False Compartmentalizing – As You Were

As You Were – looking for connections between the work of Brené Brown and Daniel Quinn as I revisit them in book clubs. See the introductory post for what this is all about. In this post, I look at:

(Commissions earned on Amazon links.)

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Part One: Rumbling with Vulnerability – Section Three: The Armory

“Rather than protecting and hiding our heart behind bulletproof glass, wholeheartedness is about integration. It’s integrating our thinking, feeling, and behavior… what I often observe is that many organizational cultures and leaders still subscribe to the myth that if we sever the heart (vulnerability and other emotions) from our work, we’ll be more productive, efficient, and (don’t forget) easier to manage. Or, at the very least, we’ll be less messy and less… well, human… They reward armor like perfectionism, emotional stoicism, the false compartmentalizing of our lives and our work…” Quinn says things always reflect at different levels within a system and points out how integrated Leaver cultures are in terms of livelihood, education, parenting, “political” decision-making, social problem-solving, etc. Taker culture inherently disintegrates us.

“‘As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.'” Echoes Quinn regularly talking about living in the hands of the gods as opposed to taking control of the world from the gods in order to conquer it.

“Perfectionism is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis, or missed opportunities.” Common traits of Taker culture, which believes humans are the ultimate life form and strives to conquer the world ever more perfectly.

“In this binary world of paired opposites, you’re either a sucker/loser who always gets the short end of the stick, or you’re a Viking who refuses to be victimized. You’ll do whatever is required — control, dominate, exert power, shut down emotion — to ensure that you’re never vulnerable.” Describes Taker culture.

“Having to be the ‘knower’ or always being right is heavy armor. It’s defensiveness, it’s posturing, and, worst of all, it’s a huge driver of bullshit.” Taker culture believes it has the one right way to live.

“Criticism often arises from fear or feelings of unworthiness. Criticism shifts the spotlight off us and onto someone or something else. Suddenly we feel safer. And better than.” Taker culture, believing itself and humans are supreme over all other cultures and life forms, holds fear and unworthiness at its core, also believing that humans are inherently flawed.

“Organizational life is inherently hierarchical, with very few exceptions.” In Taker culture, that is — this declaration assumes certain kinds of large organizations that make workplaces in the contemporary world, as opposed to all possible social structures, and certainly doesn’t consider tribal social structures.

“Daring leaders sit down with their team members and have real rumbles with them about the unique contributions they make, so that everyone knows where they’re strong.” Quinn regularly talks about building on strengths and identifying what each person is in a unique position to accomplish.

“People desperately want to be part of something, and they want to experience profound connection with others, but they don’t want to sacrifice their authenticity, freedom, or power to do it.” Quinn poses the tribal social structure as accommodating the win-win between these things that in hierarchical culture become polarized.

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