Leadership Blog

My leadership blog is all about helping current and emerging leaders learn how to transform difficult conversations and dysfunctional workplace relationships into positive and productive ones.

Brie Barker

Culture Change: Beware the CEO Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Part 2

by | Leadership Development

Attention!

Don’t read this post until you’ve read Part 1.

/


/
In last week’s “Case Study”, we left off where the HR Manager had informed the L&D company that the CEO had decided not to engage them for the 3-year contract and that they would be seeking a different vendor.
/
But before we get into “What the Heck Happened?!”, I’m going to come clean on something …
/
This scenario actually took place.  I know, because I lived it.  I’m not going to say what organization this was, for two reasons:

/

1.  The Nature of Truth

The facts of this story are accurate.  Others people’s emotions, intentions and beliefs I put forth are my interpretation, that is, they portray my truthful experience.  I acknowledge that the truthful experience that other people involved had may be different than mine.

/

2.  Lawsuits Aren’t Fun

I share this story so that others may learn from it, not to defame anyone or any organization.  I hold no malice!
/
So, that being said …
/

/

What I Think Happened:

/
Are you familiar with Aesop’s fable, The Scorpion and The Frog?
/
If not, here’s a great 2-minute video by Way Singleton that will bring you up to speed:
/
/
Here’s how this cautionary tale links up with my story:

/


/
Frog
The frog represents the people in the organization who want to work within a culture of cooperation and collaboration.

/

Shoreline
The shore the frog and the scorpion are swimming to is where that culture exists.

/

Scorpion
The scorpion is the CEO, with one distinction:
regarding it’s nature, the scorpion is self-aware … this CEO, I fear, is not.

/


/
As a Certified Professional Behavioural Analyst, my observations of this CEO indicate a High-D (Dominant) profile, based on the DISC model of behavioural analysis.
/
Now, there are certain characteristics of a CEO with a High-D profile that are generally assets when they choose to champion something:
/
  • Innovative
  • Forward-looking
  • Persistent
  • Problem solver
  • Challenge-oriented
  • Results-oriented
/
However, here are some other characteristics of someone with a High-D profile:
/
  • Demanding
  • Competitive
  • Argumentative
  • Opinionated
  • Aggressive
  • Egotistical
  • Lacks tact and diplomacy
  • Gets angry when stressed

/


/

See the problem in this situation?

/
I see this CEO’s natural behaviour in stark contradiction to the kind of culture this CEO is the self-proclaimed champion for.
/
It’s like the CEO is saying,

/

“We need to create a culture of cooperation and collaboration, one that values diverse opinions that everyone feels encouraged to share. 
“This has to be accomplished by the end of this fiscal year and I know exactly what needs to be done and what each of you has to do.  If you’re not on board with this then you don’t belong here.”
/
If this organization is to successfully manifest this culture change, I think one of two things needs to happen:
/

One:

Their CEO needs to become self-aware of the contradiction I’ve described and learn to adapt their behaviour to be in sync with the desired culture change.
/

Two:

Get a different CEO, one that is more suitable for this far-sweeping initiative.
/
If one of these two things don’t take place, I fear this culture change is doomed to fail.
/
That being said, I truly hope they’re able to pull it off.
/
Have a productive and enjoyable day!
/
/— Brie

Blog Post

Culture Change: Beware the CEO Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Part 2

by | Leadership Development

Attention!

Don’t read this post until you’ve read Part 1.

/


/
In last week’s “Case Study”, we left off where the HR Manager had informed the L&D company that the CEO had decided not to engage them for the 3-year contract and that they would be seeking a different vendor.
/
But before we get into “What the Heck Happened?!”, I’m going to come clean on something …
/
This scenario actually took place.  I know, because I lived it.  I’m not going to say what organization this was, for two reasons:

/

1.  The Nature of Truth

The facts of this story are accurate.  Others people’s emotions, intentions and beliefs I put forth are my interpretation, that is, they portray my truthful experience.  I acknowledge that the truthful experience that other people involved had may be different than mine.

/

2.  Lawsuits Aren’t Fun

I share this story so that others may learn from it, not to defame anyone or any organization.  I hold no malice!
/
So, that being said …
/

/

What I Think Happened:

/
Are you familiar with Aesop’s fable, The Scorpion and The Frog?
/
If not, here’s a great 2-minute video by Way Singleton that will bring you up to speed:
/
/
Here’s how this cautionary tale links up with my story:

/


/
Frog
The frog represents the people in the organization who want to work within a culture of cooperation and collaboration.

/

Shoreline
The shore the frog and the scorpion are swimming to is where that culture exists.

/

Scorpion
The scorpion is the CEO, with one distinction:
regarding it’s nature, the scorpion is self-aware … this CEO, I fear, is not.

/


/
As a Certified Professional Behavioural Analyst, my observations of this CEO indicate a High-D (Dominant) profile, based on the DISC model of behavioural analysis.
/
Now, there are certain characteristics of a CEO with a High-D profile that are generally assets when they choose to champion something:
/
  • Innovative
  • Forward-looking
  • Persistent
  • Problem solver
  • Challenge-oriented
  • Results-oriented
/
However, here are some other characteristics of someone with a High-D profile:
/
  • Demanding
  • Competitive
  • Argumentative
  • Opinionated
  • Aggressive
  • Egotistical
  • Lacks tact and diplomacy
  • Gets angry when stressed

/


/

See the problem in this situation?

/
I see this CEO’s natural behaviour in stark contradiction to the kind of culture this CEO is the self-proclaimed champion for.
/
It’s like the CEO is saying,

/

“We need to create a culture of cooperation and collaboration, one that values diverse opinions that everyone feels encouraged to share. 
“This has to be accomplished by the end of this fiscal year and I know exactly what needs to be done and what each of you has to do.  If you’re not on board with this then you don’t belong here.”
/
If this organization is to successfully manifest this culture change, I think one of two things needs to happen:
/

One:

Their CEO needs to become self-aware of the contradiction I’ve described and learn to adapt their behaviour to be in sync with the desired culture change.
/

Two:

Get a different CEO, one that is more suitable for this far-sweeping initiative.
/
If one of these two things don’t take place, I fear this culture change is doomed to fail.
/
That being said, I truly hope they’re able to pull it off.
/
Have a productive and enjoyable day!
/
/— Brie
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