Leaders Lift People Up

"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." -Peter Drucker

We invest ourselves in our work. We go deep. Commitment to the mission is the price of entry. Yet, even the best workers can get thrown by bad bosses who fail to understand team dynamics or human motivation.

There was an article that appeared in Harvard Business Review last week, titled “Stop Making Excuses for Toxic Bosses.” It begins like this:

Far too many people have worked for a boss who has bullied or belittled them. This behavior takes many forms: insulting direct reports in public, invading their privacy, or gossiping about them behind their backs. Toxic actions such as these contribute to not only employee dissatisfaction and stress, but even more harmful outcomes such as alcoholism, family conflict, and health complaints. Yet, abusive bosses continue to wreak havoc and leave destruction in their wake. Why, then, does it seem that organizations and employees put up with toxic bosses?

…Unfortunately, it appears from our research that toxic bosses don’t change as much as we would like them to — instead, the bad behavior tends to continue or, oftentimes, gets worse. Even when abusive bosses may appear genuinely repentant after a tirade, they usually have ulterior, self-interested motives.

So, what is the answer to the bully in the corner office?

A company’s conduct code must include punitive measures for bad behavior. Without holding offenders accountable—the boss included—and making them pay some sort of fine, there’s no end to the cycles of abuse.

Earn Someone’s Trust Today

Sure, accountability sounds good. But why fight for it (because you will need to fight for it)? Why hold accountability up as the ideal state?

This is why: Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.

Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.

You Don’t Get An “A” for Effort (No One Does)

When the leadership team of a company fails to manage themselves in a way that sets an exemplary model for the whole team to follow, it’s time for a time out.

What’s missing in so many businesses today is bravery and integrity.

Brave people do the right thing, and the right thing is to make the people who work with you or for you, the number one priority, every single day. That is the work, no matter what you may have heard about “the work, the work, the work.”


  1. The five-day workweek is a socio-cultural artifact, not an evidence-based framework for maximizing productivity and well-being.

  2. Common design KPIs include conversions; average time on a page; bounce rate; event action, and exit points. All of these numbers measure the effectiveness of a page or product’s user experience.

  3. Samsung is looking to build a $10B chip-making plant in Austin, TX. This investment would be ten times greater than Telsa’s one billion pickup truck assembly plant.

  4. Hear Isabel Allende tell the story of her most famous story.

  5. Are you feeling cautiously optimistic about 2021? Can 2021 be a hopeful year of economic rebound and societal healing? Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, the agency’s futures think tank and innovation unit, believes so.

  6. Joe Russo's Almost Dead will be playing Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 4th. The legendary outdoor venue has a full slate of summer shows planned.

Work With Me

My homepage is DavidBurn.com. My marketing services agency is Bonehook.com.

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