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»The boss was a complete idiot« – what to do when executives hump up and step down?

2022-09-27T17:59:25.335Z

Buckling up and stepping down - nobody wants to work with people like that. How do you recognize colleagues with two faces? And then what do you have to do?



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In many companies there are still people who have two faces (symbol image)

Photo: Jonathan Knowles/Stone RF/Getty Images

In ancient times, Janus was the god of beginnings, duality and the end.

Everything since forever?

Gods are abolished?

Not quite true.

In many companies there are still people who mistake themselves for a god.

And they have two faces: To peers and superiors, these executives are exquisitely friendly and exemplary in their courtesy.

However, when they meet people who consider them comparatively unimportant, their other face comes out: a sullen, spoiled, unjust and rude face.

Unfortunately, this is not always just a male face, there are also enough female managers who turn into xanthips as soon as they have to deal with "subordinates".

Bad behavior on the job is more than the childish stuff of immature personalities who have somehow ended up in a leadership role.

In fact, it's widespread: according to American surveys, 27 percent of employees complain about tantrums, 30 percent about scheming gossip, 32 percent about clique formation and 55 percent about constant whining in the office.

The Janus Syndrome has consequences: if amiable bucking upwards and assaults in any form downwards take place in the long-term, duality becomes normal.

Businesses that condone Janus heads—and the ambivalent, unfair climate they perpetuate—end up with a culture to run away from.

Employees and customers run away

I mean that literally: First, good employees who don't have to accept such an environment flee.

There are also studies on this.

If you ask people who start somewhere and then quit quickly about their reasons for leaving, you'll either hear that the job didn't live up to expectations or, often literally, "The boss was a total idiot."

Next, the customers disembark.

Anyone who has to be spoken to dumbly by representatives of a company will go somewhere else in the future.

Anyone who, as a customer of an organization, constantly encounters new people to talk to there because of the high fluctuation, will eventually lose patience.

Everyone suspects that no productive work can be expected from such an association.

more on the subject

  • Psychopaths on the Executive Floor: Time Bombs with a TieBy Heiner Thorborg

  • Lack of young executives: Those who still want to be bosses in GermanyBy Janne Knödler and Timm Seckel

  • Discrimination at work: Come here, dude! A guest post by Heiner Thorborg

In short: Managers who don't know how to behave towards their subordinates should be avoided like the plague.

The only problem is: How do you identify a Janus face?

Because in conversations with HR managers, representatives of nomination committees or consultants, such applicants show their amiable face.

So you have to ask receptionists and assistants: Was this applicant nice and polite?

If such a person is to play an important role, you should take them out to dinner and observe how they behave towards doormen, taxi drivers and waitresses.

If none of that works – many application processes have also been moved online during the Covid times – it means not only studying the CV, but also checking references.

It is best not only to ask a person's former superiors for their assessment of the applicant, but also to ask people who have reported to this person.

And then listen to the nuances.

Polite people will not tell a stranger on the phone or in a video conference that the former boss has two faces - but they will usually signal that leadership is perhaps not the great strength of the manager in question.

Take action, and fast!

Anyone who already has such a Janus face on board will soon notice it - if they are sensitive to it.

Such an employee likes to explain to his boss in detail how great he is and how subordinate his own team is.

In principle, such a person alone has ideas, but only others have caused problems.

There will also be a hail of layoffs and requests for transfers in the immediate vicinity.

A good boss invites such employees to an interview in order to have the reasons for the uncertainty described.

360-degree surveys are also recommended.

Here the discrepancy should catch the eye when a manager is rated significantly better by their bosses than by their subordinates.

Then it's time to follow up.

Preferably before the first complaints come from customers: because a separation is usually cheaper than a dirty culture, employees with thoughts of leaving and angry customers.

Janus is not only the god of beginnings, but also of the end.

So: draw the line!

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-09-27

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