In the Marines, the leaders always eat last and don’t give an order to do so. The leaders feel it’s their privilege to lead their soldiers.
Aesop’s Fable: When a lion stalked 4 ox in a field, they turned tails toward each other and used their horns to fend him off. When they wandered separately to the corner, he picked them off.
In a company, we create a sense of safety by encouraging people to do great things.
To do great things, employees must NOT feel like trying and failing will lead to ridicule or termination because it cost the company some money.
The more we trust the people to the left of us and the people to the right of us, the less time we spend worrying. And we can spend more time thinking about how to do better.
The power of the Spartan army was not the sword, it was the shield. The shield protected the man next to them. Losing the shield was the maximum shame.
When we feel that we are in the circle of safety, we know that our leaders care for us. That they will do all that they can to help us be safe and better. We become members of the group and we will do all that we can to make the group successful. We don’t waste our energy on safety. We can focus on collaboration and progress.
The leaders want to feel safe too. So when their bosses come down on them, we need to feel for them too. Do what we can to protect them. To bring them into the circle of safety.
Research shows: When our bosses completely ignore us, 40% of us actively disengage from our jobs. If our bosses criticize us, 22% actively disengage. Meaning, even if we are criticized, we like our jobs better because someone is at least acknowledging that we exist! If we are frequently recognized and praised, only 1% disengage.
Misery loves company. Companies that love misery suffer the most.
The Whitehall Studies showed that the higher we climb up the ladder, the more stress we feel, the weaker our sense of safety. It’s been called Executive Stress Syndrome.
However, the studies also found that stress is not caused by higher degree of pressure, rank, or expectations. It came from feeling like they didn’t have control. The effort of the job is not what people find stressful, it’s the reward we feel like we get that causes the stress.
The study also showed that executive leaders had lower levels of cortisol than the people under them. Most likely due to the feeling that they have more control over their lives. Which is why the leaders lived longer and had less stress. Showed that lower control positions inside organization had a 4x higher early mortality rate (all had same healthcare).
Earning more money or working your way up the ladder is not the key to stress reduction. Increasing our control over our lives is. Those who feel they have control and are empowered to make decisions without approval suffer less stress. Those who are forced to do as they are told and follow the rules, suffer the most.
Feelings of control and that we can’t do our best work make us feel less safe. Work is our tribe. And if we don’t feel safe in our tribe, we won’t feel happy. However, when we feel safe within our tribe we open up our creative minds to find opportunities to thrive. Empowering us to work better and work harder.
The other crazy point is that it’s contagious outside of work. Another study showed that Children are more impacted by the mood they have when they get home, than parents who work long hours. So parents that come home happy have the chance to be better parents than those who come home miserable – regardless of hours.
When you make happier employees – You Make a Better World.
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