Wednesday Q/A on Personal Leadership

Organizational culture Organizational leadership Personal leadership


To or readers, 

Welcome to our second installment of a Lorne Rubis Q/A series. We’ve accumulated some popular leadership questions, and below are Lorne’s answers to them. We plan to release these every-other Wednesday. We’d like to encourage you to participate, see below on how to contribute! 

  1. Hi Lorne! As most great companies know, we should hire, fire, and live by our corporate values. When faced with a leader, or better yet a CEO, who exudes the notion, and acts on, hiring, firing, and living by short term-outcomes, or short-term profitability takes precedence over all metrics, what do you recommend is a good approach to help such leaders see the values-based approach, and the long-term benefit of such?

“Sometimes these CEOs are most effectively influenced by personally experiencing successful organizations with a long term more purpose/values based strategy at a personal level. This means site visiting these companies, and talking to their leaders/employees so the ‘short term’ leader sees a better path. There are lots of facts that support long term/values-based strategy. However, these people are often less influenced by ‘facts’ than by some emotional epiphany. Surrounding the CEO with other influencers on these site visits often accelerates the mindset change. The tricky thing is to find a way to influence the CEO to seriously make these visits and to find the right companies to connect with. A seasoned outside consultant that has the contacts at the other companies and can facilitate the right debrief is often necessary. Sometimes you just have to hope for a CEO change, and/or leave if the impact of staying in this environment is toxic. Wish I had an easier answer.”

– Lorne

  1. Hi everyone, I would like to ask Lorne what to do or how to proceed when there are bullies in the work environment. What to do when they are peers and what to do when they are bosses?Thank you!!

“This bullying issue is very troubling to me . It seems to be exacerbated by social media, and public leaders that get lots of media for behaving that way do not help.

Bullying and peers: We have to specifically point out the behavior that is troubling to us and insist on hopefully constructive, yet fierce conversation with the person(s) bullying us. If we let it pass and just put up with it, nothing will likely change. The important thing is not to accuse or blame the bully, rather to point out the very specific behavior you are experiencing and the negative impact it is having on you (and others). Ask the other person first what they think you might do differently so they might treat you differently. Hopefully, the other person will join you in moving forward and propose different actions on their part as well. However, do not be surprised if they do not respond as thoughtfully as you might hope. Often it takes time and more than one conversation. Sometimes nothing works, and you have to make a choice: Put up with it or leave .

If the bullying escalates to the point where you feel harassed you may have to get outside help by approaching ideally a very capable HR professional and/or escalate to higher level leaders. I get very frustrated when I hear of bullying. We have a right to work in psychologically safe environments. Wish I could give you a magic wand.

Bullying and bosses: This is often somewhat trickier than peer bullying because depending on the nature of the leader, they can deal with bullying by negatively impacting your career. However, I believe the same constructive confrontive approach needs to be taken with a bullying boss. The one precaution I might take is that you document every detail of the behaviors and summarize any meeting you have on the matter. If you have a trusted and very capable HR professional, you might advise in confidence that you are having a conversation with your boss about the matter (he or she might have some additional insight).”

– Lorne

We hope you enjoyed this Q/A session. We’d like to keep these coming, so if you have any questions, please submit them to, or DM us @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter. We look forward to many more, every other Wednesday.