Recently, mine Inc. Fellow Jeff Hayden wrote in an article about the connection between bad bosses and toxic work environments, citing some 57 separate studies that effectively came to the same conclusion: “Destructive leadership significantly reduces employee job satisfaction.” I immediately wondered why otherwise intelligent business and thoughtful leaders would even need one, 57 excluded studies to prove what should be self-evident – that horrible basra creates horrible places to work. What seemed even more important to understand, though, is how these horrible executives manage to keep their jobs in the face of such a literal mountain of evidence?
So far, this is a question that is mostly satisfied with what is considered rhetorical. After all, until a year or so ago, when the century-old “take it or leave it” bargain was presented, most workers felt compelled to take “it” – even if it included any or all of the bad treatments, a toxic one. Workplace, and lack of care. Then came the great realization.
In its subsequent great resignation, about 41 million workers have moved away from their positions, many in search of better conditions. So, it looks like the staff basically decided to stop taking it. They are no longer content to tolerate bad rulers and the toxic environment they promote. The problem is, the wrong people are leaving. It’s bad bosses that should get out of their way. Unfortunately, for the most part, they are not, despite the huge number of resignations due to them. I decided to take a look at exactly why and what the rest of us can do about it.
To begin with, there is no single reason why bad bosses leave their jobs. A few years ago, business giant Warren Buffett did a stabbing to guess why. He claims that toxic CEOs hang on for three main reasons: 1) the absence of written performance standards for many of these leaders; 2) the fact that most CEOs do not have an immediate supervisor; And 3) boards that these CEOs typically respond to the desire to maintain a collegial boardroom environment, and therefore almost never face their direct complaints about their performance, let alone their colleagues who have to work happily. Although I bought that these three factors – combined from the Bird’s-Eye perspective at the highest organizational height – apply in some cases, they certainly do not explain why all the bad bosses are hired. To fully understand this problem, you need to look at the problem from every height, not just the top. In doing so, a general theme emerges.
In most cases it is a problem of courage, or at least a problem of avoiding conflict. Take Buffett’s excuse. The reason most CEOs do not have a clear standard of performance is because most boards avoid the inconvenience of presenting him with them. Similarly for the point about supervision. The role that these boards are expected to play by shareholders, whether they like to accept it or not, is to oversee the delivery of the company’s expected results and hold CEOs accountable and, obviously, reflect its values. After all, college aspirations are less about back-slapping and laughter than about ensuring that board meetings and other interactions exclude tough conversations around accountability or CEO behavior. And that’s not the end of the story.
Keep in mind that there are many good people involved in hiring C-suits like an executive hire, especially the head of a company – senior HR leaders, board members and executives of white shoe hiring firms who lead the search. So, in order to remove these bad guys, all these people have to admit that they have either made a mistake or missed a huge red flag. Such people rarely admit mistakes. So, they conspire to survive without admitting their mistake.
It’s also worth remembering that many of these organizations – whether held privately, publicly, for profit or not – are run by people at this level. They are friends. They socialize together. Their children go to school together. Together they serve on the community board. They belong to the same club and often the same service provider. As a result, it becomes problematic for any part of the cycle to move to another part and requires a great deal of perseverance.
Many companies hang on to bad bosses for fear of annoying investors, creating bad press or inviting lawsuits. So, they can’t do anything more convenient than broadcasting their dirty laundry. As a result of this general lack of courage, these artisans of toxic culture are left to roam freely, without blame. Feeling the reluctance of the organization to deal with them, over time, these horrible executives double their bad behavior, eventually making the work environment unbearable.
Eventually, a kind of Stockholm syndrome began to overtake many of these companies. I saw it first hand. The unrefined left, those who are constantly tormented by a tormentor, will over time begin to see him as a benefactor. Once this happens, it becomes very difficult to find a joint bloc with the courage to speak out against the attacker. But to consider these people as aggressors and tormentors is exactly what is needed for progress. And the very outcome of the business demands that this happen.
The reason is here. Published by a recent Talenteck study Harvard Business Review It has been observed that employee experience is directly related to business results. In fact, in terms of employee experience, top quarter businesses significantly outperform bottom quarter businesses (who provide the experience of a weak employee and are clearly led by a bad boss). In terms of numbers, the top quarter businesses provide 53 percent more revenue and 44 percent more revenue than their bottom quarter. So, remembering that bad bosses are good for business is actually a bad idea. I can’t stress enough how important and timely it is for those responsible for deciding to move on to these bad guys to start finding the courage to do it. Not only will you start to lose good people, which has exceeded 4 million for five months in a row, but you will add numerical performance to your business and avoid the inevitable grassroots move.
Mark Benioff, founder and co-CEO of Salesforce, recently said, “We have a lot of examples in Silicon Valley where CEOs were ‘fired’ because their employees didn’t listen.” Small and medium-sized enterprises that have long held sway over bogus bosses now have to decide: do the right thing now or risk being called by the working class. Employees are losing their patience with growing boards and senior HR leaders who fail to work against these bad bosses. The way they spoke out against sexual harassment of both sexes, they are speaking out more against these perpetrators. If they get tired or become unbearable because of bad behavior, their life will have to be uprooted. They want to stop going; They want their companies to start doing the right thing.
It’s not just about good leadership, it’s about time.