Are you or are you not an executive bully? To find out, ask yourself if these statements describe you. No scoring needed. Trust us, you'll know. The assessment was created by Susan Annunzio, CEO of the Center for High Performance.
- You tend to label people who disagree with you as "naysayers," "risk-averse," "incompetent," etc.
- You fall in love with an idea, position or deal.
- No one ever finds fault with your point of view.
- There is little disagreement or debate within your leadership team.
- When your team does debate an issue, there are clear "winners" and "losers."
- You deliver results but people don't enjoy working for you.
- You always believe you are the "smartest guy in the room."
- Your direct reports rarely tell you bad news.
- You are taken by surprise when things go wrong.
- You believe you are better at almost everything than anyone else on your team.
- You blame others when things go wrong.
- You rarely admit mistakes or apologize.
- You are an expert at "gotcha"--catching others in an error.
You might be tempted to think that modern-day CEOs are too polished to possess these traits, but a Forbes article from 2009 by Nicole Perlroth lists Steve Jobs, Harvey Weinstein, Barry Diller and Martha Stewart as prominent corporate bullies. Going further back, a 1995 story in Psychology Today called "When the Boss is a Bully" calls out legendary ITT chief Harold Geneen.
Celebrity CEOs aside, executive bullying has lately yielded some real-world consequences: The Australian magazine The Age reported in 2011 that Sally Berkeley, formerly a senior executive at Pacific Brands, had filed a $9 million unlawful dismissal case against the company alleging she was bullied by her superior. We recommend the 2010 Time article "New Laws Target Workplace Bullying" for an overview on the overlap between bullying and litigation.
This article originally appeared at The Build Network.