Beware, wolves in the workplace
Article by: Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger |
An acquaintance who lived for awhile in Finland told me about a much loved dog he once had. He lived in a rural setting and accompanied by his dog he would go for long walks in the forest that surrounded the village where he lived. One day whilst out walking , his dog running ahead as usual , he came into a clearing at the edge of which he could make out two wolves. They were calling to his dog to come and play. The dog ran after them . The wolves took the dog deep into the forest and killed it. This is what wolves are like ,he said.
Wolves don’t just exist in Scandinavian forests they are also be found in the work place.
Wolves are cunning they have a deceitful nature. A wolf can appear like a friendly, trustworthy pet but have the capacity to turn aggressive without warning.
Corporate Wolves are hard to spot and can easily be mistaken for leaders. They are charming, intelligent, determined, bold, assertive, and they dress the part so they appear to be everything we look for in a senior manager or a leader. But with one important difference rather than using these characteristics and abilities to assist the people they work with and take the organisation forward they are only interested in their own advancement. Consequently they have little or no loyalty, and once they feel threatened, vulnerable or slighted they can exact a great deal of harm to an individual or organisation.
Their instincts are to be ruthlessly competitive, frequently resorting to nasty and underhand methods that include intimidation, manipulation and slander of co-workers as well as criticising and insulting people behind their backs. Their victims usually leave the organisation and the wolf continues their climb up the corporate ladder with one less obstacle to their progress.
Best not to employ a wolf in the first place. But how to spot a Wolf they tend to come over very well in interview, supremely confident and able to charm the interview panel. But the right questions might give a clue to their true nature. Ask them about their previous employer and current colleagues. How much do they attribute their achievements to the team? Is there a particular manager who helped them, someone they saw as a role model? Look at their employment history how long do they stay? Better still speak to people they worked with.