The 5 Worst Moods That
Steal Brain Power from Your Company
1. Denial (optimism)
When the market delivers cold, hard facts, are your people able to acknowledge them? Or is it expected that they stay in the bubble and adopt their bosses’ interpretation of events?
When optimism is the expected “standard,’ there’s no place for tenacity.
This is the “Stockdale paradox” made famous by Jim Collins in Good to Great. Admiral Stockdale was tortured for the 9 years he was a POW in Vietnam, but he never lost his resolve to return home. To sustain his will, he simply faced the brutal facts. Those who didn’t survive, he noted, were the optimists. They all died of broken hearts (they avoided the facts and assumed “we’ll be out by Christmas.” After a few years, they would lost hope).
If your company is stuck, ask yourself if your people are facing the facts, or just agreeing that everything will be ok
Whenever there’s an “in crowd,” there’s an entitled attitude. The in-crowd’s attitude is “we’re great but you guys are losers.” Everyone else resents them and seeks to undermine the hot-shots. It doesn’t matter who’s in which camp, your staff become polarized. They don’t they pull together, and the focus of their attention is al waysdiverted from the tasks you paid them to do.
Do your people ever have a “deer-in-the-headlight” glaze? Do ytou have to repeat instructions over and over, as if their ears were coated with teflon? It’s a symptom of emotional disorientation. Your people are struggling with mixed messages, and don’t know how to fit in what you say in the moment with what they had been guessing was expected of them.
If they’re dazed, they’re paralyzed. People may look like they’re busy, but odds are, they’re focusing on the wrong problems and you’ll be excited to see how productive they become once you help them out of their rut.
When people see others take credit for their ideas, or get slammed for sticking their necks out, they guard their ideas and act like 3rd graders, trying to prevent the other kids from copying their work.
This is why silos and private databases start to show up. Information starts to be seen as a personal, not a corporate, asset. Everyone is out for themselves, feathering their own beds.
At the same time, they wonder who will throw them under the bus.
The worst mood of all – its the last step before despair. Ironically, though, it becomes hard to spot if everyone puts on their best game face. That just means they’re looking for new jobs, and want to get the best possible references.If you don’t pull them out of it, your time will soon be dedicated to recruiting and training new staff – without having anyone to show them the ropes