While the Corporate Dinosaur may always have a place at a Fortune 1,000, they are extremely dangerous at a small to mid-sized company or a start-up. We’ve seen Corporate Dinosaurs ruin many organizations within months of joining and contend that we must stop hiring them in order to make them extinct.
So how do you spot a corporate dinosaur so they don’t end up at your company?
Here are some of things to look out for –
– The Corporate Dinosaur typically has a nice “pedigree” and looks good on paper. He or she went to a prestigious, or at least decent, college or university and has big company names on his resume. On the surface, the Corporate Dinosaur looks attractive, especially if you are a young person starting or running a company. Surely, this person knows what he’s doing if he worked for Apple, Google, or some other sexy brand name?
Don’t let that fool you. While there are plenty of highly capable people at these organizations, there are equally as many who are completely useless and, many times, can be extremely detrimental to an organization.
– The Corporate Dinosaur loves obscure, made up titles like “Head Disruptor” or “Chief Innovation Officer”. That way, she can avoid the responsibilities that come with a traditional title, say Chief Financial Officer, and take all of the credit if something good happens.
– The Corporate Dinosaur only speaks in “sales du jour” jargon. If someone uses terms like disruption, sales velocity, “buying journey” (or anything “x” journey) in every sentence of an interview, she is probably a Corporate Dinosaur.
– The Corporate Dinosaur thrives on meetings, meetings, and more meetings. The more time wasted, the better. The Corporate Dinosaur ALWAYS has back to back meetings and full calendars. He is constantly “running” to the next meeting and “working” late because he sat on conference calls all day, repeating the same thing over and over to anyone who will listen.
– The favorite tool of the Corporate Dinosaur is PowerPoint. The Corporate Dinosaur loves creating PowerPoints, especially for internal use. He can not speak unless there is associated slideware.
– The Corporate Dinosaur loves miles, points, and expense accounts. He will fly business class to Europe, buy expensive bottles of wine, and stay at the best hotels. The Corporate Dinosaur thrives on spending other people’s money and is oblivious to travel budgets. This can be a real problem at a startup with limited funds.
– The Corporate Dinosaur only manages up. Typically, she doesn’t care at all about the people that work for her and it is obvious.
– The Corporate Dinosaur needs lots of bureaucracy and layers of management between himself and the people that actually do the work. That way, if things go south, he has plenty of people to blame and/or fire.
– The Corporate Dinosaur has no original thought. She hides behind methodologies, business “how to” books, and other nonsense rather than developing a potential solution to a situation or problem. She is always looking for quick fixes and “magic beans” rather than providing and executing against a long term strategic vision.
– Lastly, the Corporate Dinosaur typically isn’t very skilled at his profession. He is usually a “manager” or “executive” who wasn’t successful at his craft but because of #7, he has somehow weaseled his way into a plum job with all the perks.
About Corporate Dinosaurs – Corporate Dinosaurs is a team of seasoned business professionals who want to help you save yourself from extinction. Do you have a story for Corporate Dinosaurs? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use your story, we will give you a $100 Amazon Gift Card!