Now I don’t follow any reality shows but did recently see an article that caught my attention because it is a classic example of what can happen in a corporation and drive it to its knees.

Big news story today is all about the “Bachelorette,” Ashley Hebert, and her public humiliation and heartbreak as it was revealed on camera that some of the men disliked her and one played her for a fool-calling her an “ugly duckling.”

One contestant, Bentley Williams talked sweetly to Ashley’s face but behind the scenes was revealing to the camera that he had no interest in her and even called her an ugly duckling.

Now that is an extreme example of plotting to hurt another person publicly. So which is worse?  Bentley for plotting and planning this? The producers for knowing this was happening but being so driven by ratings that they allowed this to happen?  The camera crew for capturing it all?  The viewers for eagerly festering on sensationalism so the producers keep pushing the limits in order to grow viewers? Was Ashley acting like a spoiled princess and maybe created this tension in others that made them want to strike out and hurt her (as I said I don’t watch the show so I don’t know if she does or doesn’t act like that).

So does this happen at your company? Do you think people on your team need to develop Executive Presentation Skills?  Do people sit in meetings being all polite and then dig each other in the back?  Do  people withhold information from others only so they can “spring” it in a meeting on others? Do certain people like to dominate others in meetings?

This is not an easy situation to look at but as an executive you have to.  Each company has a personality and that personality is largely influenced by the actions of the top executives.  So if you look around and don’t find a culture using  SMART™ Leadership and results to be what you want, you need to look at what you may be doing that is allowing that to happen.

Any time a person’s brain feels threatened it will try to create security for itself.  Easiest way to do this is to gossip about others, and try to make yourself look better than others.

If you see this happening it means your work environment is one of confusion and that people don’t feel secure making mistakes.  It also can be a sign that you are valuing work over principles.  For example, one corporation we worked with had two individuals that were top producers but they were also prima donnas.  They broke all the rules, ignored all the guidelines and made other people’s lives in the company a living hell.  For years they weren’t touched because they were the “golden eggs.”  Then the CEO got it.  He saw how many of his corporate struggles were due to his hidden message to the organization that “if you produce I will let you do whatever you want regardless of how it affects others.”  He saw that his turf wars, his inability to get accurate information for making decisions and his frustration in trying to develop his leaders was directly tied to the values his team saw him executing.

So he bit the bullet and told them they were either on board or out of the company.  They both left.  But here is the funny thing… morale improved, the rest of the people made up the difference and now they excel where before they floundered.  He never realized how his “golden eggs” were really fools gold painted over an egg while his real golden egg was the unexplored talents of the rest of his team.

See you may not be like Bentley Williams, from the “Bachelorette” show, doing the actual damage, but you will want to take a good look at your team today and anything you see happening that doesn’t fit the culture you want to ask yourself, “what may I be doing that is allowing this or even encouraging this to happen?”  Then take a stand and make a change.

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