Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless they were cold.
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
People with a job are worried about the health of their company or organization. And even entire industries are worried about the health of their industry. (Would you like to be an airline executive at the moment? Or a coach on the Dallas Cowboys?) And when a person is worried – when a company or organization is in a fragile state, or even an entire industry – then a person knows that his or her own job is in a fragile state, and that certain self-assuredness, that confidence, that “mojo” is lessened, and threatened.
So many people are walking on egg shells.
And these egg shells represent so much. We have to please our boss, but our boss is worried about pleasing the next person up the chain. And, as one person put it, the job of every boss these days seems to be the job of getting more work out of each worker, even finding ways to get more work out of fewer workers, so that the work force can be reduced.
Such a boss seems practically impossible to please. And people don’t flourish with an “impossible to please” boss.
It is tough to feel secure in such an environment.
I don’t have any solutions. But I think this: if the people in your company are walking on egg shells all the time, they can’t do their best work.
Somebody needs to sweep up all these eggshells.