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Berger Blog

Expanding the discussion of Generatonal issues in organizations, Leadership, and Individual & Professional Growth.

Mean Guys Finish First?

Monday, July 11, 2005

This story seems to turn the old saying upside down. I was reading in Reuters today about the latest news of the comings and goings in the C-suite.

The now-former co-President Stephen Crawford, one of Phillip Purcell’s strong supporters during Purcell’s tenure, decided to step aside, leaving with a cool $32 million severance package in his bank account. This comes on the heels of Purcell’s $113 million severance package

All of this money is being handed to a guy and his right-hand man who drove the quality of Morgan Stanley into a downward spiral – both from stock performance and from a management perspective.

Purcell’s leadership – that of fear, intimidation, closed-mindedness, and of surrounding himself with people like Crawford who supported whatever Purcell stated – seems to have served Purcell quite nicely.

So what is the message here? Be a bad, ego-centric leader and you’ll come out ahead? It almost seems that way.

What surprises me is that there are so many leaders in organizations who fit the same mold that Purcell came from and who are making so much money while they’re at it (and after they are forced out!). The logic that I use – that good, engaged, open leaders produce better results over the long term – feels a little bit challenged when I read another story like the Morgan Stanley saga.

Now, the end of this story hasn’t yet been written. One thing that I do know is that another bad leader was, in fact, pushed out, “punished” for his bad leadership style. However, with all of the money now in his coffers, I doubt Mr. Purcell will be looking to change his ways anytime soon. Yet, he is still out of a job, with articles and blogs like this confirming that his way doesn’t work any more.
posted by Michael Berger, 2:53 PM | link | 1 comments |
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