A recent study sought to highlight the current characteristics of a successful manager.

As is usually done in these contexts, they tried to make a list of “desiderata”, highlighting the classic managerial attitudes of “general purpose” (competence, vision, leadership, authority), with the addition of a pinch of “do-goodness” (enhancement of talent, stimulation of creativity, maximum inclusion) and a touch of “new age”, which is fashionable and never hurts (search for well-being, introspective self-analysis, striving for improvement).

Putting aside the list, which I still consider to be of some interest, I wondered if, within my work experience, I had found some characteristic behavioral pattern that had recursively presented itself in management (particularly in top management).

Regardless of the organizational structure of the company (i.e. regardless of whether this was simple, functional, multi-divisional, holding style, global, matrix or other), I almost always found two recurrent behavior patterns that overlapped the official organizational structures, which in I would highlight this context, symbolically, with the climber’s consortium and the magic circle.

The consortium is a group of individuals, having a strong bond between them and referring to a “consortium leader”, who acts as a climber-trailblazer and has the primary objective of climbing the corporate hierarchy and bringing the other members to further corporate heights .

The rope, which holds these individuals together (which a priori is not necessarily all within the same corporate structure), is a bond that is often more based on irrational and emotional components than on real assessments of competence and leadership (they are often relatives, friends, soccer or golf mates, former schoolmates, fellow villagers and so on). An iron characteristic, common to all, is the absolute loyalty to the consortium leader and to the members of the consortium.

The dynamic is the classic one, in which the consortium leader reaches a summit and immediately helps, pulling the other members to him, placing them in semi-top positions close to him or in any case cooperating (perhaps influencing the choices of partners, customers, suppliers, …).

Logically, in order to be successful, the structure must enjoy a certain degree of flexibility: new members are introduced (those who, in addition to loyalty, seem particularly deserving), old members leave (objectively no longer salvable), the consortium leader is changed (due to rejuvenation or inevitable decline), you also change company (when the old corporate heights become inaccessible).

The magic circle is a structure that provides an undisputed leader, positioned at the top level, surrounded by people of absolute loyalty with the common will to prolong the status quo as much as possible. It is an organizational structure that, in addition to being self-referential, provides for a series of actions aimed at filtering and defusing destabilizing situations, possibly created in the company, and it has, as its objective, the extension of the personal hegemony of the top leader.

As we can see, there are two behavioral patterns (the first dynamic and in continuous upward movement, the second static with the main function of castling) which, however, are often perfectly overlapped and well integrated into the dynamics and official corporate organizational structures. In other words, once the consortium has climbed a peak (which could be considered an intermediate stage towards a higher goal), the magic circle technique is used to create an adequate and comfortable “base camp” from which to start the subsequent climb.

The level of unscrupulousness of the actions and behaviors of the members of these structures is a function of the objectives of personal enrichment sought, the hunger for power of the top members and their legal and ethical-moral hesitation.

Personally, I believe that many financial scandals and various industrial or political crises are certainly the result of casual practices due to a distorted use of behaviors associated with the managerial patterns presented above.

ACTION ICT (July 2021)


ACTION ICT is a young, dynamic and innovative IT company. It operates, both nationally and internationally, offering professional skills and design solutions in the ICT field to medium and large businesses. Our highly skilled know-how is housed in three expertise specific departments: ACTION DATA (Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence), ACTION APP (Web & Mobile Application) and ACTION IOT (Internet of Things and Robotics).

Latest from blog

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.