Making A Quantum Leap in Your Job or Business
If You’re Not Enjoying Yourself You’re Doing It Wrong ~ Fran Tarkington
Many will be familiar with the type of manager who rules by intimidation and control, they have been the subject of many industrial tribunals and caused untold psychological and financial damage to companies and employees throughout history. On the surface we could demonize their behavior relegating them to the box labeled bully.
However in this article I’m choosing to look a bit deeper to help us all to understand the underlying dynamics of these individuals and to see how we can help them and ourselves to live happier more prosperous lives.
The Undeveloped Manager
I was a salesman working in a major multi-national which had recently changed its entire management team, from the CEO down to the Directors of each major business Unit.
The new head of my particular business unit initially demonstrated a style that was open and friendly, but that soon changed into intimidation and threat. Life became difficult for all that worked for him, some including myself even reported him to Human Resources, which did help him to repress some of his poor management habits.
The Need for Control
Most human beings need some sense of control in their lives in order to feel happy. However this sense of control can sometimes get out of balance to the point where they become obsessive about controlling almost everything. When this happens it is likely that a few other conditions may be prevalent. Others will be treated as if they are simply extensions of the controlling individual, who will want to make all the decisions, and will micromanage all around them. Respect and self worth will be low, team morale will be low, people won’t feel empowered to make decisions, and creativity will be virtually nonexistent. In other words this organisation or team will not be performing well.
Lessons From The Military
I attended nine weeks of military boot camp when I was 18. The troop was commanded by a first class petty officer fresh from the fleet, who had risen quickly through the ranks. He was a hard taskmaster and as the weeks progressed morale declined. By the end of week five we were rated as the poorest performing troop out of a group of five.
The decision was made to remove the troop leader and install a Chief Petty officer to guide the 50 souls throughout the rest of their training. I remember he was a gentle slow talking soul who led by demonstrating. The first thing he did was demonstrate that at over twice our age he could do more pushups and even do them with one arm. Through his gentle style and what seemed to be innate wisdom, he helped us to improve to the point where we became the highest performing troops to ever graduate.
So here we have the same young men under a different leader and dramatically different results. While we could attribute this to the Chiefs skills, let me tell you another story.
Lessons From My Clients
I remember coaching an individual who had usually been a top performer at all of his previous companies, he was now working for a manager that he disliked. When we began working together, he had gotten to the point where he was ready to resign his position. I asked him to not make any major decisions for a week or two.
I explained that the brain has up to 70,000 thoughts a day and that sometimes we get fixated on a particular thing. This fixation causes a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) to draw our attention to activity in our lives that we think is important to us. It’s a bit like if we think someone is incompetent we will primarily be focused on their incompetent activities.
As this fixation continues the thoughts cause emotions that we eventually feel in our bodies. This emotion makes everything seem even more real and important to us, acting like fuel on a fire. This emotional state clouds our happiness, and blocks creativity it also causes us to make poor decisions.
This individual was focusing on the behavior of his manager and providing ample evidence to fuel his own anger. When he began to see how he was unconsciously looking for things to make himself upset. He stopped doing it. He immediately began to feel better. He decided to stay and achieved 200% of his quota for that year with a committed pipeline of over 200% for the following year. What is also important to note is that he had suffered with hypertension for over seven years. After three months of coaching, he got his blood pressure checked, and it had returned to normal and healthy.
The Power of Thought
Human beings are thinking all the time. We then make up meaning from that thinking based on our past experience, we then create emotions within ourselves, and then act on those emotions. When we obsess on a thought our synapses in our brains form strong bonds that then form a habit. The thing is if our meanings, or beliefs are in error then the emotions and actions may be in error.
This is where some executives often get stuck. The thinking, habits ad emotions that got them to one level aren’t what is needed to take them through the glass ceiling. To be able to make better decisions that effect a larger part of the organisation a different way of thinking is required
We could spend years going through therapy, shout affirmations, read thousands of self-help books and attend dozens of seminars. Or we could simply realise that we place far too much importance on our thinking, and beliefs. It’s realising that all of our thinking, beliefs, emotions, habits, history etc are acting as a block to better thinking.
The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes ~
When we can see a problem anew then our thinking changes dramatically. When we recognise that fixating or stressing about anything is actually counter productive then we firstly begin to feel better.
As we remain in this space we find that there is a deeper wisdom within each of us. The wisdom demonstrated by the Chief Petty officer during my boot camp days, or by the salesman who had been struggling and then realised that he was really principally struggling with himself.
When we find this deeper wisdom we find that we not only become happier and healthier. We also find that we become more creative which can lead to increased prosperity.
In the corporate world I have seen mid sized companies increase revenue by as much as 60% in three months and larger companies go from revenues of $250M to $2B in ten years. I have also seen difficult managers and employees make major shifts in their business and personal lives.
The bully or poor manager is simply stuck in some poor thinking habits that can quickly be changed.
Yes we want to achieve our goals, we have outcomes that we have promised to, our selves, our families, Sales Directors, Vice presidents, CEO’s, the Board and to Stock Holders. But if we can also see that life is a bit like navigating a ship, we may have a destination, but currents, wind, storms and problems are just a part of the journey, the growth and the fun.
Life becomes different when we recognize that we all have all the wisdom and creativity that we need in the moment to deal with whatever may come our way.
If you enjoyed this subscribe to The Inspired Man´s newsletter for the best ideas on creating greater health, confidence and success in all areas of your life