Being at the Top has its Challenges

Three important questions for executives around behaviour.

i) "... Do we just accept that to succeed in business or politics you have to turn off your sensitivity and compassion?..."

Tommy Murphy as quoted by Michael Bailey 2019b

ii) "...can I do this job and still be me?..."

Yancey Strickler 2019

iii) "...What behaviour was deemed as acceptable by those in positions of power, and what was not?..."

Phil Barker 2019

This can be written, or unwritten, ie what is acceptable, or unacceptable, behaviour in an organisation.

For example in some organisations, it is frowned upon

- being a "wimp"

- not standing up for yourself

- not being able to hold your own at the bar

- not being one of the boys and sticking with your group

- not having blind allegiance to your organisation and country

There is much pressure to follow the organisational line, ie

"...rewards, though considerable, were pretty much completely financial. Earning a lot of money might seem like a dream, but all that happens is your lifestyle and spending grows......demanding more and more to sustain itself. Soon holidays and houses and cars and schools are all bought and booked, and there is no way you can step off the corporate treadmill, even if you want to. So you crank it up and start running don't love being in a suit, or fighting pitched battles with other blokes in suits, for 10 hours a day. Men struggle with work/life balance just as much as women. We just don't talk about it because...... men just don't..."

Phil Barker 2019

The challenge is how to break this self-fulfilling, recycling mould vicious cycle?

Factors that contribute to work stress include

- high job demands

- low job control

- work overload or pressure

- lack of control and participation in decision-making

- unclear work roles

- job insecurity

- long working hours

- bullying

- poor communications

- inadequate resources, etc

"...mental health has a massive impact on their family, friends and workmates. It also has a direct impact on the bottomline performance of businesses and the economy more broadly, through absenteeism, reduced productivity and increased cost..."

Phil Barker 2019

In some circles there is a rethink around the toxic, testosterone-fuelled atmosphere of some organisations. The #MeToo movement is part of this rethink.


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