The president was one year into his role after taking over for a leader that had been removed. One of the main reasons for the dismissal was the overly oppressive, out-of-control micro management style by which this person lead.
Consider for a moment the potential conditions and results of this kind of style. In this particular situation, it was abundantly clear it had a substantial negative impact to the leadership team and ultimately the entire company.
I heard it once said that managers will either unlock or lock down their team's talent. For sure, this president has his team's talent on lock down, Alcatraz style! They were afraid to speak up, afraid to offer suggestions, afraid to independently problem-solve, afraid to sit in a different place at a meeting (no, I'm not kidding). They were told what to do instead of being asked for ideas and there was plenty of blame to spend around when outcomes were not achieved. This was control on steroids!
It resulted in a supressive leadership culture which generated distrust, resentment, frustration, defaulting to worst intention instead of best intention, back-bitting...you get the picture.
Finally relief came! It came in the form of a leader who was exactly the opposite! You could sit where you wanted in a meeting, lead your departments as you saw fit, ideas were welcomed, collaboration was encouraged, blame was seen as unproductive.
Of course adapting to this new leadership style did not happen over night. It took a while for the team to get use to what this kind of leadership style offered. And this offers an important leadership insight: behavioral conditioning is not automatically undone just because freedom is pronounced.
========================================================================================== The Human Sphere is a business growth consultancy, that partners with senior leadership to bridge the gap between talent, performance and profits.