How too much focus on 'superstar' workers enables harassment

Article here. Jump the paywall by Googling the first paragraph. Excerpt:

'These days, no industry, no workplace, no pocket of American life seems to be immune from the long reach of sexual harassment. From Capitol Hill to Hollywood, higher education to hotel housekeeping, women -- and men -- are coming forward to tell their stories.

But certain industries seem to be popping up with particular frequency: Media. Venture capital and finance. Entertainment. And if there's one thing these industries and others have in common, it's an organizational culture that rewards stars and bestows power not just on the chief executive or president at the top of an official hierarchy, but to those who are star performers on screen, behind the scenes or when it comes to the bottom line.

"I believe industries that have a paradigm of absolute power brokering at the top may be more susceptible to these issues," said Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder of The BoardList, which manages a directory of female board members. "My sense is that industries that have king-making environments can breed this kind of behavior."'

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Yes, agreed. A superior contributor (or one so perceived by himself or others) does not a superior human make, as such. Assholes are uniformly more of a liability than a burden. There is a danger though in going hunting for assholes. The biggest asshole may in fact be the biggest hunter-of-assholes, as assholes tend to view those who disagree with them as assholes. It's possible to have an asshole tasked with hunting down and eradicating assholes.

An Anti-Asshole Office thus isn't a good idea. It's on management to FAIRLY and accurately identify problem assholes and define how their behavior is assholish, then give them one chance to change. Failure is met with termination.

This book discusses the asshole problem: The No Asshole Rule.

I'd consider crybullies to be assholes myself. An asshole at work is anyone who goes around policing others and presuming to stand in judgment of them in any way not directly related to work, or does so without regard to or respect for their humanity. Thus someone like Kirsten Gillibrand would get the toss. She falls into the crybully category of asshole.

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