Crazy Bosses: Fully Revised and Updated
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Since the latter part of the century just past, Stanley Bing has been exploring the relationship between authority and madness. In one bestselling book after another, reporting from his hot-seat as an insider in a world-renowned multinational corporation, he has tried to understand the inner workings of those who lead us and to inquire why they seem to be powered, much of the time, by demons that make them obnoxious and dangerous, even to themselves.
In What Would Machiavelli Do?, Bing looked at the issue of why mean people do better than nice people, and found that in their particular form of insanity lay incredible power. In Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up, he offered a spiritual path toward managing the unruly executive beast. And in Sun Tzu Was a Sissy, he taught us how to become one of them, and wage war on the playing field that ends in a dream home in Cabo. Now he returns to his roots to offer the last word on the entity that shapes our lives and stomps through—and on—our dreams: The Crazy Boss.
Students of Bing—and there are many, secreted inside tortured organizations, yearning for blunt instruments with which to fight—will note that he has walked this ground before, looking for answers. In 1992, he published the first edition of Crazy Bosses, which was fine, as far as it went. Now, some 15 years and several dozen insane bosses later, he has updated and rethought much of the work. Back in the last century, Bing was a small, trembling creature, looking up at those who made his life miserable and analyzing the mental illness that gave them their power. Today, while still trembling much of the time, he is in fact one of those people his prior work has warned us against. His own hard-won wisdom and now institutionalized dementia make this new edition completely fresh and indispensable to anyone who works for somebody else or lives with somebody else, or would like to.
In short, Bing is back on his home turf in this funny, true, and essential book, peering with his keen and frosty eye at the crazy boss in all his guises: the Bully, the Paranoid, the Narcissist, the Wimp, and the self-destructive Disaster Hunter. If you loved the original, classic Crazy Bosses, you'll be thrilled to plunge back into the new, refurbished pool. If you are new to the book, strap yourself in: it's going to be a crazy ride.
filled with the impressive variety of sick senior officers. Examples: Joseph Stalin, Barry Diller. Major General Amin would boast of being a “reluctant” cannibal—human flesh, he said, was too salty. Obit, London Times June 27, 2003 I begin with the bully not because he is special—but because he is common, ubiquitous throughout all organizations large and small, private and public sector, domestic and international, successful and unsuccessful, found in every ethnic persuasion and
happen, I’m sure. Suddenly, a former captain of the cosmos is fearful, anxious, suspicious of all around him, particularly those closest to him, who, he now believes, are out to get him. Cut off, incapable of analyzing situations and formulating strategies, the paranoid is, more than any other form of crazy boss, infinitely weakened by his condition. That’s the good news. On the other hand, he’s also very dangerous, likely to blow away a mosquito on his windshield with a howitzer. Here’s a good
of it, saying what you really think isn’t valued in any polite society I can think of. What you have to do is what great criminals do, which is mask their emotions and make as if you’re not committing the act even as you’re doing it. You do it, but you don’t. The obvious suck-ups are guys whose actions are charged with desperation. Desperation is what rears its ugly head, and when you see that, that’s what nobody likes. That’s what everybody means when they say they don’t like it. You have to
Modest at the moment, but value accrues over time, compounded daily. Don’t get cocky. Just because the guy is a preening rooster don’t get lulled into the idea that he’s benign. When cornered or threatened, the narcissist is as nasty as a rabid ferret. Keep in mind, too, that he has no conscience. He’ll do anything in the belief that it’s right simply because it’s he who is doing it. Essential, and in line with narcissist Principle #1: don’t upset the big baby. Build his insecurities.
you think about it, I’m sure you can already come up with several odious characters who used to bother you and whom you have now outlived. That’s a good trend. Keep it up. Work hard, keep your wits and your feelings about you, and never despair. Crazy people win the battles. The war is often won by the good guys. Things You Can Do About… the Disaster Hunter * * * ACTION RATIONALE EFFECTIVENESS Get tough. We’re gonna be mean here. The disaster hunter is the crazy boss on his last