Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 07/29/2019
Some people are in a perpetual state of outrage. Their cause or agenda requires shouting and yelling and zero tolerance for any other viewpoint. But when everything is at a high volume, then nothing stands out. It all becomes merely noise. Faced with any kind of resistance, they become instantly ructious.
I’ve always been impressed by the phlegmatic leaders with whom I’ve worked and whom I’ve observed. They never “knee-jerk” and don’t bounce off the walls. People who successfully land crippled planes, or lead troops out of the jaws of defeat, or calmly respond to crises (Johnson & Johnson CEO James E. Burke, during the Tylenol tampering crisis, being the avatar) are quite calm under even intense pressure.
On the road, if you’re calm in an emergency, you don’t make it worse. You know to “steer into” a skid, you don’t recklessly keep turning the wheel. Skiing downhill, if you lose control, you can manage a graceful fall and avoid injury if you don’t panic.
Ongoing outrage is a personality flaw. It leads to precipitous decisions and usually even worse outcomes. And it seldom leads to any kind of compromise, as we can see in both politics and society at the moment.
Stupidity, outrage, vanity, cruelty, iniquity, bad faith, falsehood—we fail to see the whole array when it is facing in the same direction as we. — Jean Rostand
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