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Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work by Mark Bowden

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Day 16

Tribal Nurture

Connected by Brood

Invisible threads are the strongest ties.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Today you’ll tame:

  • The underlying misalignments
I joined the organization because it valued what it called “sky’s-the-limit” thinking.
I loved that value. It fit with the way that I wanted to work, with an emphasis on innovation, creativity, and mobility around the organization. But I soon found out that it meant different things in different parts of the organization, and to different people within it.
One of these differences seemed to suggest to sales that they could make up a product, sell it to a client, and then leave everyone else to clean up the mess when they were unable to deliver it. It became clear the day that the FBI escorted our CFO out of the office that he had been living the “sky’s the limit” value in a very different way from that which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission deemed to be acceptable.
Our tribe was not one big happy family; rather, we were members in a loose collective of competing gangs—with some sick loners thrown in for good measure!

We learn about tribes from our first one: our family. For some, that tribe is a safe haven, a place of comfort and love; others, sadly, come to know their familial tribe as a source of pain and danger. As can sometimes happen in our first family tribe, sometimes our organizational tribe gets “sick,” too—fragmented in some way. On the surface, it may look cohesive and healthy, but deep down it is troubled ...

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