Managing through fear

English: Armoured samurai with sword and dagge...
Armoured samurai with sword and dagger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Fear can be managed”. This sentence seems to proceed from a terrorist region, but what would happen if a manager of Human Resources thought this? Any enterprise could become a hell. Human Resource consultants usually talk about leadership, motivation, and so on, but… fear?

It is obvious that in some occasions managers can use the fear to be fired in a negotiation of salaries but to use the fear is very different to manage through fear.

Fear is only another source of complexity, because the acts of a fearful person can be very unpredictable, extreme and dangerous. If a manager had the terrible idea of managing through fear the results could be calamitous.

Nowadays, fear is been transferred from markets to the directorate and from the directorate to the staff. All we know that money is fearful but people need hope to face a period. Fear is only a defense mechanism but it can be turned into a chronic illness that we named stress.

Fighting with the stress should be a “privilege” of the managers that would justify a higher salary, and it should not a load for the workers. A good manager always filters the stress from top to his employees, but the world is full of bad managers. A good manager can be someone who people hate because they think that he makes a lot of money without great efforts, although many people could not withstand the pressure he is enduring. Withstanding the pressure has a huge value for any company and its staff.

Stress is a result of a permanent uncertainty, and we know the effects of the uncertainty in a fully connected economy. Stress is not produced by a bad situation or a bad piece of news; it is produced by a permanent and uncertain situation. Reducing complexity is not only good for the board of directors because they will be able to manage easily the company, it is very necessary for the health of the staff. Managers must not only transmit information, they must process and filter information before sending a report up or communicating down. They are a link but they are not a stupid link, they are as a neuron.

Now we can make a question: Is a government that is continuously communicating its people the fear of the financial markets being democratic or fascist? Financial markets have a fearful nature, and transparency and irresponsibility will never be the same.


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