Center for High Performance
CFHP Center for High Performance
Issue No. 16 May 23, 2012


Often when we read about a failed company or a disastrous business decision, we learn that the executive in charge intimidated into silence those who disagreed with him. Clearly, many organizations tolerate a culture in which senior leaders use the threat of humiliation to silence critics or contrarian voices, an insidious but effective form of bullying. The consequences are significant: employees' voices go unheard and brilliant ideas never see the light of day.

I invite you to read my latest article below, "The High Cost of Executive Bullying," published online in the May issue of Chief Executive magazine, to learn more about this pernicious killer of high performance.

I'm also pleased to announce that our Dubai office is now open. Dr. Andrew Lee, president of CfHP in AMEA, spoke recently with CfHP strategic advisor Sharon McGowan about his approach to high performance. Their conversation is also below.

With kindest regards,

The Sophisticated Bully in Action

Watch a clip from Margin Call

The High Cost of Executive Bullying

Executive bullies don't all have the same personality. The most pernicious type of corporate bully is the one who comes across as polished and sophisticated. Everything about him sends the message that he is the smartest guy in the room — the one who will make the decisions and get the credit. Although he may ask for others' opinions and give lip service to their ideas, it's clear to everyone that it's "my way or the highway."

Read more at Chief Executive Magazine.


A Conversation with Dr. Andrew Lee

Sharon McGowan: What have your first activities been as the new president of CfHP in AMEA?

Andrew Lee: We have begun to explore a number of client projects in Singapore, India, Nigeria and in the UAE with private sector companies across a range of industries, as well as with government agencies that support the growth of entrepreneurship and enterprise in their countries.

SM: What do you see as your target market?

AL: The core market in the Middle East is the traditional oil-based companies, particularly those looking to diversify into new energy sectors, along with finance, real estate and tourism. The Middle East is planning for the time when the oil runs out and is aiming to develop a knowledge-based economy. We'll be helping them move in that direction by facilitating the difficult conversations that could otherwise paralyze their businesses. We'll help them broaden the range of their conversations, which in turn leads to new thinking and new ideas.

Whatever the business, we recognize that an organization can only be as effective as its senior team. We'll work with senior executives to make more proactive, data-driven decisions and ensure the right leadership is in place to develop and carry out high-performance strategies. This is particularly important in a region with such a diversity of cultures, languages and personal backgrounds.

SM: What led you to join CfHP as president for AMEA?

AL: I'm particularly interested in leadership, strategy and organizational culture, and they all come together in CfHP. Having worked with CfHP for 10 years, I know how helpful it can be in getting senior teams to work together, focus their corporate strategies and then execute those strategies through a high-performing organization.

SM: Will you be using CfHP techniques such as surveys on high performance and ADVANCEs™ for the leadership teams?

AL: Absolutely. As part of the CfHP team I will use all of the methods that my colleagues have developed. I'll also look for ways to work with clients that are tailored to the region and our clients' needs. Every business faces its own special challenges, but the core work of leading an organization is essentially the same all over. CfHP's global research has demonstrated that there are three crucial contributors to high performance: valuing people, optimizing critical thinking and seizing opportunities. That holds true whether the organization is in New York or London or Dubai.

For more information, or to discuss working with CfHP in Africa, Middle East and Asia please contact Dr. Andrew Lee at

CFHP Center for High Performance

40 East Chicago Ave, Suite 183 • Chicago, Illinois 60611 • T 312.867.7710 • F 312.276.4256