Given the extraordinary success of these men, the obvious question is whether being relentlessly hard on people, and even cruel, may get them to perform better.
What seems undeniable is that we need more leaders who make people feel the way Ms. Doughtie made me feel. I say that for a simple reason. The better leaders make us feel – including about ourselves — the better we are likely to perform.
It isn’t realistic to build sustainable high-performing companies by way of unsustainable work practices. Meeting people’s core needs, rather than simply trying to squeeze more out of them, is what makes it possible for them to work more effectively.
Taking responsibility changes all that. When the “fight or flight” response is triggered, the first move is to focus on your physiology, so you don’t react automatically. The mantra we use with clients is, “Whatever you feel compelled to do, don’t.”
As little as these varied people have in common, their shared core hunger is for value. Once our basic needs are met, we human beings arguably crave value above all else.