Organizational Predators: Jackals, Hyenas, and Wolves in Managerial Clothing
In the author’s August 2004 edition of the then, Executive Briefing Newsletter (early online delivery) we addressed the impact on the firm of managerial misbehavior. This article was one of a list of challenges put forth to that generation of management.
Sadly, recent events have compelled us all to revisit this issue, although for some it is the first time. Upon re-reading the document, we felt that it might add value to current management and those that work for them to release it again in the blog format.
The text presented is original and only minor typographical changes have been made. We firmly believe that historical documents need to be held to their original meaning and we invite the reader to decide its value in today’s context.
One note, readers may feel passion seeping through. As this author recalls, at the time one of the jackals had harassed someone close to me.
Point of the piece, this behavior was inappropriate then and it remain inappropriate today for this kind of nonsense to exist in the workplace. Shareholder value is destroyed by this stupid behavior.
One would guess that over the next months and years shareholder value will be destroyed in court settlements because of the recent behaviors of Organizational Predators: Jackals, Hyenas, and Wolves in Managerial Clothing. Won’t put the names here—Google it!
The original text is available in Essays on Business and Information II: Maximizing Organizational Performance, pp. 85-87 of the printed edition. Readers will find it in the Ethics Section.
Originally published in August 2004
“I think I did something for the worst possible reason—just because I could. I think that’s the most, just about the most morally indefensible reason that anybody could have for doing anything.”
– Bill Clinton
Thank you, Mister President. You have empowered another generation of Omega males in managerial positions who denigrate women “just because they could.” In Bill’s case, Hillary emasculated him and moved on to become a U.S. Senator. This option is not always available to others.
Organizational leaders are role models for guidance in how managers relate to our female subordinates. Dominant men (and sometimes women) are well positioned to do things just because they could. If the organizational culture condones the just because they could model, in reality this conduct is what management offers shareholders. As an investor, I am ready to sign up for that business model. Yah, Right—Perhaps NOT!
Over the past three years, this newsletter has sought to put forth important and indeed even critical issues to the forefront of discussions. I will tell readers up front, that this edition of the newsletter is different. It is personal, and it comes about as the result of this author’s direct knowledge about how women in his professional and personal life are being treated.
Therefore, I do not claim objectivity but seek to raise the thinking of those in similar situations as well and even the culprits themselves (and their spouses, usually wives). In this writer’s humble opinion, this issue is not transit, but endemic. In the list of those things that will not go away, this one is high.
Corporate boards and CEOs should take note, as not only are there EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) issues at stake (usually addressed by Human Resources and attorneys as background noise) but also Sarbanes Oxley exposure. Sarbanes Oxley is usually couched along the lines of information flow to the CEO and Board, however, there is another dimension.
The quality of management and their readiness to “hear” and incorporate the thinking of the best of the best, regardless of sex. Just think if the CEO of Enron had actually listened to Ms. Sharon Watkins when she raised concerns instead of just blowing her off—he might still be enjoying his Aspen resort.
You can outsource non-core activities, but you cannot outsource the corporate identity. How firm’s truly value every employee is who they are. United States criminal law has a long history of prosecuting wife and child beating felons. The principle is well established.
Oh, the Humanity
Men, more often than women, abuse the other sex and their offspring. Predators prey upon the weak and the young, usually males dominating or destroying females and their young. We see this in the wild animal kingdom and we see these predators on the Internet.
We also find them inside corporate walls. Boards and C levels often hide their heads in the sand and take a “don’t ask don’t tell” approach. Guess what guys (and it usually is the ole boys club); the train has left the station without you.
Fact is this train left a millennium or more ago. Mothers are revered as the fount of life. Regardless of ethnicity or religion, Mothers are central.
That is until we get to corporate America or any other nation for that matter. Once a woman choses or is forced to work, Mother’s Day goes out the window.
Now Alpha (and those who think we are but have not yet been culled) males think we own these feminine prizes. Guess what, you out of shape, overweight pathetic excuses for males, you do not.
Do these women report to you and are their bonuses, promotions etc. depend on your stated and written opinion? The answer is NO!
Take that and shove it up your behind you legacies of the20th century. There is a cataclysmic shift underway and while you may enjoy the short-term high of intimidating and even firing these women, Darwin rules.
You are dead meat my friend, and probably at an age when you will least be able to afford it. Mom is never irrelevant!
Throughout the western United States, one can often see the skins of coyotes hanging on barbwire fences. The clear message to other predators is this could be your fate as well.
Similar symbolic gestures are necessary in publicly traded corporations. Who gives some mid-level manager the right to denigrate hard working employees just as they put themselves out as bastions of righteousness?
If these people were so smart, they would be top executives, and if they were the real comers, they think they are (with top level sponsors) petty crap would not be their forte. Unless the organizational culture rewards the humiliation of women as part of the reward system.
Truth is, most will never amount to anything. While they have some short-term power, the organization does not really care about their efforts. Fundamentally, they know this and this fact eats at them.
Their anger is projected on their direct reports, and often the females in their organization. This is a safe bet for an abuser!
Who would challenge him? Senior management demand results that he delivers for a while and his female direct reports are put through the grinder. Pretty good gig if you can get one, especially if you are a predator by nature.
It is far past the time for a superior to have the audacity to state that I took advantage because I could. This is not just a civil liberty, human rights, woman’s right, or Constitutional Amendment right.
Organizations depend on the synergy of their organizational knowledge. Not necessarily without friction, a necessary catalectic creative agent, but beyond retribution, physical and mental intimidation, fear of job loss or demotion, as well as physical threat posited by someone often 100 pounds or larger than his target.
