and better way!”

Hearing this Rohitesh sincerely apologised for being a bit too aggressive in trying to defend himself and then silently sat upon his chair.

Mr Johnson then began sharing his thoughts: “The first and the most important thing that you as well as any ‘new’ Managing Director must keep in mind is the true meaning of the term MD.

“The full form of MD is Management by Delegation and not just Managing Director.

“As a head of the organisation, the first thing that he or she must develop is excellent skills of delegation.

“But to do that there are certain parameters which makes delegation highly successful.

“These parameters are those which a Managing Director or a leader of his own team in an organisation must remember.”

“The parameters are character, content and competency (explained in graphical presentation).

“And it is for this reason three of them have decided to leave the organisation.

“These three people from your senior team are extremely competent as I myself have seen their performance through the past three years.

“Dear Mr MD, I will be hoping that you will redefine yourself and your role from being a Managing Director towards evolving as a successful leader who does Management by Delegation.”


Positive change

I believe that what Mr Johnson shared with Rohitesh surely must have made him bring a few positive changes in his role.

But I am also sure these learnings that were shared could be applied to any person who is playing the role of a leader for his team.

Mayur Kalbag is a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer & Author. He can be contacted via email:

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