“If you let a bully come in your front yard, he’ll be on your porch the next day.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
If you watch any business based reality TV you will be familiar with our modern icon for managerial behavior: A Bully. He or she may be a chef, a famed business leader or selecting the next celebrity star on a talent show, but the common denominator for all these modern icons is that they are unnecessarily cruel to the people they are supposed to be mentoring or supervising.
Sadly, from what I hear from many of my readers, too many of our modern leaders have adopted this “Cool to Cruel” behavior and as a result employees who could be happy and productive are disillusioned, frightened and de-motivated.
Worse, the next generation of leaders are learning bullying as a style of management. Note I say management and not leadership – as real leaders have advanced their own understanding of self worth to the point where they do not need to make others feel small in order to make themselves feel big.
Organisational boards should take action to make sure they have not appointed a monster as the CEO – this can be done by introducing confidential 360 appraisals for all senior staff.
CEOs should work to project a constructive leadership style and to introduce such 360 appraisals which include themselves, so they can be sure to set a good example.
Those who are found to be bullies should be provided with assistance and training for those willing to change or progressive discipline and termination for those who do not.
Bullying is not acceptable and the sooner we, as a society, stop our media and entertainment projecting this as the “coolest” leadership style the better for everyone.