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Bad bosses as a phenomenon
#1
How many of us have worked for a crappy boss? Too many, according to psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who explores how narcissists and megalomaniacs rise to the top and the ways we can escape bad bosses in his new book, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (and how to fix it).

Chamorro-Premuzic’s solution is two-pronged: Employees must be willing to leave companies with bad bosses at the helm, and managers must avoid promoting people who exhibit the traits of bad bosses. When HuffPost asked if that meant some larger course correction for us all, Chamorro-Premuzic didn’t flinch: “I’m explicitly, and vehemently, and passionately arguing that we should discriminate against incompetent men who want to become leaders,” he said.

The book’s headline-grabbing title came from an article of the same name that Chamorro-Premuzic wrote for the Harvard Business Review in 2013, as a response to Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In.

Sandberg’s thesis felt “over-simplistic, to kind of blame women for not being promoted more or showing off their ambition and broadcasting their drive,” according to Chamorro-Premuzic. So he set out to change the conversation around leadership.
“Instead of asking women to act more like incompetent men, we [should] actually improve our evaluation criteria and focus on actual talent,” Chamorro-Premuzic said. “I think positive discrimination done as early as possible can help us get there faster.”
When his Harvard article went viral, Chamorro-Premuzic recognized he could mine the topic more deeply. The result is a book that delves into the data and the psychology of why we often glorify style-over-substance leadership.

When Chamorro-Premuzic sat down recently with HuffPost’s Between You and Me, he talked about what he called the “Trump effect” on people’s perception of leadership in America and around the world. He suggested that our cultural understandings (or perhaps misunderstandings) can drive us to expect leaders to look and sound a certain way: narcissistic, over-confident, megalomaniacal and insecure.

“[It’s] how I would label the gap between what we look for in leaders and what we should look for,” Chamorro-Premuzic explained. “I mean, most of the people that are seen intuitively or unconsciously as leadership material, especially in corporate America, they look a lot like Donald Trump. They may be slightly less exaggerated versions of Trump, but they have a lot in common.”


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/discrimin...4614dd5efc
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#2
I notice a huge difference in American business practice in seeking out potential bosses. In th eold days, most businesses promoted from within. It was rare, to be sure, but it happened: people could start in the mail room or on the shop floor and advance through the hierarchy of management. People of talent got recognized for such even if they came from modest backgrounds. To be sure, management salaries were themselves modest by current standards, and advancement was slow and steady. But it was possible, much unlike the sit6uation with the low glass ceilings of advancement in contemporary America.

The executive might be fifty years old and earning perhaps ten times what someone in the mail room or on the shop floor was getting. This executive was too old to splurge on sports cars or a trophy wife. So his house would be paid off and his kids were going to college. Fine.

But look what the company got. Its executives knew what was going on down to the shop floor or the sales route. Those executives (probably GI) could treat subordinates well because they knew whence they came.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
I've known bad male bosses of companies, and bad male and female bosses of non-profits.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
(03-07-2019, 03:06 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: I notice a huge difference in American business practice in seeking out potential bosses. In th eold days, most businesses promoted from within. It was rare, to be sure, but it happened: people could start in the mail room or on the shop floor and advance through the hierarchy of management. People of talent got recognized for such even if they came from modest backgrounds. To be sure, management salaries were themselves modest by current standards, and advancement was slow and steady. But it was possible, much unlike the sit6uation with the low glass ceilings of advancement in contemporary America.

The executive might be fifty years old and earning perhaps ten times what someone in the mail room or on the shop floor was getting. This executive was too old to splurge on sports cars or a trophy wife. So his house would be paid off and his kids were going to college. Fine.

But look what the company got. Its executives knew what was going on down to the shop floor or the sales route. Those executives (probably GI) could treat subordinates  well because they knew whence they came.

