Chapter 5

Case Study: An Unproductive State of Mind

Toxic Leadership and Its Aftermath

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

—Andrew Carnegie

Information technology (IT) is inherently about working social. Our poor results reflect how our weak understanding of the human infrastructure impedes the complex human collaboration that underpins the information economy’s growth and highlights corporate America’s inability to reliably lead large teams of knowledge workers to greatness. Our collective blindness to distinctly human factors like emotion and social intelligence reveals itself in the ongoing struggle between our desires and our outcomes. This current state of corporate IT cries out for a human solution rather than another silver bullet. We must embrace our professionals or continue to accept low returns on human capital.

The machines are human, the primary tools are brains, and the interconnections are emotional bonds that tie the “machines” in the assembly network together. IT performs best when the contributors work in a socially cohesive, nurturing environment. When they don’t, the results are disastrous, as clearly seen in the following case study.

An Unproductive State of Mind
The Study
Socially Toxic Leadership. How a manager’s behavior destroyed a high performing team, more than doubling a ...

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