A particular purchasing order was not processed by procurement, because information was missing. Every time the person submitting the order corrected it, and every time procurement claimed the necessary information was still missing. The problem continued for weeks, and still the order wasn’t processed. HR got involved, and found out the person from procurement had applied for a role in the other department six months ago, but had been rejected. Nothing could be proven, but it looked like the person from procurement deliberately sabotaged the purchasing order by deleted information from it.
After working with a client for over a decade, a supplier was kicked out of the door. The suppliers’ director learned his account manager had broken off a relationship with a person at the receiving department at the client. This person made sure the supplier was replaced, even though it meant his organization had to go through a series of acceptance tests to be able to change to a new supplier.
An assistant felt her superior treated her too arrogantly. Subsequently, she didn’t pass important information on to him. It made him look stupid and disinterested towards others. Several similar incidents followed, in the end leading to a discontinuation of the manager’s contract.
There are several lessons to be learned. One could say, always treat someone with respect, to ensure this won’t happen. And although that is really good advice anyway, it’s not the main problem in the cases above.
Sometimes, people go after a colleague, or sometimes a whole organization, with a vengeance. They feel wronged, and want to get even. They misuse their power to play out their revenge. Instead of using normal strategies to solve a painful situation, their desire to hurt someone makes them lose sight of the bigger picture. Or worse, they just don’t care about hurting a lot of other people (or a whole organization) in the process.
Such people are poison for any organization. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you shouldn’t meddle in their personal disputes. People who don’t care how much they hurt the organization, and just focus on soothing their own hurt ego, will eventually stop your organization in its tracks. They cause hiccups in processes, radiate negative energy, and cause others to spend a lot of time on repairing or working around the damage they cause. Take your role, protect your organization and people, and show everyone such behavior is not acceptable.