A dean of the Wharton School of Business apologized for educating an entire generation of business executives to do the wrong things.  He said they had not intended the result, offering examples of bad behavior by various companies over the years as teachable moments.  Unfortunately, the students learned that bad behavior pays off and is rarely punished.  Increased bad behavior grew from there
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#5
(03-08-2019, 08:45 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(03-07-2019, 03:06 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: I notice a huge difference in American business practice in seeking out potential bosses. In th eold days, most businesses promoted from within. It was rare, to be sure, but it happened: people could start in the mail room or on the shop floor and advance through the hierarchy of management. People of talent got recognized for such even if they came from modest backgrounds. To be sure, management salaries were themselves modest by current standards, and advancement was slow and steady. But it was possible, much unlike the sit6uation with the low glass ceilings of advancement in contemporary America.

The executive might be fifty years old and earning perhaps ten times what someone in the mail room or on the shop floor was getting. This executive was too old to splurge on sports cars or a trophy wife. So his house would be paid off and his kids were going to college. Fine.

But look what the company got. Its executives knew what was going on down to the shop floor or the sales route. Those executives (probably GI) could treat subordinates  well because they knew whence they came.

A dean of the Wharton School of Business apologized for educating an entire generation of business executives to do the wrong things.  He said they had not intended the result, offering examples of bad behavior by various companies over the years as teachable moments.  Unfortunately, the students learned that bad behavior pays off and is rarely punished.  Increased bad behavior grew from there

The original purpose of college education  -- liberal education -- was to improve the potential top leaders of society: clergy, the aristocracy, the professions, the military... college students learned Latin, but also that the Roman Empire was a decrepit, amoral society that collapsed of its own depravities. Being a good person is as essential to being a good leader as is knowing the tricks of the trade. The idea of spending time under some educational structure was to make sure that one believes in something valid, like responsibilities to others.

It is a myth that people can become pure nihilists believing in nothing. People who believe in supposedly nothing usually find one God -- themselves -- as an object of worship. Here is one nasty manifestation of believing only in self-gratification:



  1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
  2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
  5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
  6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!
  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
  9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Satanic_Bible

This is the sort of faith that to which the faithless gravitate. Sure, I am not a religious person, but if it takes some Deity to express some moral values that make life tolerable for vulnerable people (children, the poor, the infirm) then I am not going to get in the way of the expression of faith. The definitive atheist humanist, Bertrand Russell, recognized the need for principles beyond self-indulgence. Anton Szandor LaVey allegedly sought to free people from such principles.

It is arguable that abstinence creates capital, and that indulgence dissipates it. It is the sober society that can prosper in part because it has capital for investment and in part because sobriety precludes people from deluding themselves about the misery of their existence when life is rotten. The murky élan vital is practically a revival of the discredited concept of vitalism. One can be a good person without God or a bad person using God as a source for dubious power and authority. From my experience, hypocrisy is the norm and not the exception among most people because most of us must struggle to choose between Good and Evil -- and we are all flawed. The few non-hypocrites that there are are either literal saints or people proud of their wickedness.

Good reason exists for turning the other cheek -- really, walking out of or running away from dangerous situations in which fighting back is pointless. The problem with the gay-basher wasn't that I did not exude adequate expression of heterosexuality; it was that he thought it appropriate to beat up real or imagined gays because gays are... well, I don't swim in sewers. It's much like antisemitism which I have experienced because I fit three Jewish stereotypes well. One is a German-sounding surname, and the other two you have probably figured out by now. I've known Jews mostly as civilized, sophisticated, and moral people -- which is how I like to present myself anyway. I could never be a Nazi even if I likely have distant relatives who perpetrated the Holocaust. I have the surnames "Funk" and "Hess" among ancestral names, and my mother's maiden name is the original surname of a Hungarian general (of German origin) executed by Yugoslavia for mass murders of Jews and partisans. He was guilty.  

Who are the responsible? Those who exploit power with impunity (like Donald Trump) or those who believe that they have responsibilities to people living in undue hardship? In view of what we do to other creatures -- raising them as meat, caging them in zoos, hunting them as 'sport', exploiting them in circuses and similar spectacles, and killing them if they become nuisances -- does one want to see other humans as equals of animals? Speaking of Nazis -- they saw their human victims as beasts of burden at best, vermin to be extinguished at worst. I see nothing wrong with people developing a bond with a dog or a horse, but I see everything wrong with seeing people as 'lice' and gassing them with a substance infamous as an insecticide.


