Arrogance of Jian Ghomeshi harmed CBC brand

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      One of the problems with self-centred people is that they cause a great deal of harm to those around them.

      In all the hand wringing over Jian Ghomeshi's conduct, there's plenty of sympathy for lower-ranking employees and interns at the CBC Radio show he used to host.

      However, few are expressing sorrow for his former bosses. Judging from Ghomeshi's statement of claim, they colluded with him for months trying to exercise damage control over an ongoing investigation by the Toronto Star concerning his treatment of some women.

      It's easy for us on the outside to point fingers with a holier-than-thou mindset and say, "Why didn't they stop Ghomeshi much earlier?"

      Based on news coverage, I suspect that Ghomeshi got what he wanted in the workplace by riding roughshod over not only his underlings, but also some CBC managers. 

      Anyone who has tried to supervise someone who's unmanageable knows what I'm talking about. 

      These types can be unstoppable forces of nature—absolutely relentless in trying to get what they want. Sometimes, it's easier for managers to let egomaniacs have their way than face attacks from higher-ranking executives after saying "no" to them.

      When it becomes clear that these types won't bend, the choice can come down to firing them and facing a monumental wrongful-dismissal suit or mitigating their toxic effect by building walls between them and potential victims.

      Keep in mind that these hard-driving personalities are known sometimes to curry favour with the bosses of their boss. In effect, this is an act of checkmate against their supposed direct superior.

      The reality is that Ghomeshi has put some of his former supervisors in a precarious position, notably the executive producer of Q, Arif Noorani, who is taking time off work.

      The CBC's head of public affairs, Chuck Thompson, and the executive director of radio and audio, Chris Boyce, are also in the eye of the hurricane now that Ghomeshi has named them as defendants in his $55-million lawsuit.

      In the meantime, employment lawyer Janice Rubin is conducting an independent investigation at the CBC.

      Sometimes in these situations, there is a finding of wrongdoing, which is followed by resignations or firings to demonstrate that the problem has been addressed.

      It will be interesting to see if there are any management casualties as a result of the Ghomeshi scandal.

      If this happens, they can also be counted among Ghomeshi's victims.

      That's because ultimately, it was Ghomeshi's behaviour that triggered this mess in the first place.

      You never hear tales of local CBC Radio hosts Rick Cluff, Stephen Quinn, or Mark Forsythe acting in this way.

      Ghomeshi has hurt the CBC brand and given the corporation's competitors an opportunity to gleefully bring down the reputation of the public broadcaster.

      For those of us who love the CBC and the superb work of many of its journalists and radio hosts, it's something that's very hard to forgive. 

      Comments

      10 Comments

      Alex

      Nov 5, 2014 at 5:49pm

      I understand where you're coming from with this article, but keep in mind, the bosses are paid handsomely to do this job. Dealing with hard to manage people goes with the territory. If they weren't willing to step up, manage their people, and create a safe work environment, they should be fired. And if the higher up bosses didn't support them in their efforts to get things under control, they should be fired too. CBC isn't a charity, it's a public service. These people wanted the job, they should have done it properly.

      Alex

      Nov 5, 2014 at 6:52pm

      For those of you that disagree with my comment above; if it's not the bosses' job to create and maintain a safe working environment, then whose job is it?

      um

      Nov 5, 2014 at 11:16pm

      CBC is NOT corporation.

      Kara

      Nov 5, 2014 at 11:35pm

      I have no sympathy for the CBC bosses.
      It sounds like they knew about his behaviour all along, brushed it aside because they we're trying to run the business. Not doing what was ethically right. A lot could have been done sooner and wasn't. There's plennnnnty of talented folks out there who could easily replace Jian and that should've been done after the first complaint.

      Deb

      Nov 6, 2014 at 12:42am

      I've run out of sympathy for the "old boy's club" which sadly sometimes ensnares women. Oh wait... I've never had any patience for that. The coddling of Jian is unforgivable - period.

      When is this guy...

      Nov 6, 2014 at 9:06am

      Going to be old news? It's enough.

      ursa minor

      Nov 6, 2014 at 9:37am

      The CBC 'brand' was already damaged by Don Cherry, Rex Murphy, and Kevin O'Leary.

      Factor7

      Nov 6, 2014 at 10:10am

      Hmmmn, seems it was the left wing hypocrites who originally targeted the CBC management for its unfair manhandling of Ghomeshi at the outset of this scandal. Now they didn't do enough quickly enough, whatever...

      Doug Thomsom

      Nov 9, 2014 at 1:51am

      This just illustrates the danger of engendering a cult of personality.