Unfortunately, the world of work and capitalism is driven by stressful neurotransmitters such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine.
Founders and Entrepreneurs have to be driven people when it comes to breaking new ground and competing for their place in the world.
Technology and processed foods need to be addictive and give you a ‘RUSH’ otherwise you’d probably get off your phones and go spend more time in nature and eat fresh local produce.
People who’re very competitive rise to the top of the food chain in hierarchical organisations. They get a rush from crushing the competition. Status and power give them that adrenaline and dopamine rush they crave but it triggers the stress hormone cortisol in those around them.
From a leadership perspective, this feels great for the leader but it can mean that an organisation is reliant on the leader to keep driving. After all, if you can get by as an employee doing the bare minimum so as not to irk the mansplaining chump at the top, then why not?
It just isn’t very satisfying to live under the rule of a CAD driven leader, is it?
I sat in a meeting not long ago with one such white male (there were two females in the room). He asked if he could give me some blunt feedback. “Sure” I replied, realising I shouldn’t have taken this meeting whilst recovering from a dose of flu!
As he pontificated the two females were silent. It was obvious he was getting his dose of CAD at my expense as he continued to ‘no-mark’ me.
After he ran out of steam he asked “So why do you want to work with us?” …. By that time, I didn’t.
Normally I’d have asked to give him back some feedback in return, but I was pretty drained by then and I knew it would have fallen on deaf ears.
Why should I compete with his ego to explain why he and his ‘world-class’ organisation suffered from simplistic thinking, He didn’t realise there was a difference between complicated and complex. He is materially successful selling old world ideas and style over substance because he’s great at competing for business.
We’re experiencing stressful times; we don’t need more trauma inducing leadership.
In a world of ambiguous and novel challenges, we need more self-aware, purpose focussed and supportive leaders who are open-minded and willing to learn collaboratively their way forward.
Leaders who don’t need to be rewarded with the rush of cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine at the expense of those around them.
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