When elephants fight, who suffers?

September 27, 2011

When owners and executives fight like elephants for control and competing mental models of what is “right,” their blood pressure rises and they get so consumed with their personal and/or political conflict that they lose sight of collateral damage. They stomp and charge because it feels like they’re fighting for their lives and the life of the organization.

Meanwhile, it’s the grass that gets trampled. Coworkers and customers, in other words–if they happen to be in the way.

When elephants fight, coworkers and customers watching are left awestruck and anxious. They may even be drawn into the fight. As a result, the effects can be long-lasting.

When you feel your blood pressure rise and a fight brewing, close your door or leave the premises. Protect your coworkers and customers. The fight might be inevitable, but the collateral damage isn’t.

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