How Not to Pick a President
Its amazing the adverse changes that have been introduced at Priority One Credit Union by Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. since his appointment to President on January 1, 2007.
The decision by the Board of Directors of Priority One to appoint him President followed several interviews of people who applied for the position. Usually, any credit union Board will select the person who is most qualified to lead the credit union. Not so at Priority One where three Directors- O. Glen Saffold, Thomas Gathers, and Janice Irving declared they chose Charles R. Wiggington, Sr because what Priority One most needed was a "Black President." We would have thought that competency trumps skin color but apparently not.
Interviews of potential candidates were conducted by Boar Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks. The Board Chair made sure to exclude of all participation by William E. Harris, President Wiggington's predecessor. Mrs. Harris-Brooks does not possess the knowledge about the credit union's financials to qualify her to interview any candidate seeking to be appointed President of any credit union. She and the other Directors still rely on the President to interpret information contained in the credit union's financial reports.
In 2008, the President was accused of having sexually harassed a former employee of the Loan Department. An investigator from EXTTI, Inc. gathering sufficient evidence proving the President sexually harassed the former employee but Mrs. Harris-Brooks who is obsessed with controlling others, concluded that though the President had made several inappropriate sexualized statements to the former employee and even touched her inappropriately in the presence of other employees, the Board Chair declared he was innocent because in her opinion and according to her understanding of the law prohibiting sexual harassment, the President had not actually violated federal law.
In 2006, the Board of Directors under leadership of Diedra Harris-Brooks, chose Charles R. Wiggington., Sr. as the new President and CEO to succeed William E. Harris who was scheduled to retire effective December 31, 2006. Some of the reasons why he was selected above other, more qualified candidates were:
- According to Diedra Harris-Brooks, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. was selected, because of his previous 16-years of experience in the non-credit union banking industry. Mrs. Harris-Brooks evidently ignored the fact that Mr. Wiggington had not been employed by banking industry for more that 14-years.
- According to Director, Thomas Gathers, he voted for Mr. Wiggington because he earned a B.A. while attending California State University in Northridge, California. Did Mr. Gathers fail to realize that the B.A. was in Afro-American studies and not related to a study of either banking for business?
- According to Directors, O. Glen Saffold, Thomas Gathers and Janice Irving, they selected Mr. Wiggington because what Priority One Credit Union "needs is a Black President."
None of the Directors ever referred to competency or experience as a reason for selecting Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. as successor to Mr. Harris. Prior to his appointment to President, Mr. Wiggington served as Vice President of Operations. His performance during his 14-
years of Vice President was lackluster and he had established a well-earned reputation for begin lazy and overly talkative. When Mr. Harris announced he would be retiring, Mr. Wiggington launched an aggressive campaign, pandering to the Board and all too easily convincing them that he was the right person to serve as President but the fact is, he wasn't and time would prove this to be true.
The President has proven to be immensely inept lacking the ability to develop effective strategies that reap real results. What's more, his decision-making is dictated by his emotional state. He is egocentric in all that he does opting for what is beneficial to him, personally, over the potential benefit his decisions could have upon members and employees. Clearly, the credit union takes a back seat to his wants.
Unlike his predecessor who maintained an open door policy which invited members and employees alike to call or write to him, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. maintains a close-door policy and never responds to member or employee concerns. Mr. Harris was known to respond to all inquiries within 24-hours while Mr. Wiggington chooses never to respond, often delegating inquiries directed to him, to subordinate staff members.
President Wiggington has proven to be undisciplined and vulgar. Prior to a 2008 investigation that proved he sexually harassed a former employee, the President would indulge on a daily basis bragging about his allegedly superior intellect, his fleet of used BMW's, and talking unendingly about his sexual escapades with women who are not his wife. He never grasped the inappropriateness of his conversations.
Coupling his many social issues is his limited vocabulary. He often resorts to using slang and street vernacular during business meetings. He mispronounces words and fails to project the education and decorum that might be associated with a President. All we can say is, good choice Board, you picked a winner.
Since his appointment, President Wiggington's most notable success has been estranging himself from his staff who he may have forgotten, are the credit union's workforce.
Amongst staff, he is described as untrustworthy, jealous, vindictive, and vulgar. He in turn has often verbalized to his managers that there is a group of unnamed employees within the main office in South Pasadena, California who are "out to get me." His reasoning, that this apparently invisible group of rebels is driven by jealousy because he was appointed President by the Board. Apparently, the President is quite incapable of understanding that if such a group really exists (and it doesn't), undermining the President also undermines the business which would potentially injure the employment of every employee.
So what the President hopes to convince other of is that there are rebels who are seeking to topple him which is self-sabotage. Does this sound reasonable or even remotely sane?
Furthermore, his statements are disparaging his staff and contributing to the growing chasm which is creating a rift between management and staff. We recently found the following paragraph, describing the character of "bosses" who exhibit psychopathic tendencies. The excerpt is written by John Lenarcic, a business technology academic:
“The corporate psychopath exerts a veneer of charm but inwardly has no feelings. By e-mail, instant messaging and mobile phone they can distance themselves from staff while exerting control and avoiding face-to-face contact.”