Boss crush refers to the situation when an executive falls for someone, loses all judgment, refuses to listen and ensures that trouble will follow.
The syndrome, which is a major character flaw of some of the world's finest managers.
A version of this was played out recently between David Cameron and Camila Batmanghelidjh. The prime minister developed a crush on the mesmerising, rainbow-turbaned head of Kids Company; large quantities of cash were shovelled into her charity; civil servants asked questions, but nothing happened — until things went so spectacularly wrong the plug had to be pulled.
Like real love, the boss crush is blind. Worse than that, once the boss has publicly singled out the love-object as worthy of promotion, his pride is on the line. The crush object simply has to be good; nothing else will do. All warning signs are ignored, the truth only outs when it is too late. Then the after-effects of the crush are brutal — the former loved one is treated to rage and disdain and usually in the end is fired.
The most troubling thing about this phenomenon is that there isn't an answer. You can't ban executives from crushes any more than you can ban teenagers. All you can do is notice the sorts of people who are prone to them, and be warned.