A Tale of Two Organizations: Creating Best Places to Work

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries


The CEO of XYZ Corporation was a notorious control freak. Symptomatic of his leadership style were the number of so-called internal consultants he kept on the payroll to keep him informed about goings-on in the organization. Many people in the organization described the work environment as a “Darwinian soup” – meaning everyone was out for him- or herself. Information was power, secrecy was the norm, there was no transparency, and teamwork was non-existent. To add to the company’s paranoid culture, the CEO had demanded that all his top managers should pre-sign resignation letters. He enjoyed the rank-and-yank environment he had created; in fact, his favourite pastime was ranking his subordinates, and woe betide those who found themselves at the bottom of his list. Executives could be fired on the spot for the slightest transgression. At meetings, he frequently subjected his executives to abusive, even profane tirades. During these humiliation sessions, he made it quite clear that all the successes enjoyed by the organization were due to his personal efforts.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.INSEADFontainebleauFrance

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