What’s Pushed Out the Door Will Come Back Through the Window

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries


Cyril was the vice president of a large retail operation that had been started by a strong-headed entrepreneur. Unfortunately, the relationship between Cyril and the founder was very turbulent, due to Cyril’s allergic reactions to his boss’s autocratic leadership style. Cyril found it hard to stand up to bullies – his father had been one. His boss’s statement, “I don’t have ulcers, I give ulcers,” was too close to home. Cyril always made a superhuman effort not to lose his cool with his boss but far too often he would come home fuming after another of their difficult encounters. He would pour himself a drink to relax. The problem was that Cyril was not very good at holding his liquor. Pleasant as he was under normal circumstances, under the influence he turned into a mean-spirited drunk. On a number of occasions he had aggressively acted out, assaulting others, and even destroying property. His wife and children remembered vividly one occasion when he had kicked in the door in their house. The next day he acted as if nothing had happened, a typical feature of one of his drinking spells. When confronted with his behavior, he defence would be, “I don’t remember.” It was as though Cyril preferred to act out rather than work through what troubled him. Instead of saying, “I’m angry with you,” he would throw a book at someone, or punch a hole in the wall.

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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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