Shake that fist


You have been known to shake your fist at a few things in anger to voice your frustration from time to time. So I ask you, how important is anger, dissatisfaction and general malcontence to the success of an organization? I know from personal experience that many leaders want calm within their organization because calm is comfortable and easy to manage. I would argue that growth and progress are not synonymous with calm, but rather with a little chaos.

On my own personal journey as a leader, it seems that the higher within organizations I get, the more patience and “calm” is called on from me. However, as I reflect on my past experiences, it was the times when I was most malcontent and angry that I drove the greatest change. Anger and dissatisfaction often come from passion and commitment. If I didn’t care about my work, I would not have been so upset. And, it was that emotion that drove me to action.

On the other side of anger and frustration are distructive behaviors, so this is a complicated situation. My feeling is that we benefit by having people within our organizations who are going to get angry once in a while. We need people who are so passionate about the organization that they will forgo patience and politeness on occasion to rattle cages when it’s needed. But, it requires skilled management and leadership to allow this emotion to exist without it becoming toxic.

Should we allow manager to be the cage rattlers or does that go against “setting the example” for others? How can you allow or even foster this type of emotion at work without it becoming distructive?

What do you think, Joe?


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