Day 21

Changing Tribes Is Expensive

Neuroplasticity and the Limbic Brain

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

—John Maynard Keynes

Today you’ll tame:

  • Your constant friend and mine: change!
She was senior officer at a financial organization, and highly regarded externally; she was regularly featured in magazines and appeared often on business news channels.
But when the new CEO arrived from the parent company, he began to leave her out of major decisions, making it crystal clear to her that, for whatever reason, there was no longer a place in the company for her.
She spent her energy complaining to colleagues, coaches, and family; talked about leaving; and came up with exit strategies. Yet she never pulled the trigger. Just the opposite; she did everything she could to convince herself that she needed to stay: “The project needs me.” “My team needs me.” “We need to get through performance and compensation review season.” And even, “I need to stand on the ship as it sinks!”
She had one foot on the gas and another on the brake. Her engine made a powerful noise, but she went nowhere. She was paralyzed in the face of change.
By the time all her projects had been cancelled, all her team had either resigned or been axed. Finally, she was let go—led abruptly and ungraciously from the building by security, carrying a box of her belongings. To date, she still had never managed to work out how to tell the CEO she was resigning.

Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? ...

Get Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.