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Change Management Principles | Economics Write


  

Lessons From Experience: One Really Bad Apple

1

Introduction

The story that you are about to read is from actual events that occurred in
the field. Its purpose is to provide you with a real-world example from a
seasoned professional in the business world.

One Really Bad Apple

I have been employed at Elite Global Engineering, Inc. (EGE) for over 25
years. During that time, I have worked in several different departments
including engineering, research, and manufacturing. I have been an associate
director in this organization for over eight years. One of the things that has
always been important to me during my employment at EGE is the type of
person to whom I report. This is important because I have had 18 different
bosses in 25 years. Sometimes the transition to the new boss is difficult
because there is change. Some changes have restructured the group that I
am in, and some changes involved the new boss’s expectations about his or
her staff.

Occasionally, the most difficult thing to do was to develop a good, mutually-
respectful working relationship with the new boss. I never had a problem with
this prior to my last boss. I can still remember her first day. All of her direct
reports were asked to meet with her in the conference room. Hazel, my new
boss, sat at the head of the table looking down the entire time that her boss,
the vice president of engineering, introduced her to us. She did not smile or
make comments, and I knew we were in for trouble.

Hazel turned out to be an autocrat with no interpersonal skills. She believed
that she had all of the answers and purposely embarrassed staff during
meetings, which created a hostile working environment. In her first year, she
did the following:

• Fired seven people in the department because she said they were not
“engaged in their work”

• Took away responsibilities from staff without cause
• Was allowed to behave with disrespect toward others with no

repercussions
• Became well-known across the organization as an “equal opportunity

bully”
• Was the root cause of many good employees leaving the organization

Lessons From Experience: One Really Bad Apple

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It is important to take away the following from this scenario:

• Human Capital Management must ensure the choice of “the right
person for the right job.” Technical skills alone cannot make up for a
total lack of interpersonal skills.

• Leaders create the environment of a department and the organization.
The best leaders lead from a position of high character and respect for
the most important asset in the organization—the employee.

• An organization can lose significant talent if the leaders are toxic to
the health of the organizational culture.

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