Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

Should a CEO Fire Someone For Being Manipulative?

Chapter 4: Who To Trust Work? Part 16

In the last few posts, I have been writing about Harold T. Lobo, a CEO who makes coffee for his employees, and is considered too nice by some board members because he is reluctant to lay people off.  But that doesn’t mean that Harry won’t dismiss an employee if he thinks it is warranted.  Harry shared with me a story about a time he identified a fox in his organization, and how he then dealt with him.

When Harry started as CEO in his current organization, he was quite deliberate in how he evaluated the people, and was careful not to make quick decisions.  Harry described a vice president who initially looked like a star.  “Everything was presented very slickly and efficiently.  But as I talked to people around the [company], I found that he was managing communication both upwards in the organization and downwards in a very manipulative way, so that he retained a lot of power by being the communications broker.  I took action there to actually part company with the individual.”

Note that unlike the wolf in the parable of the fox and the wolf, Harry did not have a probation period, or give the fox a chance to gain the upper hand. In the parable, even after he knows the fox is up to no good, the wolf allows himself to be manipulated a second time, at the cost of his life.

What do you think would have happened if Harry had gone to the VP to discuss the situation and ask for a change in behavior?

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