Mordred – the ultimate betrayer – like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Mordred turned people against each other. We were talking about Mordred, betrayal, and Camelot at a meeting tonight of the Silicon Valley Innovative Institute’s Society. During the discussion, I realized that the two people I’ve caused to be fired in all the years of consulting were both Mordred’s. Let me tell you what I mean:If you remember the story of Camelot, you remember that it was Mordred who started the gossip and it was he who told Arthur that Gueneviere and Lancelot were having an affair. They had not yet consummated their love at the time Mordred started the scandal.
The two people I caused to be fired, one a man and the other a woman, were both guilty of convincing others in their organization that they were the people to be trusted, but everyone else was bad.
In the case of the woman, she was the office manager in a sales office of a huge semiconductor company. She convinced each of the women working under her supervision that others disliked them. She had each of them turning against everyone else, but seeking her out as their only ally in the organization. I was brought in to resolve the conflict. I became suspicious when every one I interviewed told me how wonderful the office manager was, and how terrible every one else with whom they worked was. Further questioning revealed that the office manager was the only one going around “bad mouthing” the rest of the staff.
My other case was with a Senior Vice-President in a company who convinced the rest of the executive staff that the CEO was so moody it didn’t pay to go into him with problems, but that they should be brought to Mr. Sr. VP and he would be the go-between. Since I don’t like go-betweens, and I did like the CEO, I became suspicious. Further inquiry revealed a similar story – Mr. Sr. VP was the trouble-maker and betrayer. It was he, not the CEO, who was the problem.
Ugly gossip and betrayals of this nature are not uncommon among people who are really insecure about their abilities and position and have to demean and attempt to destroy others in order to get what they want in the workplace.
They, like the proverbial bad-apple, need to be thrown out, because they tend to spoil everything and everyone aroung them. Beware the betrayer with the smiling face.