Bob Jensen on AECM today shared a link to a 2004 article by Sidney Finkelstein (Dartmouth College), “The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.” The seven habits are:
- They see themselves (and their organizations) dominating their environment
- They identify so completely with the organization that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests
- They think they have all the answers
- They ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn’t completely behind them
- They are consummate spokespersons, obsessed with the company image
- They underestimate obstacles
- They stubbornly rely on what worked for them in the past
I’ve had bosses before who would ask of my opinion only so they could force me out of it. The truly abusive bosses don’t even bother. They simply force people to toe the line. Independent thinking is not allowed.
Spectacularly selfish people lack the most essential qualities of respect for others and respect of others.
Eventually, leaders with the deadly seven habits fail because their focus on self limits their ability to focus on problems and solutions. Because they respect no others, no one steps forward to help the executive avoid burning completely when the crash inevitably happens.
I appreciate this modern age of social media. Research is emerging that use of social media helps people to have more and more successful face to face social interactions. That’s right, heavy social media users learn to shift focus from self to others.
That’s one reason why I recommend that accountants use social media. Accountants are doubly cursed, adding a focus on the bottom line number to a focus on self. How many times have you heard an accountant say, “You can’t argue with the numbers.” Well of course you can, but there shouldn’t be an argument in the first place. Not if you notice, respect and work with others.
Debit and credit – – David Albrecht
Comments are welcome.