The typical organization is a hierarchy of imbalanced power, which makes it a perfect bully factory. Unless the leaders stop it. And most sensible leaders do prevent it because they know that corporate bullying makes your best people disappear.
But what if top leader is the bully? I once joined a company of really nice people, except for the guy at the top. Too late I realized that everyone worked so well together because they had a common enemy – their Great Leader.
This man was rather a short chappie, whereas his executives were less challenged in the height department. So how did he manage to bully bigger bosses? Think Napoleon! He wasn’t strong physically, but he was strong mentally. He understood that emotional and verbal bullying are often more effective.
Yet he did not understand that we lower down saw the hostile work environment as a failure of leadership – his leadership.