When A Work Environment Is Too Positive


One of the biggest growth areas in research in management is the role of emotions at work. When I was working at IBM in the 1980s, if anyone got emotional during a meeting, we’d stop the meeting and have coffee, until everyone calmed down. This seemed to happen whenever emotion “reared its’ugly head”. Of course, there was plenty of emotion back then, but we undervalued it. Analysis was sovereign. Things are different today.

My colleague Henry Mintzberg teaches on our executive programs, “Leadership involves engaging the emotions and imagination of followers – it is a process for getting ‘buy-in’ whereas managing is concerned more with skills such as using logic, numbers, facts, analysis, planning.” To us, this is one of key differences between being a manager and a leader. This ability to engage the emotions of followers in a healthy way. Henry also makes the point, that you do not want a leader who cannot manage, that would be chaotic nor do you want manager who has no leadership, because that would be dispiriting. Today things are more balanced with emotions receiving greater recognition in the workplace and leaders more fully understanding that emotional management is a central role for a leader.

-Article by Karl Moore

Read full article: Forbes, July 26, 2013