CFO loses cool, seizes baseball bat in board meeting
In odd news this morning, the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting a bizarre incident that took place between a company's Chief Financial Officer and the CEO and Board of Directors.
Mark E. Oleksik, the 59-year-old CFO of global investment firm Talos Partners was apparently not getting along with his bosses. At a board meeting, he became so angry with the CEO that he stormed out of the room. Bad career move.
Worse career move: he soon marched back in brandishing a baseball bat and yelling, "you wanna talk, let’s talk!" Despite being repeatedly asked to put down the bat, Oleksik allegedly refused.
He has since been charged with "threatening or using a dangerous weapon in a fight" and appeared in court yesterday. While the Tribune doesn't elaborate on the fate of the man's career with Talos Partners, I think it's safe to assume that if he is still the CFO, he won't be for long.
I've witnessed one actual fight and quite a few heated arguments over the course of my career, but nothing involving baseball bats, and nothing involving C-level executives. Usually you develop more business acumen before rising to that rank.
Here are some tips on how to deal with anger at work:
- Remember that it's just work after all. When you find yourself getting angry on the job, think of the big picture. Things may seem important in the heat of the moment, but they're rarely personal. It's just business, and people are going to disagree about strategy. Remember that at the end of the day you're all on the same team.
- Never, ever make a decision when angry. If you're upset, lashing out or fighting back can seem like the most rewarding thing to do. I promise you that you will regret it if you do. If you're upset, take a break. Go for a walk. Think about your life outside of work.
- Never, ever (part II) send an email when angry. You might think you've brilliantly argued your points and put down your opposition, but you probably haven't. You've more likely typed up a rant that makes you feel better in the moment, but it will be out there, on the record from that point on. If you must write something, type it as a document (not an email where you can accidentally hit 'send') and reread it later once things have cooled down.
Arguments are going to get heated occasionally and people will sometimes get angry. When this happens, admit it and de-escalate the situation. Try saying something like: "This discussion is getting quite intense. Why don't we step back, email each other our key points, and meet up again when we've had some time to review them." Then use that space to make a genuine effort to see both sides of the argument.
Winning or losing a debate (both are going to happen) is far less important to your career than being seen as a smart, professional team player rather than an angry, blustering hothead. And never, ever (part III) reach for a baseball bat.
How about you? Have you ever seen someone lose it at work? Please, share your stories with us.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune
Category: Life @ work, Latest news & advice