Crazy Bosses: A new beginning

May 16, 2007, 1:57 PM UTC
Fortune

Today we begin a new discussion.

For several weeks, we have been conversing about Bulls**t. It’s a rich subject. Loamy. Fragrant. That discourse will continue on the home page.

Now it’s time to extend the conversation. Attending the publication of my new hardcover book, we will begin an online meeting about the subject that occupies fully 2/3 of any brain that works in an organizational setting: the Crazy Boss. If you look around this destination, you will encounter many opportunities to read about, think about, and speak to me about this, one of the central subjects in any business ca
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reer. Please do so. I direct your attention particularly to the Gallery of Crazy Bosses that’s popping up today on the home page.

Think of the words: Crazy Boss. One of the few phrases that truly need no explanation. What would you do if you worked for any of these famous crazy bosses?

Tiberius Caesar: Sexual pervert. Puling wimp and paranoid. Killed anyone he could get away with. Absolutely no desire to deal with any specific management issues pertaining to the welfare of the empire.

Henry VIII: Every couple of years, he has you kill his wife.

Henry Ford: Hard to manage a corporation when your CEO is in love with Hitler.

Harold Geneen, titanic sculptor of ITT, the first true conglomerate: Greatest pleasure in the world was to call together a bunch of frightened senior managers and torture them in front of each other.

Richard Nixon: Perceived himself to be surrounded by enemies, a self-fulfilling prophesy that he made sure came true.

Bill Clinton: Come on. With all that good stuff going on, you diddle the intern?

George W. Bush: Bully when thwarted. Horrified if forced to listen to any information uncongenial to his plan. Incapable of altering course when developments dictate otherwise.

Your Boss: Bully? Paranoid? Narcissist? Wimp? Hunter of his own disaster? Only you know. Please…

Tell me.