#1 - CEO of AOL Fires Man in Front of 1,000 of his Coworkers
When AOL CEO Tim Armstrong crowded into a conference room last August with more than a hundred employees of his news subsidiary Patch (and several hundred more joining the meeting via telephone), people knew that he was going to deliver serious news. Armstrong presented a message of commitment in the face of consolidation, but then sullied his speech by impulsively firing Patch's creative director, Abel Lenz, for taking a photograph. To make matters worse, when Business Insider played the clip for a former AOL employee, he said the speech wasn't even the worst behavior he'd seen from Armstrong.
As a leader, your actions set an emotional tone for your organization. Unfortunately for Armstrong, his rash firing of Lenz completely undermined the commitment he hoped to inspire in Patch employees. As Maya Angelou said, "People will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."