Sarbanes Oxley, global stock exchanges as well as common decency demand that our mothers, wives, sisters, nieces, and girlfriends be heard. The rallying of the “ole boy” network does not have a place in the 21st century organization.
Firms that overlook or down play these issues expose themselves to major lawsuits and the possibility that shareholder value may be decreased by BILLIONS. There is no credible support for predator losers.
The usual predator is an overweight male between 30-50 who attained his position through vigorous internal politicking or as the result of a merger where this individual had a title and thus perceived expertise. Often, these individual distains women all the while being a pornographic connoisseur.
This manager is impaired when dealing with women. When a strong, woman subordinate questions his decision, this personality often retreats to his dominate position over this person and seeks to dictate. This type of manager may have unresolved issues with his mother.
I do not know about you, but I will not invest my hard-earned money in firms that condone, and even promote jackals. In earlier times, these individuals would rape and pillage women unless/until challenged by a true Alpha male. Today, as then these cowards retreat rapidly, only to reappear when they think the coast is clear—always hiding in the organizational shadows.
When Boards and top management condone this behavior, they denigrate investor confidence. Billion-dollar class action lawsuits are not the fantasies of writers, they routinely occur. Why should an investor support the pathetic disgusting behavior of reprehensible psychotics who usually make less than $250K? Is this the risk-reward trade off expected?
Throw the bums out of the executive suite, but perhaps more importantly throw these true Nazis out of middle management. Sarbanes Oxley demands nothing less.
Proposition: All men and women are created equal. No pathogen has the right to spend my money furthering his limitations. A real man would just resign.
But then again, these individuals are not men. They are Jackals, Hyenas, and Wolves in Managerial Clothing. They may even be thieves as they destroy shareholder value.
What a return on $250,000! CEOs, beware, SOX looms large over organizational incompetence.
Finally, as true indictment of this testosterone starved wimps they take one of two paths in their personal life. They either physically and emotionally beat the women (and children) in their lives (wives, daughters, nieces, step-daughters, aunts, mothers, et al) sometimes resulting in the death of these females or they kowtow to these same people and take their frustrations out on organizational female underlings.
Regardless, these people are cowards and bullies. There is no place for them in publicly traded corporations and I for one do not care to fund their criminal activities.
The first CEO that tolerates or accommodates this behavior is yet to be sent to jail. No doubt, we will soon read about such an individual.
Earth to Wall Street. Enough is enough. This piece is not the rambling of a female in an activist organization. It comes from the pen of a white male born in 1948. Demographically not high on the feminist hit parade.
That is the point. This is not just a social issue it is an economic one.
The psychological rape of our wives, sisters, and daughters by low life managerial predators can no longer be tolerated. Fire these losers and put mothers in charge.
The power of motherhood is not overrated. We all have a mother and celebrate her wisdom every May. Capitalize on this hidden downtrodden resource, and remove the cowardly scum whose manly prowess is limited, except perhaps in their own twisted ego.
I for one do not care to fund such dysfunctional behavior. I for one do not care to put my capital at risk at the hands of wife beaters and other predators.
Set the traps, eliminate these vermin, and hang their skins on the corporate barbwire fence. Corporate returns will surely be better without their “help.”
Let the mothers, sisters, nieces and wives loose and let’s see if greater returns do not soon appear. I am betting my money on Oprah and Carly and not Ken, Jeff and the others heading to jail who condoned managerial malfeasance.
Most of the issues discussed in this newsletter are part of a larger dialogue. Readers are invited to explore additional thinking. There are many books about abuse that you may wish to investigate.
Critical Mass: Value from the RBC Framework
Nuclear physicists define the term, “critical mass” as the amount of fissile material whereby a nuclear reaction is self-sustaining. From that original definition, the construct is further developed along societal and political terms as a function of the environment and number of adopters and their interdependencies that create enough of a consensus for individual actions that sustains an undertaking.
In 1996, the author published the first of several case studies on a societal interaction model based on the Relationships, Behavior and Conditions (RBC) construct among economic actors. Previously the model was only in the domain of academia.
This blog addresses contemporary issues from the RBC perspective and whether in the present state they are sustainable or not. Many readers may be familiar with the “Innovation Adoption Curve.” RBC seeks to enlighten the causality of behaviors that cause movement towards the critical mass that generates movement along this diffusion curve.
Other Blogs by Dr. Shemwell
Dr. Shemwell is an author/contributor for the following 3rd party blogs.
So, You Want to be an Entrepreneur
Dr. Shemwell is a member of the Global Energy Mentors (GEM) Leadership Team. Every month he or one of his colleagues is posting timely tips to help entrepreneurs navigate the energy start up sector. Check out the Landing Page.
Governing Energy Blog
BTOES Insights is the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news. Dr. Shemwell is a contributor.
Consult 2050 connects organizations with a wide range of consultants all around the world. The firm operates an online marketplace for consultancy services.
Essays on Business and Information
This two volume set covers a series of newsletters and opinion pieces published circa 2002-2009, including Bug Lore–Lessons for the Online Economy that addressed real time systems vulnerabilities from Y2K (1998-99).
About the Author
Dr. Scott M. Shemwell has over 30 years technical and executive management experience primarily in the energy sector. He is the author of six books and has written extensively about the field of operations. Shemwell is the Managing Director of The Rapid Response Institute, a firm that focuses on providing its customers with solutions enabling Operational Excellence and regulatory compliance management. He has studied cultural interactions for more than 30 years—his dissertation; Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study) is an early peer reviewed manuscript addressing the systemic structure of societal relationships.