Chapter 7. Affirming Employees: To Us from Them

Use whatever words you choose—ambition, ego, showing-off, or status seeking—the fact is that bosses' we-boosting is the result of human inclinations from which no one is totally immune and, in organizations, boss misbehavior stemming from we-boosting is capable of derailing success. That is the bad news. The good news is that organizations can stop enabling these misbehaviors. Something can be done.

“Work-Out,” a concept so valuable that GE has trademarked the term itself, illustrates one solution. “Work-Outs, begun in 1989, are meetings that can be called by anybody to address any problem … with no boss in the room.” Once a plan to solve the problem has been developed, bosses are obliged to respond ...

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