The games people play at work

Sometimes I get surprised about the games some people play at work.

Like using the do or die statement to scare people into action:
"If we do not deliver this product / make this sell / prolong the contract with this customer, our company will go under."

The first time I heard this, I was working very hard at a car manufacturer and I was told that if we would not start production of the new car model on time the whole company could go under. When I told my father, who had worked in the car industry for a long time, he just shrugged and said:
"Oh, this model too?"
Now that I have also worked many, many years in the corporate world I have heard similar statements so often that they have lost their meaning.

I do not believe in fear as a way to motivate persons to do their best. On the contrary.

People who feel good do a better job than people who feel insecure.

But unfortunately there are often insecure people at work, and some of them let their insecurities out on others.
  • They blame others when things do not go as planned. 
  • They yell at them if deadlines are missed. 
  • They make them feel guilty while still pushing them to make more impossible promises.

Again, none of this works.

Or as Anders Haglund at Lifevision wrote on facebook recently:
"There is nothing you can do stressed that you couldn't do better with a calm mind."
I do not participate in the power games at work.
I kind of watch them from the sideline and get surprised by them, but I do not let them get to me.

Instead I do what I can to create an environment where people feel safe and enjoy work.

And let me tell you a secret several managers do not seem to be aware of:
People who feel happy and safe do great work. Unhappy, nervous and scared people do not.

No need to take my word for it though, it is so well explained in this great video with Simon Sinek that I can share with you thanks to a tip from my friend and colleague Oliver.


  1. So very thru and normal common sence or "bondförnuft/sunt förnuft som vi brukar säga".

  2. Så är det i arbetslivet numera. Stress, skäll och hot .

  3. Men det behöver inte vara så. Precis som Olle skriver skulle sunt förnuft räcka mycket långt. Vi får var och en göra det vi kan för att skapa arbetsplatser eller helt enkelt situationer runt omkring oss där vi alla kan känna oss säkra och må bra. Det är då vi alla kan prestera som bäst.:)

  4. Very true! It's nonsense and really outdate trying to make the people do their best in this way, with fear, that destroys amongst many other things all the creativity the people may have to face the challenges in the best possible way!!