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Toxic Executive

We have all hired that person that looked good on paper and interviewed well but did not turn out as expected. How do we undo this mistake? You went to the board and made the pitch, but alas, they do not perform.  Or worse, they have changed into someone that is no longer the person you hired. What now?  I have coached several top-level executives through the challenge of undoing the mistake they made with a bad hire.  It is never easy; however, it requires a willingness to place the organization's good over any one individual.

According to the Harvard Business Review, "Senior Executives have the power to create an environment that allows people to grow and give their best – or a toxic workplace where everyone is unhappy."  The article states that the executive's mental health plays a significant role in how they use the newly gained executive power.  Specifically, the report says: "Sound, stable bosses generally build companies where the rules make sense to employees, freeing them to focus on performing their jobs well. But if the boss's psychological makeup becomes warped, business plans, ideas, interactions, and even the systems and structure of the organization itself will reflect their pathologies."  Of course, psychoanalysis is not plausible at the time of hire; however, when these pathologies manifest themselves in executives, action is needed for the organization's good.  The following five reasons make acting sooner, somewhat later, critical:

  • Morale equals productivity.  It isn't easy to quantify the relationship between production and employee morale.  However, most people agree that a happy and engaged workforce will be more productive than an unhappy team that has mentally disengaged from work.  Insufficient engagement can be devastating when organizations face market challenges that are external to the organization.

  • Top performers go silent and disengage. Studies suggest that seventy percent of management employees become disengaged in the average organization...

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