Dunedain training, Clearwater backcountry, north-central Idaho August 2018 — in case you’re wondering what we emphasize, it’s cheerily stoic, steadfast performance, coupled with calm, relentless awareness.
Fellow chronic co-conspirator Ryan Martens sent a link regarding corporate gaslighting from a former colleague of his at Rally Software, Shannon Mason. Shannon is the VP of Product Management at the recently absorbed Rally after it was bought by Computer Associates. Addressing the issue of ‘gaslighting‘ in corporate environments, Shannon points out a mix of the personal effects of gaslighting on the individual — increased hypervigilance and workplace instability, as well as the broader systemic effects rippling across the system, where individuals check and re-check work because of the fear of being caught off-guard, with career-limiting consequences. One of the great things about this piece is Shannon is one of the only people I’ve ever seen address some of the things I discuss in my work on the empathy-disordered, which is the system-level disruption that happens when the empathy-disordered work on relational disruption inside social networks.
I had never seriously contemplated Shannon’s ‘wasted energy’ argument. It was revelatory for me. But it shows, once again, how you can run, but you can’t hide from the empathetic development, and its subsequent timescales it allows and encourages in your organization. If you’ve got someone who’s using psychological distortion to manipulate the environment for their own, selfish gain, far too much energy is going to get dumped into short timescale thinking.
The implications are straightforward. You’re so busy watching the fly on the end of your nose, you and your employees miss the large market changes that really determine the fate of your company. And, of course, there’s also the very real consequence of talent flight that will occur if you allow this kind of behavior to continue. Labor mobility of top talent is real. And healthy, evolving people expect to come to work to do work — not play some weird game of gotcha.
Here’s a background post written by myself that gives more richness to this problem.