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Profile of a Dysfunctional CEO by Simon Casey

Profile of a Dysfunctional CEO by Simon Casey

The position of CEO requires an individual that embodies the characteristics of a true leader. Leaders of businesses or companies must continuously aim to motivate and inspire others, demonstrate good values and work ethic, and foster an environment of cohesion and inclusiveness where all workers provide input and collaborate towards common goals.

A competent and effective CEO has the ability to empower employees so that their unique talents and abilities can be utilized and maximized in the workplace. A good CEO can essentially create a dynamic where those around him/her are overall better: In their efforts and in the final product of their work.

When the leader of a business or company is dysfunctional, controlling, and self-serving, the detriments are evident in the work environment as a whole. This type of CEO struggles with an underlying sense of self-doubt and personal insecurity, but maintains a fa├žade of overconfidence and exaggerated self-assurance. The dysfunctional nature of this leader is evidenced in his/her interactions with employees, which are often characterized by criticism, blaming, and accusations. Unlike an effective leader, the dysfunctional leader does not hold the premise that employees are hardworking and want to put forth their best effort, but require guidance and motivation. The dysfunctional CEO holds the assumption that workers are lazy and incompetent and must be monitored closely, critiqued often, and treated sternly. This CEO does not believe in leading by example and feels that the rules apply to employees and everyone else in the organization, but not to him/her.

The dysfunctional leader will not take responsibility for any faults or errors, but will instead project blame onto workers and make excuses for poor productivity by citing issues related to poor employee efforts. He/she will hold unrealistic expectations and does not believe in praising employees for a job well done, making employees feel like they will never be good enough or work hard enough. At their core, the dysfunctional CEO feels incompetent to do the job and to lead others, and more than anything else, fears being exposed for who they really are.


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