David Navarro López

vor 6 Jahren · 2 min. Lesezeit · ~10 ·

Blog den David
Sacred Cows: The CEO’s Bullies

Sacred Cows: The CEO’s Bullies

01e38772.jpgThe term of Sacred Cow is used in business to define a very particular kind of worker or partner which every CEO should be aware not to have on his/her organisation. Their behaviour uses to be above any rule no matter (and specifically) if it comes from the management.

How to identify them?

-Due to their experience at the company, their “outside connections”, or their skills, they use to appear “Irreplaceable”.

-They will do anything to keep their status at all cost.

-Absolutists: Their opinion is something not to be questioned or challenged

-Disrespectful and contemptuous with the rest of the company.

-Use the company as their personal toy or tool for their own purposes, not taking in consideration the company’s targets.

ff5b75a8.jpgNegative influence

Despite the key things they could bring the company, which may appear as irreplaceable, they hinder other colleagues to bring new ideas or proposals that are in line with the company purposes, sometimes simply because the initiative did not come from them.

Due to it, new talents are not going to last long, and sacred cows will form around them a cohort of acolytes which the only target will be not to enter in conflict with the sacred cow, ensuring their own survival above the company’s interest.

The longer the sacred cow will be allowed to maintain its status, the bigger this cohort will be.

The sacred cow’s acolytes use to be much more negative and vicious that the sacred cow itself, as their only merit is to applaud the sacred cow, while not being able to at least, bring the company the skills set the sacred cow has.

c8b8ef50.jpgDo or Die.

Above all, the situation has to be seen as what it really is

Like the gangrene, getting rid of a sacred cow in the company is a matter of survival.

If you cut the rotten member, you might die or not.

If you don’t do it, is a matter of time you will.

So the sooner the better.

How to do it is a real challenge for the CEO, and most of times how to do it is impossible to be seen at first sight; obviously, the sacred cow’s only purpose is to blur any possible exit of the situation, and to get rid without compassion of any possible substitute who could challenge it.

In any case, there is no easy or kind way to get rid of the situation.

The CEO needs to evaluate if it is better a strategy of “bread for today, and hunger for tomorrow”, or taking the risk of starving today, and providing bread for tomorrow.


Jan 🐝 Barbosa

vor 6 Jahren #10

Seen so many lately.. think they multiply faster than the FLU virus !!!

David Navarro López

vor 6 Jahren #9

Like stagnant waters, it is a shame that the talent shown in the past by SC did not evolve at the same rhythm as companies do. They stand on what they are/were good at, and sniff at new things. A real waste.

David Navarro López

vor 6 Jahren #8

Exactly . This is why the SC will always try to put under their thumb new people who can challenge them, as they sometimes know that they "sacredness" will end at the very moment they need to move to another job. With the current trend of companies purchasing one to each other, sometimes happens that the new owner of a company is forced to implement a whole team, SC included. They use to make strong bindings with their acolytes, so when a CEO needs to accept them also in order to get a nice-working-team, he/she might "import" old and rotten practices too. Not easy to get rid of them and their "smell".

Ali Anani

vor 6 Jahren #7

This is a wonderful buzz. I enjoyed this part greatly "Despite the key things they could bring the company, which may appear as irreplaceable, they hinder other colleagues to bring new ideas or proposals that are in line with the company purposes, sometimes simply because the initiative did not come from them". Worse, these managers rob employees' ideas and claim them. I experienced this when I was a fresh graduate. I wrote a research paper using a novel idea and guess what? The manager added his name before mine to the paper and dispatched it for refereeing without telling me!. Upon receiving the daft I found that his name was added as the main author. I deleted his name and this time I sent the paper for final approval. The paper was given priority and was published ahead of its order. When the manager complained to the DG I asked him to request my manager to tell how how this idea was originated and what experiments led to the final results? I am saying this because thieves can't be managers.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

vor 6 Jahren #6

Ah, how greediness sometimes disfigures human personality and degrades soul to sense the beauty of simplicity and sensibility!

David Navarro López

vor 6 Jahren #5

Exactly. One way or another is going to end. Luckily for me, until now I could "swing" this kind of issues and did not get caught in the "middle of any war", but it is really sad to see many talented people who could bring high value being forced to leave those companies in the mean time.

David Navarro López

vor 6 Jahren #4

I agree entirely with you. As usual, I like to write about things I have encountered and experienced personally. Sacred cows are more likely to be found than one can think, and the bad they do to the company most of the times is bigger than the cost of getting rid of them.

David Navarro López

vor 6 Jahren #3

It might be they act like this because of being scared, but in business life, I have found this situation more than once, and in no case, the inception was due to fear. In most cases, they achieved this strong position due to an initial well-deserved trust of the management, by having outstanding results or by having skills which others could not have at the time. After that, they converted it to their own profit, feeling "being more boss than the real boss".

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

vor 6 Jahren #2

I can relate.thanks

Ali Anani

vor 6 Jahren #1

David Navarro L\u00f3pez- great insights and I am amazed by this term Sacred Cow for two reasons" 1- Sacred employees shall not behave the way they do if they were truly sacred, and I find it a better way to described sacred cows by Scared Cows. Just by shifting the position of a in scared to read scared. I believe they do what they do because they are scared to lose their status. They have concern for their status and nothing else.

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