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My prior company was bought out by another organization, and the acquiring CEO and COO were both much as you describe here. That and other factors made leaving the organization an easy decision to make, and one made without regrets.

Life is too short to work in a toxic environment or in a job you don't like for any longer than is absolutely necessary. I agree that you are very unlikely to be able to change the bully's ways on your own, especially if the bully is at the C-level. Any eventual "crash and burn" due to that individual's behavior is best viewed in the rear view mirror.

Chuck gives us good examples of how toxic management behavior can poison the work environment. Verbal abuse and contemptuous attitudes will diminish or extinguish the desire to contribute. Negative reinforcements can overwhelm the positives you attempt to supply in your total reward system. When that happens, aversive behaviors result: people hide, avoid confrontation, turn off and eventually leave, one way or another.

This is definitely a compensation issue. When you pour money in at one end but allow corrosive management practices to burn holes through the psychological reinforcement pipeline, you have sabotaged your reinforcement system.

Chances are we can all point to someone, or more in our careers who fit the label "bully." Sadly they are usually above our pay grade and we felt helpless under their thumb. These are the folks who never met a manager's self-help book that they couldn't or wouldn't ignore.

I agree with Scott. These folks are best viewed from your rear view mirror.

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