In my November 3rd blog, I wrote about organizational monsters and asked if you wanted to hire someone like that. Of course, any sane person would say no to that question. Yet these monsters exist across a wide spectrum of organizations including small businesses, large corporations, government, non-profits, and politics. Who are these Frankenstein’s and how are they made? In Mary Shelley’s book, she wrote about Dr. Frankenstein and the hideous creature he cobbled together that later escaped the laboratory and terrorized the countryside.
It is important to realize that not all organizational monsters have the same grotesque features as the large, groaning beast who plodded through town, while the scared villagers ran for their lives. I believe most organizational monsters are more like the scarecrow in the photo above. They smile at everyone while seeking to destroy your business or team from within. These individuals are adept at charming hiring managers and supervisors. However, as time quickly passes the true nature and character of Monty the Monster begins to show. Monty manipulates and backstabs other employees but continues to smile at the supervisors who believe Monty is the best.
Once Monty is comfortable and entrenched in the organization, he begins to display the same behavior towards his boss Stanley. Naturally, this angers Stanley, and he complains to anyone who will listen. But does Stanley confront Monty about this unacceptable behavior? No, because Stanley is afraid of Monty. To make matters worse, Stanley writes glowing evaluations on Monty thereby contributing to the growth of the monster. Meanwhile, the morale and motivation of other employees begins to spiral downward because they see what is taking place with Monty and they know he has become untouchable. What can happen next?
- Monty’s pattern of behavior continues, is not addressed, and contributes to ever declining employee morale and turnover.
- Employees get angry at Monty and begin to express this towards him while potentially creating a volatile situation that will not end well.
- The employees who do just enough to get by will see that Monty’s behavior is not only accepted but rewarded and they too will begin doing the same thing.
- Courageous Chuck the new boss arrives on scene, understands what has been taking place, and begins to address the issue with Monty. However, the Human Resources Department tells Chuck that Monty has had glowing evaluations over the years, therefore it is going to take time to rid the organization of Monty. And by the way, HR says to be careful because Monty might get a lawyer.
I have seen the above patterns play out and frustration becomes the word of the day, week, month, and year. The scarecrow with the smiling pumpkin head is nothing more than a straw figure masking the grotesque Frankenstein within seeking whom he may devour and destroy. Do you have someone like this in your organization? If so, is that person’s behavior dealt with or is it rewarded thereby contributing to the growth of the monster? Do you and your supervisors know how to handle Monty the Monster? Reach out to me at www.impactusleadership.com and let’s have a conversation about how I can help you overcome this problem.