We’ve hired someone! They are going to be amazing! Do a press release, whack them in the newspaper, get all the journalists fired up about this appointment …

…. then weeks, months or even years later (if you’re really unlucky) they are ‘let go.’

…and their exit isn’t met with as much fanfare as their entrance.

People forget, move on but how much damage do those left in the business have to undo to get on with business as usual?

Have you watched Band of Brothers? The premise of the show tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Based on interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, this 10-part series chronicles the experiences of these young men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear during WW2.

One of the episodes focuses on the effect a poor leader has on the morale of this kick-ass fighting unit.

The chap in question is 1st Lieutenant Norman S. Dike Jr. H and he fails to:

  • integrate with his men
  • demonstrate leadership
  • offer support
  • listen

He is asked to then lead ‘his troops’ into battle, on a public stage for the whole unit to see and he fails spectacularly. He demonstrates:

  • the inability to make a decision
  • weakness under pressure
  • deliver results that you’d expect of someone of his rank

Men start to die. Major Winters sees this and is enraged and wants to leap in and save his men but Colonel Sink orders him back. Winters shouts for Spiers, and this guy runs in and:

  • says he’s taking over
  • communicates clearly
  • leads from the front
  • the team follows
  • secures a win

Here’s an 8 min clip below – scroll to about 2 mins.

I’m paraphrasing but this similar type of scenario (without the killing!) has just occurred in another company. The pain, anguish and sheer annoyance across the faces of my friends as they were left with the destructive aftermath was plain to see as we met for drinks last week.

What I’d like to know is, where do all the ‘Norman S. Dike’ types end up?

More importantly where the hell do they come from?