IF YOU'RE A JERK AS A LEADER, you will be torpedoed. And usually, it won’t be by your vice presidents; it will be on the loading dock at 3 a.m. when no supervisors are around.
— Tom Peters *
DURING THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN, we watched big-name CEOs be dethroned and vilified for excesses and bad behavior. One MBA student asked me:
Why are we all working so hard to become leaders if someday we are just going to be thrown out of our jobs and ripped apart by the media? How can we prevent that from happening?
The room went silent.
How you are treated on the way down, I said, has a lot to do with the way you treat people on the way up. If you are arrogant, obnoxious and self-centered, when things go bad everyone that you hurt, ignored or mistreated will be thrilled to kick you, including the media.
But if you treat people with respect and a little gratitude on the way up the ladder, they will never forget. Leaders who are admired and respected are rarely thrown to the wolves.
610.640.4600 ex 1
* Tom Peters is an American writer and speaker on business management and is best known for co-authoring In Search of Excellence, an international bestseller. He has since published 11 more books.
Peters holds degrees from Cornell (B.A., Masters) and Stanford Business School (MBA, Ph.D). A Navy Seabee with two tours in Vietnam, he worked in the Pentagon and the White House.
In 1974, Peters joined McKinsey & Company, the top international management consulting firm, becoming a partner in 1979. Two years later, Peters left McKinsey to become an independent consultant. In Search of Excellence was published the following year. It became a huge bestseller, gaining exposure worldwide for addressing business problems and empowering decision-makers.
In recent years, Tom Peters has called himself a professional agitator. In one talk I attended, he advised an attendee to quit trying to fix and improve an old process and instead to blow it up and start over.