My day started with a laugh. Jeff Haden often manages to slyly inject some humour into his business posts, and this one is no different.
The topic is serious, though.
The abuse of power is a common human failing, and this failing shows up with depressing regularity in corporate boardrooms all over the world. Furthermore, this is an equal opportunity issue. From “The Devil Wears Prada” to “Wall Street,” examples of abusive, foul-mouthed, manipulative, emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive CEOs abound. While some might argue that Hollywood tends to exaggerate (and I wouldn’t disagree …what’s a little hyperbole in the interests of entertainment?) the truth is rather disheartening.
Abusive CEOs wrap the crap in all flavours and designer labels ~ verbal, emotional, psychological, and physical. Giving reign to one’s inner two-year old is toxic, destructive to relationship, and ultimately costly in real time and money.
There are ways to deal with such “boorish” behaviour, but the reality is, standing up to such a boss, no matter how it’s done, may ultimately result in a backlash that’s difficult to weather. Nevertheless, something can be done. Assertiveness and humour are a good place to start.