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The Frankenstein Syndrome Published: Sunday, June 27, 2004 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

Leadership has a lot to do with creating alliances and providing meaning to people’s life. Leaders have open minds. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a new frontier. Leaders avoid becoming victims of the group-think syndrome (everybody have to think the same). Leaders know how to get the best from people and induce constructive behaviors. Being a leader is not just a matter of applying a set of rules, but working with people, customers and suppliers who have feelings, thoughts and attitudes. Because leaders accomplish their jobs through others, they must be interested in employees and treat them as individuals. By earning loyalty and respect, they also ensure good morale. But why leadership sometimes do not live up to high expectations?

Most leaders that we know are confronted by huge levels of pressure. To fight the daily onslaught of pressure in the lives of executives, we are working with their sense of humor. Nothing relaxes and refreshes the body like a good hearty laugh. The ability to take your job seriously and yourself lightly will go a long way in the battle against tension. For a long time we have been sharing with different publics that work is nothing but organized pressure. Human beings have a tendency for getting trap in webs of their own creation, thus, confronting the seductive idea of organizations as psychic prisons. The point is that while organizations are socially constructed realities, these constructions are often attributed an existence and power of their own that allow them to exercise a measure of control over their creators.

Frankenstein, published in 1912, has been compare to the terror of tension that characterizes modern organizational life. This piece of literature can help leaders understand how frequently organizations recruit good people and turn them into cynical, bitter employees. The bright, enthusiastic people who were once positive about their jobs sometimes reach a point where they hate their work and even use sabotage to get back at the organization.

An interesting metaphor and observation is that the trees left standing after a hurricane are the ones that bent with the wind. The rigid ones snap into two like twigs. A healthy sense of humor can help people bend with the gale of pressure they face every day. A pressure busting with humor works by stepping from a situation and joking up its absurdities.

Remember the dream trip you planned that turned into a twilight zone event?, or The weekend from hell?, or The project that was going to make you look so good except that the harder you worked the worsed it got? At the time, it probably seemed that the whole world was against you, but a few weeks later, you laugh about it with friends. For pressure busting, laugh while it is happening.

It is like this good friend of mine says: "a simple solution when things get tough, is don’t worry, be happy." But seriously, the next time things around you are going crazy, remember don’t tighten up, lighten up. Try it, it works.


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