The classical Seven Deadly Sins (anger, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, and hubristic pride), to which I would add cruelty, cowardice, and deceit, are as deadly and dehumanizing as ever, even if our technology and economic means have changed the ways in which they make life awful or precarious. In view of the failure of our commercial enterprises and government bureaucracies to rein in the worst tendencies in human nature, maybe it is best that there be churches that try to improve human nature. 

.................


The early MBA model assumed that its graduates were some elite that had earned its entitlement to live far better than the worker who, in a climate of economic inequality and insecurity but dictatorial management would develop resentments that would make him wholly unsuited to responsible positions. The MBA grads would become an elite in their own right, something like a Soviet-style nomenklatura that lives very well without having to own the means of production. Bureaucratic power within a bloated for-profit entity has shown itself as a tool of exploitation, and bureaucratic elites in bloated organizations can be as exploitative as slave-owning planters.

In the meantime, the American economy did badly in starting new businesses in manufacturing. It was easier to import than to manufacture, so marketing flourished and production withered. Warehousing replaced assembly-line work. If one can get TVs made more cheaply in Mexico than in Fort Wayne, then the Fort Wayne plant shuts down.

It is unfortunate that the MBA experience did not look to the human realities of the boss-worker relationship. It may be unlikely from someone so secularist as I am to suggest that more religion would have made better executives -- but the MBA programs forced upon us some of the most soulless people who were not outright criminals. Who needs ethical values when one can live like a prince? Well, there is a good reason for universities popping up in medieval Europe. There is meaning and purpose in life beyond material indulgence and sensual delight.

We had other problems, including the loss of entrepreneurialism that made possible the small-scale businesses, veritable cottage industries that could bring prosperity a small town in the Midwest prosper. One thing is certain: MBA programs were generating bureaucratic elites capable of treating workers badly and seeing such as acceptable, and not generating small-scale entrepreneurs. Maybe the generational cycle will do for us what it has done in the past, compelling us to make the hard efforts for low yields that people must accept beyond immediate sustenance) in the long term. We will see people shamed, discredited, and ruined for bad behavior no matter how much cover they have in institutional power and personal wealth.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#6
Satanism? Get real. Many bosses are shitty assholes, but there's no reason to think Satan was involved.
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#7
(03-23-2019, 08:20 PM)Hintergrund Wrote: Satanism? Get real. Many bosses are shitty assholes, but there's no reason to think Satan was involved.

I used Anton Szandor LaVey's genteel Satanism as an expression of much that is wrong in a narcissistic life. I'm not talking about people who simply do such disgusting things as torture-killings of helpless creatures as sacrifices to a horrible entity or seek to collaborate with demons who would destroy the world.

I see cruelty as a source and cause of much evil. I distinguish cruelty from 'tough love' that might be necessary for weaning people away from destructive habits. It is not mercy to facilitate alcoholism, drug use, sloth, compulsive gambling, or wasteful spending.

I was taking a swipe at Donald Trump by comparing his philosophy of life to the genteel Satanism of the late A S LaVey.

So what is my antithesis to LaVey?

1. I recognize abstinence as often necessary for greater, and more satisfying indulgence.
2. The spiritual life, to the extent that it creates meaning in life, is a desirable thing.
3. All purported wisdom needs tests to establish its validity.
4. Kindness offers its own rewards.
5. Vengeance is a desperate act best done rarely and only when all alternatives are ruled out.
6. The 'psychic vampires' obviously excluded, responsibility is an essential part of personal growth and development.
7. The privileged position of Humanity is essential to a good world for ourselves.
8. (first of all, I don't put all human foibles into one catch-all category of 'sin'; 'sin' includes such a minor offense as overeating and the perpetration of genocide) -- all of the classical descriptions of 'sin' imply their potential for destructiveness.
9. An entity intent on turning all persons into slaves or destroying Humanity is something from which to run.

LaVey is about getting away with bad behavior.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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