Jim (her boss), Mike (GM), Jack (CFO), and Marv (the Director of Management Development) had a hurry-up meeting. All agreed that Michelle was talented but that her impact on her subordinates was a potential “fatal” flaw.

Jack and Marv were seen as sufficiently remote from the battle, but credible enough to deliver some messages: (1) Everyone wanted her to stay, (2) Nobody’s perfect and that’s okay, (3) She needed to make some transitions and many were willing to help, and (4) Her future was still bright.

After Jim asked Tom to stay away from Michelle for a while, Jack met with her to let her vent. The same themes arose. Performance didn’t matter. The glass ceiling for women. Style shouldn’t matter. Most others were incompetent. Double ...

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