In his excellent book “The Answer to How is Yes,” Peter Block makes three fascinating points about working for institutions. I’d be curious to know if based on your experience you would agree:
1) The higher you go up in an organization, the more anxious the people are. I see this often in non-profits and religious organizations. Managers who are terrified of the leader, scared of their performance, and generally miserable.
2) Retirement parties are often the first place where truth is told in public. Once the hold on employees is over, they’re finally free to say what they really think. They are no longer vulnerable. They are bulletproof. They may get shot at, but now, they don’t feel the pain.
3) The winners in our culture have little capacity to criticize themselves. This is why artists choose freedom over safety. In most organizations there is little room for critique at the top.
What are the trade-offs at your organization? Do any of these characterize your company, church, non-profit, or ministry?
What would it take to change?