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The Nucleus Approach


Nucleus and SME statistics

Statements of chambers and SMEs

Impact: What changed? Interview with Jordi Castan


Legal property of the Nucleus Approach



Types of Nuclei

Manual for the Nucleus

The start

9 criteria for the selection of a sector

How to kill a Nucleus

Chambers and Associations

Lobby and Public Private Dialogue

Benchmarking of chambers

Questions and Answers concerning Chairperson and Board of Directors

How will the new chairperson lead the chamber?

After the election of a new chamber board, sometimes one can hear from board and other members: “If we had known before, how the new chairperson would manage the chamber, we would not have elected him / her.”

This is surprising, because it is relatively easy to find how a candidate will lead the chamber: s/he will lead it exactly like her / his enterprise.

It is practically impossible to apply one specific management style in the enterprise, to put on another hat at the entrance of the chamber and to govern the chamber in a different style. This is because s/he only knows this one style, s/he is used to it, and s/he has success with it (otherwise s/he would not be chairperson).

Therefore, if one wants to know how, how candidates or the elected chairperson will lead the chamber, one has to ask only employees of her / his enterprise. With direct and indirect questions it is possible to find out whether they tend concerning their management style more into the direction of a centralizer / monopoliser or of a delegator / integrator.

The extreme ends on a scale include the following characteristics:          

Centralizer / Monopoliser

Delegator / Integrator

  • Decides alone

  • Acts alone

  • Keeps things for him- / herself

  • Delegates tasks for execution

  • Avoids advice

  • Perceives employees only as cost factor which has to be kept as low as possible

  • Employees have to fulfil their given tasks

  • Performs CEO tasks

  • Gives orders to other employees passing by the CEO

  • Management by doing, order and control

  • Etc.

  • Moderates group decision taking

  • Acts in consent with others

  • Informs others

  • Delegates responsibilities

  • Looks always for exchange

  • Perceives employees as human capital in which has to be invested 

  • Expects employees with entrepreneurial spirit

  • Differentiates exactly between chairperson and CEO functions

  • Gives orders only to the CEO

  • Management by objectives

  • Etc:

Scale:    1





In reality, the extremes are very rare. The question is more, whether a candidate or elected chairperson tends more to the left and to which degree or to the right.

The extremes do not mean: left is bad and right is good! The question is only in which organisational environment which management style is more appropriate and efficient.

The smaller the enterprise is, the higher is the probability to encounter a centraliser / monopoliser: Especially in micro enterprises the entrepreneur does everything on its own supported by some helpers. The bigger and more complex the enterprise is the higher is the probability to meet an entrepreneur with more characteristics of a delegator / integrator. But take care: we encountered in all continents also enterprises with 500 and more employees dominated totally by the owner.

Which leadership style is good for the chamber? This depends on the chamber.

  • The chamber as “Business Club”: the centralizer / monopoliser can be well efficient. The CEO – if there is one – serves as assistant of the chairperson, other employees as helpers. The chamber is run like a micro enterprise.

  • The chamber as lobby and service enterprise with different products, a complex organisation, qualified staff and actively participating members: here the centralizer / monopoliser is totally inadequate and destructive and a more delegating / integrating leadership style is necessary.

Therefore, member entrepreneurs, present chairperson and board of directors, CEO, counsellors and other staff members, check the candidates in order to avoid unpleasant surprises after the elections, initiate respective discussions, eventually in public: which management style does this chamber need?

Observation: we try to remember, but without success: we never met a micro entrepreneur as good chairperson in an advanced lobby and service chamber. But we remember very well a number of cases in Germany, Latin America, Asia and Africa, where micro entrepreneurs as chairpersons caused confusion up to disasters due to their “wrong” leadership style.

The change of the leadership style causes stress for the chamber, especially when on the above scale the change reaches two or even three steps:

  • Higher on the scale, from left to right: CEO and employees get more “freedom”. They have to “grow” in reference to the responsibilities in order to fill the new scope of action. We have seen cases that “business club administrators” were not able to grow into the position of a CEO of a lobby and service chamber. Consequently, they disappeared.

  • Lower on the scale, from right to left: the CEO's and employees’ autonomy is cut, they feel frustrated. Turmoil starts. In the worst case the chamber suffers a real setback, active members enter into “retirement” and qualified employees leave the chamber.

Example of a chamber, changing its chairperson every two years (the justification, as a chairman explained: “Then a poor chairperson does not stay too long …”).

Number of employees

> 1.000






101 – 1.000






21 – 100






<= 20










































Leadership style






- Dismissal of CEO

- Dismissal of new CEO

The chamber overcame the crises under chairperson E. Today it is better off than before. But it paid heavily foe this phase.

This provokes a further question:

Is it possible to change the chairperson’s leadership style?

14/03/2009 - MueGlo /