“Fired?” John Smith, president of DigiCorp, couldn’t believe it (all names have been disguised): he had just come from a meeting with Peter Davis, chairman of the board, who had asked for John’s resignation.

A few days earlier, several members of John’s executive management team had met privately with Davis to air their grievances about John and demand that he be fired. The executives reported that he was unable to create an “effective team atmosphere” for them to work in. Team meetings were unproductive, they said, and led to confusion rather than clarity for team members, in part because consensus about decisions was rarely reached. John imposed top-down decisions when many members of the executive ...

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