Resources  >> Why Executives (and the rest of us) Act Stupid

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  April 21, 2015

Why Executives (and the rest of us) Act Stupid

So many of us talk about the dark side of workplace dynamics — the backstabbing, the political games — with very practical ways to stop. The problem: these tactics very rarely work.

This article from Harvard Business Review sheds some light on why. I like the research angle here. Yes, the sample is small but represents enough of this rarified world. The upshot: executives have many of the same fears as the rest of us. No one wants to lose social status or look ridiculous. Go figure.

My favorite finding is the behaviors deployed as a result of our fears. In short, we attack as a defensive move. We are afraid of losing face and being politically attacked, so we have dishonest conversations with each other. We are afraid of being isolated for telling the truth, so we tolerate bad behavior. Sound familiar?

There’s a lot of leadership folks out there talking about how to “be”. Those who are positioning these deep-seated fears in a way folks are willing to examine will have an inside track. ┬áMany thanks to Barry Wishner for sharing this article.

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.