a/the fish stinks from the head down

a/the fish stinks from the head down

proverb Trouble or failure in an organization can be traced back to its leader(s). The board has to get rid of the CEO for the good of the company. I mean, the fish obviously stinks from the head down. A: "I just found out that my boss got caught embezzling." B: "Huh. I guess the fish stinks from the head down." Of course the department is in total disarray—their new manager is completely incompetent, and a fish stinks from the head down.
See also: down, fish, head, stink
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