Yes they are Mr. CEO and you are to blame.
Brace yourself for this is going to be a hard pill to swallow.
We know that you pay them very good money and that they enjoy all the necessary perks to keep them happy, including the coveted corner offices, (for those you really like). These executives are also allowed to choose interesting assignments that challenge them and enable them to display their business prowess.
But here’s the thing Mr. CEO: you have become too comfortable with your ‘inner circle’ that over time, you have failed to address some red flags that are slowing down productivity and eroding your bottom line.
Simply put, three groups of executives are killing your business slowly but surely:
1) The Power-Obsessed Egomaniacs
To be fair, these executives delivered in the past and their track records earned them their current positions.
But soon something strange emerged. Something dangerous, plain as day to ‘regular’ employees, but unnoticeable to you Mr. CEO, despite unofficial complaints…
These executives developed a sense of entitlement.
So now they display attitudes and behaviours that make objectivity impossible.
Those who ‘challenge’ them in any way, even to suggest options which would yield improved results, are punished.
The executives, all puffed up, strut around, bark orders and threaten terrified staff with transfers to difficult locations or with job losses.
They exude such power, (whether perceived or real), that they are fearfully labelled the ‘untouchables’.
Some, now shamefully corrupt, ask and receive monetary ‘contributions’ from staff just so that the workers could be allowed to perform their duties without intimidation or harassment.
Employees who cannot afford to lose their jobs because of family obligations or other commitments, became resentful of the persistent unfair treatment and resort to negative behaviours: They miss work; they deliberately become unreliable; they sabotage/steal company’s resources; and even attack the company’s reputation on social media. (A huge backlash on Twitter or Facebook, complete with an insulting hashtag could become a dreaded reality).
And you Mr. CEO, instead of launching a full, independent investigation of the actions of your executives over X period, simply listened to inane explanations blaming the monthly losses on some ‘incompetent’ staff, (aka scapegoats), who were subsequently fired. The unfortunate professionals did not stand a chance when pitted against your cronies.
A few talented workers, despite the odds, have chosen to leave, declaring that life was too short for continued misery.
It is no wonder that your company is haemorrhaging revenue, staff and goodwill.
2) The Perfectionists
Now this group on the surface, might not seem to be as harmful to your business as the power-hungry lot, but they do the company no favours.
These perfectionists delay crucial decision making because they want to ensure that the perfect plan for the perfect circumstance, is executed with the perfect method, by the most competent professional. So they take their time to act.
The executives also unwittingly stifle innovation and creativity because they are so risk-averse that unless Y outcome can be guaranteed from X action, they will not support ideas.
Thus approvals get halted; potential clients/partners/customers are lost; delayed results become irrelevant; and frustration levels of employees are heightened.
Because nothing is as certain as change itself, a crisis exacerbates an already ineffective system.
For example, critical functions under the perfectionists’ responsibilities fail to respond speedily to a crisis. The delay causes a plunge in the value of the company’s stocks as fearful investors withdraw from the ‘sinking ship’ and divert their resources to the company’s competitors.
Remember Mr. CEO: All it takes is just one badly-managed crisis to cause significant damage to the company’s reputation, leading to lost revenue.
3) The Incompetents
What is surprising to note is that even though this group is the easiest to replace; (it makes no business sense to keep these executives on the payroll); its members remain employed because of internal politics.
Executives in this group become so assured of their continued tenure that they become lazy and begin to slip. When their errors are consistently concealed or others are made scapegoats in their steads, they become incompetent and neglect their duties.
As a result, employees are forced to work twice as hard to address problems stemming from these executives’ actions or inactions.
Therefore, undue work interference, arbitrary decisions and a lack of commitment to key initiatives become the norm, all which reduce efficiency at the workplace.
Moreover, since all suggestions to address problems are ignored, outcomes become disappointing and losses persist.
And you Mr. CEO continue to sit in your plush office and wonder why and how it is all crashing down…
It is time to awaken from your slumber Mr. CEO. Those three groups of executives are ruining your company and making you look like a weak, ineffective leader.
The good news is that such toxic executives are easy to spot but you must act decisively. You are not running a social club; you are at the helm of a profit-making entity, so act like the leader you were assigned to be.
Order company-wide due diligence.
Audit the executives’ results and make them accountable for their budgets and projects.
Get external assistance to weed them out if necessary and give them attractive severances packages to facilitate their exits.
Do whatever you need to do ethically but get them out of your company as soon as possible. Then hire competent professionals with verifiable track records who will be committed to the company’s vision, and who will possess the required emotional intelligence to inspire and lead their teams to achieve success.
Your staff and your shareholders will thank you for your actions when sanity returns to the workplace and productivity begins to rise.
And you Mr. CEO, will be able to hold your head high.
Over to you:
What other groups of executives are detrimental to your company?
Kindly post your comments below, anonymously if you prefer.
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Inside The Complicated Mind Of The Employee
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