Ultimately, they argued, low status may drain performance by forcing people to devote part of their thoughts to the uncertainties and threats that can arise from their superiors’ changing whims. A result is that the powerless narrow their focus to small-picture goals and to “details” that might not be relevant to the task.
The findings “have direct implications for management and organizations.”
Appalling behaviour is regularly tolerated in companies too — and indeed celebrated by the mass media. Witness the celebrity status now enjoyed by Sir Alan Sugar, a barrow-boy-turned-entrepreneur who has become the star of a popular TV show, The Apprentice. Or the gibbering rages of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who reportedly once threw an office chair at a Microsoft subordinate who had the temerity to announce that he was leaving to join Google. Bill Gates is likewise celebrated in the media for his inexcusable rudeness. His stock line “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” is endlessly (and admiringly) reported. The gibbering rages of Oracle boss, Larry Ellison, (whose curious habit of collecting F16 fighter bombers also appeals to reporters seeking a bit of color) are also the stuff of admiring legend. And as for Steve Jobs…
It’s time we stopped worshiping these vulgar, undisciplined, ego-maniacal brutes.
If we would solve the bully nearby we could march on power.