In the United States, the lemon car concept is used to refer to cars that have a manufacturing defect that completely reduces their usefulness. It was estimated that 5% of the country's vehicles could be affected by these structural failures, so a law was passed to protect all those consumers who bought a car with all the hope in the world, but who later found themselves doomed to a Calvary of unsuccessful repairs. And there is nothing more desperate than looking for the solution without finding the cause.
Although the exact percentage has not yet been estimated, organizations can also find lemon managers, who seemed excellent at the time of acquisition, but who break down too often. They are leaders who, despite having good professional qualities, do not achieve optimal results.
In automobile mechanics it is very difficult to pinpoint the root of a seized engine, but in the business sector it is easier to identify the causes of poor management, since they almost always end up coming from the same place: the triangle of talent. A geometric figure created by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to explain that the management of any project requires three interconnected dimensions: technique, leadership and strategy. If either fails, the triangle falls apart.
The technical dimension refers to the knowledge acquired on the subject that must be coordinated. In this sense, it is obvious that having wisdom in the assigned plot is in favor of the work, since directing implies making decisions. And it will always be easier to get it right if there is a technical mastery of the processes. How many times has it been criticized that the ministers do not have competences in their areas of responsibility? A really opportune questioning, although two characteristics of knowledge must also be taken into account: they can be acquired and they do not guarantee good management. In fact, you can be a great cardiologist and a lousy Minister of Health.
The leadership dimension encompasses all competencies related to team management. It is about being a good conductor, so that everyone knows what they have to do and can develop their potential to the fullest. It is the ability to know how to satisfy the professional needs of each individual and, at the same time, demand high collective performance. Although this managerial skill is less tangible than technical knowledge, 66% of the companies interviewed by PMI say that it is the most determining factor in the success of any project.
Finally, the strategic dimension has to do with the ability to align with the organization, speak the same language and pursue common goals. Likewise, you have to be astute to establish relational ties with all the parts of the organization that can influence the performance of your work. And it is that leading is not only approaching colleagues with whom there is an affinity, but also implies understanding with those with whom you would never go for a beer. Because the proverb already says: "If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to go far, go together."
A lemon car has factory defects and there is no possible way to repair it. But a manager can work on the triangle of talent and improve his skills to reach the expected speed and become a full Formula 1.