My intent in catching up on two months of reading (Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Business Week, The New York Times, etc., etc.) was to find answers to the question: “What’s the latest trend in leadership?” But I found nothing except talk of profits, predictions and politics. What I was hoping for were answers on how to make my budget, how to deal with the relentless pressure and how to deal with difficult people. The news of rapid change in the world, the increasingly chaotic normality and the impossibly complex organizational structures is not new. And, while providing context, it doesn’t help me. What should I do?
The demands on our time are so intense, that we literally do not have time to think. And when we do spend time thinking, we sometimes get caught up spinning and re-spinning the same issues in our head into an endless loop that merely exacerbates the problem.
So many times we are so caught up in the moment that we feel, act and react in ways that we later regret. We either fight or flee when faced with the danger of change, chaos, or confusion. That’s because our brains are hard wired to function in response to imminent danger. In the 21st century, we no longer flee from, nor fight saber tooth tigers, but we may be fighting an impossible expectation or an unprofessional colleague. The fight or flight in us does not often reveal our best selves, therefore putting us at that much greater risk for survival in today’s business world. Further, our brains process events based on the values we hold or the memories we have. If our current experience does not jibe with those values or triggers bad memories, our reactions are often inappropriate.