A very timely column by Stefan Stern in yesterday’s FT on the Bully-boy school of management. I am sure that he didn’t have Gordon Brown in mind when he wrote it (or did he?).
Organisations are made up mainly of ordinary people and most will contain their share of racists, sociopaths and bullies. That’s life. There may not be much we can do about that. But, if the CEO’s corner office is inhabited by a bully who cannot or will not be faced down, that business has a serious problem, culturally and operationally. And when it all ends in tears, it won’t just be those being shed by the bullied victims.
What is true of business is equally true of politics. And if Nick Clegg’s attack on Brown at PMQs today wasn’t bad enough, then how about Stephen Crabb’s. Lloyd Evans, posting in The Spectator’s Coffee House blog says it all (last sentence)
Only one MP, Stephen Crabb, prodded the PM out of his statesmanlike comfort-zone. Crabb had a carefully worded question about reports of ‘bullying in the senior ranks at Whitehall’, a witty reference to press gossip that the Brown volcano has blown its top several times lately and rained brimstone on junior functionaries. Brown was taken by surprise and pulled a strangely eloquent face – flushed, angry, embarrassed, cornered and cruel all at once. ‘Any complaints are dealt with in the usual manner,’ he said coldly, and thus convicted himself in the minds of the public. Only a true thug would pull such a twisted and heartless expression.
The problem is that Labour tribalism is stopping them facing him down. See Nick Cohen’s piece in this month’s Standpoint, Fear and Filth at Brown’s Number 10.