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The Masquerade Ball

A friend of mine who worked for a very dysfunctional company used to say, “Function in disaster, finish in style!” The thing of it is, her department always performed exceptionally well despite extremely tight budgets, unreasonable goals, and poor leadership from the executive suite.

Her achievements also went largely unrecognized. She felt wholly unappreciated and eventually  took her talents elsewhere. That, and too many personal experiences with executives who did not know how to inspire, motivate, and reward their people led me to write a manuscript called The Masquerade Ball a few years ago.

When Costume Changes Replace Actual Work

The Masquerade Ball takes a peek at the way people shift personas as they move from one interaction to another in a dysfunctional workplace. At its core, it looks at the cultures that develop when managers wield authority badly. Too much authority or too little−both result in unproductive environments filled with politics, gossip, and drama.

It doesn’t matter how many employees you have, the effect from misuse of power appears to remain constant. People figuratively change their costumes as they walk through the door to face their boss who’s a bully, a co-worker who’s a credit grabber, or an employee who’s a survivalist.

When the act of changing costumes embeds itself into your culture, toxic levels build and hold you hostage. Motivation dwindles. People spend their time avoiding issues and very little actual work gets done. Customers notice. And you wind up settling for mediocrity.

Deliberately Establish Authenticity

Image of happy workers

© Yuri Arcurs / Fotolia.com

I let The Masquerade Ball sit on a shelf and collect dust while I tested  insights that came during the writing process. Through observation I’ve validated that businesses function much like people. They can have:

  • Aspirations (vision)
  • Emotional intelligence (self and social awareness)
  • Motivation (leadership, goals and behaviors)
  • Personas (brand)
  • Boundaries  (processes)
  • Friends (customers, partners, etc.)

And just like people, some companies are more productive and happier than others. The PerformanceArchitect.com blog will take a look at all of these things as it introduces the cast of characters from The Masquerade Ball. Along the way we’ll look at practical approaches and tools that will help companies enable their people to function in style as they deliberately establish cultures that are more authentic.

We’ll start by taking a closer look at why “Because I Said So” doesn’t work as a primary leadership style.

In the interim, please contact us if you want to stop a seemingly  never ending cycle of costume changes.
© 2012. All rights reserved.

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