Personal Conduct

Posted on April 12, 2012.

There was an announcement this week that the CEO of Best Buy had resigned and there was a probe into his “personal conduct”. This was just after the Arkansas football coach was fired for an inappropriate relationship with an employee.

Why are these incidents so prevalent and why aren’t they more of a cautionary tale to all managers?

One of the biggest reasons these managers hit the career wall is that the behaviors that got them into trouble weren’t new. They have most likely been doing the same things their entire management careers. They didn’t start having inappropriate relationships or inappropriate conduct once they got to the top job, they have been doing it all along. What they failed to realize is that all eyes are on the corner office, and it is much harder to get away with lapses of integrity when you are in a high profile position.

Some managers, especially high profile ones, receive so much adulation that they begin to think that they can do no wrong. When whoever manages these people let obvious bad behaviors go unchecked because the manager’s business performance is good, they aren’t helping the company or the manager.

So how can you keep these managers from imploding at the peak of their careers? Unfortunately, you could only help these two if you could roll back the clock and warn, then fire them for exhibiting these behaviors early in their careers. At this point, it is obviously too late.

So what is to be learned from this? As a manager, you are not doing your company or your employees any favors if you turn a blind eye to their bad judgment or lapses of integrity. You may escape a big problem, but you are just passing on the problem to whomever the employee works for next. If you care at all for your employees, do the right thing and confront those behaviors now and you may just save their career.