humiliators are not very great at all. They are elected or
appointed officials who abuse the trust placed in them by the
voters or by the city or county commissions who have allowed
them the privilege of public service. They are the officials
who choose a style of loud and often public attacks that
berate others. This is not the style of a leader in a modern
public administration environment.
The HR Doctor
previously wrote an article entitled Every Manager a
Retention Manager. The objective of the article was to point
out that a critical part of the success of the individuals
charged with an organizations leadership is to behave and
perform in a way which generates the loyalty and support of
others in order to achieve positive results.
are really servant leaders. They know their own success is
very much a factor of the passionate articulation of the
vision and behavior that lead others to enlist in the cause of
making the vision a reality. In a highly competitive
employment environment, one filled with great and growing
liabilities, this means being the kind of boss that an
employee can look up to and wants to follow.
is truly a retention manager if she or he is to be successful.
Keeping great staff members in the organization and wanting to
excel is, if not job one, certainly among the very top
measures for success.
A fine city
manager named John P. Kelly, who practices what he and the HR
Doctor both preach about leadership, wrote to me after reading
my article and offered great insight. He described these
humiliators as people with no real concept of leadership, who
think that berating defenseless staff is a way to prove their
worth. He went on to correctly state that these officials are
in serious need of education, if not also counseling, about
the devastating impact that their public flogging has on any
staff member as well as on the overall morale and
effectiveness of every staff person.
conduct of someone in a leadership position is abusive and
uncivil toward colleagues or members of the public, there is a
great impact on the speed and the quality of the product
delivered by the staff. This has a chilling effect, often not
recognized or appreciated by the humiliators. As John
correctly states, energy is sapped, initiative is stymied and
organizational creativity is retarded.
important points here for consideration by both seasoned
leaders at the height of their careers and new professionals
in the early stages of choosing whether to embark upon a
career in public service or private business. The message is
the same: No manager will be anywhere nearly as successful as
their potential would otherwise allow if they trip over their
own conduct, driven by an overdose of ego.
for the world,
and public service in general, the number of humiliators is
rather small. There is an answer to their infection and to the
harm done when they inflict their instability on others. That
treatment is to have the courage to give the great
humiliators an even greater lesson in humility. Standing up in
private to the people who humiliate others often results in
them leaving the courageous person alone in the future, or at
least targeting another poor soul.
The result of
having the courage to stand up respectfully to the bully can
be a more effective, more innovative and faster-moving public
It can also
allow public employees to have fewer sleepless nights. As the
HR Doctor describes in his book, Dont Walk by Something
Wrong!, it is time for each of the great humiliators to
undergo an ego suction!
The HR Doctor
wishes you all the best.
The HR Doctor www.hrdr.net