“If You’re Too Weak, You Can Leave!” About Leaderhsip and Performance

Drawing by the Author

Cautious estimates say

that four million Germans are affected by pathological stress, which manifests itself in such unpleasant things as circulatory problems, poor sleep, mind spinning, depression, anxiety, musculoskeletal pain, especially back pain or even complete burnout.

Stress is a truly complex matter

and usually triggered by the emotional, thought and action habits of the individual affected. In general, however, stress-related diseases don’t start with the individual, but rather with the circumstances in his or her environment, especially, of course, in the workplace: work-rich, tense phases without real breaks or unresolved, conflict-ridden conditions that often drag on for long periods of time.

No question

often this happens out of unprofessional gruffness: “If you’re too weak, you can leave.” Mostly, though, this happens because we know next to nothing about social stress dynamics. And out of respect. After all, we don’t want to offend anyone.

Instead of talking openly about good ways

how satisfaction, health and performance can be possible again and for all, the situation is discussed and whispered about — if at all — in small groups. Affected employees may then return to work after a seemingly restful time off.

Drawing by the Author

Although all act with the best of intentions (presumably)

this way a clear and fatal message is sent to the group: “ Everyone is on his own. No one has to hope for support.”

So what to do instead?

It is helpful to take a look at the entire system and, above all, to look specifically at how the management of the company behaves: What guidelines does management set? How are owners and supervisors behaving?

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The task of company, department and team management generally

is to ensure that the company can produce and sell profitably. This means that managers have to provide financially viable budgets and clear, realistic, and thus motivating directional guidelines. And a good performance climate.

In recent decades

good results have been achieved mainly by optimizing as many processes as possible, and mainly by automating them. The remaining non-automated tasks were distributed among as few and highly specialized people as possible.

Drawing by the Author

Insights of this kind

are naturally slow to spread in our highly complex economic-social organisms in which people work today. And so it happens that many managers, teams and also self-optimizers still try to solve current problems with means of the past. Even if that means giving their teams and themselves an impossible mission and overstretching themselves and their environment.

Drawing by the Author

Because, of course, people and teams are most successful

and most efficient when they are physically, psychologically and mentally well. For this, they need a good, healthy performance atmosphere. Individuals cannot create this on their own, however, and certainly not if they feel permanently under pressure and stress.

Drawing by the Author

There is a lot to be said for the fact

that those companies that quickly understand how to rethink their approach to corporate, personal, and community success, collaboration, satisfaction, performance, pressure, and stress, and organize themselves in a way that is less wasteful and more coercive, in other words, better, more focused and — yes — more humane.

So will we get a grip on the general performance crisis and everything will be fine?

I, for one, hope for exactly that: Let’s all get well soon!

About the Author

Photo by Edgar Rodehack

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Edgar Rodehack

Edgar Rodehack

Teamwork enthusiast. Also loves making music, writing and reading. www.rodehack.de www.trellisterium.de/en