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58 ENTREPRENEUR MARCH 2014
In a never-ending quest for power, prestige and compensation, they build up company resources until they're perceived as being too big to fail. They're the empire builders- the overlords of their own fiefdoms and overseers of inflated budgets and staffs. Here's what every leader needs to know to take down the takeover artists.
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It's a pbenomenon known in tbe management trade as "empire building": an urge to create fiefdoms witb pumped-up staffs and budgets tbat matcb tbe inflated ego of tbe perpetrator-and it can sabotage your team, bottom line and worse.
"It Gan kill tbe company," says Mark Faust, a growtb and turnaround specialist at Cincinnati-based Ecbelon
IIIUWCH2014 ENTREPRENEUR B9
Management International and autbor of Grou;th or Bust! "You're lucky if it's just reducing tbe po- tential of tbe company by 20 or 30 percent, but it could be a lot more. It is one of tbe greatest constraining factors on U.S. business."
Empire builders don't care about tbat. Tbeir goal is to increase tbeir personal power and stature by amassing departments, information and bead count. Tbey measure tbeir wortb by tbe beft and gleam of tbeir domain. It's a little like tbe peacock strutting bis Tecbni- color tail for tbe females, says Art Markman, a psycbologist at tbe Uni- versity of Texas at Austin wbo runs tbe Human Dimensions of Organi- zations program. "In tbis case, it's not a mating signal, but a power signal to tbe organization tbat you're somebody to be reckoned witb," be says.