May. 17, 2017

The Man

I worked for a man just like President Trump. The man was the CEO of a large corporation. He had many direct reports supporting him. In addition, there were hundreds on his staff supposedly supervised by other leaders. He never quite learned to keep his hands out of everyone else’s pie or to carefully guard his words. He typically acted on impulse when doing his job but was able to turn on the charm when it was necessary.

It wasn’t that he, as the leader, didn’t have a right to know every little moving part of the organization. He, as a leader, really didn’t need to be the driver of every little moving part. The man never understood the concept of leadership as being supportive and accountable. He went beyond micro-managing and became an obsessive leader.

He was proud. He was arrogant. Yes, he was talented, but he had a tendency to constantly point out the faults of others while never taking any responsibility for his own.

He loved to play mind games. He was highly educated in the academic realm. He was severely undereducated when it came to people skills. Well, unless he was asking for money.

He loved to exercise his perceived and his actual power. He yelled a lot. He cursed a lot. He told dumb jokes to get his point across. The jokes typically demeaned others and made him feel more powerful.

His wife was withdrawn and beautiful. Many people would scratch their heads asking, “How in the world did a woman that sweet end up with that mean man?”

The man found ways to manage his two faces. One face was highly professional and capable when seeking donors. The other face was insecure and actually very insignificant when you looked at the overall contribution of the organization. His sad face drove most of his strong employees away. The turnover rate was and still is very high.

I cannot say the man hired good people. He did hire people to hire good people and it worked. Well, until someone had the guts and was strong enough to stand up to the man. Many saw the boundaries as disrespectful. I disagree. I think the people who cared the most encouraged the misguided CEO to learn how to exercise his power effectively.

Confrontation requires our willingness to lose something in order to make a situation better.

“Only those who love me completely possess the courage to tell me I am wrong.”

St. Augustine