Thursday, March 15, 2012


If there's one thing that characterizes the modern corporation--more than greed, more than "next-quarter-ness," more than self-centered-ness, it is fear.

We are meant to live in fear.

Fear of our next meeting.

Fear of coming up short.

Fear of disagreement.

Fear of speaking your mind.

Fear of having a mind.

Every 30 minutes or so, a chime sounds and another meeting convenes.

Are you prepared?

Will there be conflict?

What if they hate it?

Every 30 minutes, another spasm of fear.

Fear is the lifeblood of our corporate state.

Fear that you'll be tossed out on your ear.

Fear of competition.

Fear over a host of vagaries that can't be controlled.

Agencies often, sadly, destructively, buy into fear cultures.

They become, accordingly, small, nasty, brutish places
that place ass-kissery uber alles.


Kirkistan said...

How do you cope with the fear? To say you just "don't care" doesn't quite fit--because you do. Everyone does.

anne said...

I think more and better work could be done by agencies if they realized that the clients are fearful, too. Afraid of not knowing the jargon, or comprehending the densely-packed agency .ppt or being too old or too young. Afraid of losing a job and then what happens to the private school and the mortgage? Isn't it awful? Everybody's afraid. I say we should all call B.S. on smart-asses and wiseguys. Maybe the best way to cope with fear, inside and outside the agency, is empathy.

Tore Claesson said...

There's a misconception that people in fear will deliver more and better Not true.The reality is that there will be more double guessing and less of original thought.That has to do with the fact that we're not all very strong and confident. Most of us need support to do well. Like children we need to feel loved and appreciated. Thus we grow. Not all of us a leaders even though we may be great talents at writing, designing, etc. In an unsupportive environment that kind of talent shrink. In an supportive one it blooms. If we make people feel insecure they can't deliver. Even fantastic sports people, who you'd think just has to run or hit a ball or score need a lot of confident to deliver their best. A good leader, a good agency, make people feel valuable, not easily replaceable. They know howe to get the best out of people. Not the worst. Fear is all too often destructive. Not all thrive on fear. The fear to fail is within us all anyway. Plus those of us who really do want to succeed don't slack because we're not whipped by others. We whip ourselves. But we need a medal now and then. We can't give oit to ourselves. That comes form recognition. From the people around us. The leaders. The leader's faith in us. I've been leading creative teams for years. I've seen how I did not succeed when I was stupid and made people fear me. But when people trusted me they opened up. To be creative is to be open. To make people feel okay about being open and make mistakes is not the same as being undemanding. People with ambition are always very demanding on themselves. Don't make them feel insecure about it.

Guy said...

@Kirkistan The only way to escape an ambush is to run head-first into it and attack it.

Anonymous said...

Meetings are the mind-killer.

Meetings are the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my meeting.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the meeting has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.