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Packer vs Gyngell: HR best practice tips for when managers act-up

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HC Online | 07 May 2014, 10:45 AM Agree 0
The undignified street brawl between billionaire James Packer and Nine Network boss David Gyngell, which has been splashed across the international media, raises an important question – how does HR handle the internal fallout of badly behaved bosses?
  • Leanne Faraday-Brash | 07 May 2014, 12:52 PM Agree 0
    For executives of this stature, workload and pressure are inevitable and probably welcome. I would wager what fueled this violent and irrational altercation was far more about values, beliefs, blame, shame and the unspoken grief associated with the deterioration of a 35 year relationship than work stress on a Sunday afternoon. There were several "moments of truth" or sliding doors moments, particularly for Mr. Gyngell who admits today to going for James Packer as Packer got out of his car.
    People at this level are used to getting what they want and aren't often truly accountable to anyone. It's true, work stress can account for brain fades but more likely to cause loss of memory,fatigue and drop in productivity. This was a "crime of passion", one of total in the moment reactivity and loss of control. Asking either of them to reduce their workloads or take more holidays would likely have changed nothing.
  • Clara | 08 May 2014, 04:33 PM Agree 0
    At the time we might think 'its worth it and I don't care.' These feelings often fade quickly in the face of the reality check which inevitably comes.
    A public figure might be open to public scrutiny, but really, who are we to judge what happened?
  • Adam | 09 May 2014, 12:33 PM Agree 0
    Yes in answer to the question - I have had to deal with the bad behaviour of a boss.

    In this case, it was him falling asleep during a client meeting. The client actually left the office, closed the door, and simply left the premises; whilst the boss slept on. When he eventally awakened, he was extremely embarassed;so much so that he asked me to make his apologies. The falling asleep didn't seem as bad to me as his inability to ring the client afterwards.
  • Clara | 09 May 2014, 12:56 PM Agree 0
    Adam, that sounds unforgivable and embarrassing Was the boss simply bored? or was he dealing with some major health issue (his or a family member's) or a new baby perhaps? The reason can change the paradigm? (from Steven Covey) Its not always inexcusable? I do agree with you though that he could have phoned the client himself to offer a sincere apology! His reaction speaks more loudly about his character than his falling asleep?
  • Adam | 09 May 2014, 02:05 PM Agree 0
    Clara, none of those reasons applied. He had been out to lunch, including, I suspect, a glass or two of red. And while that may be somewhat understandable, and forgiven; it is really poor form not to make his own apologies.
    Incidently, the client was very gracious about the whole thing.
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