Leaders are killing us

Leaders are killing us

In a word where friendship, business and even relationships are developed online and carried out through the use of technology we are ranking IT innovations and social media as increasingly importation way to communicate and to stay in touch. Technology is increasingly used by management to manage employee’s. Business and organisations now more than ever before strive to win awards to be ”best place to work” in order to attract and retain talent. However people now more than ever say ”there is no such thing as a job for life anymore” If you are a manager, or a business owner wouldn’t you love to know how best to retain your talent? This article aims to help you achieve that.This paper isn’t routed in managerial practice theories, but routed in biology not physiology but biology! There are four main chemicals which make us ”happy”


These can be referred to as the selfish chemical, as you don’t need anybodies help or social interaction to get these. Endorphin’s are designed to mask physical pain. High performance athletes rely on these, as endorphin’s were designed as a survival mechanism. This chemical is the reason why the homo-sapiens survived, we had strong endurance skill set which came in useful such as hunting over long distances and used in fight or flight confrontations. Endorphin’s allowed us and the group to survive.


Dopaime is the chemical which is released when you have found something you were lokoing for, crossing something off of your to do list, or accomplished a goal. Dopamine focuses the human mind to ensure we get stuff done, we get dopamine when we eat, this again was very integral part of human survival in the as if humans were to wait until they were hungry to find food, there was no guarantees that they would find food before it was too late.This is why we are told to write don our goals, we are very visual animals, it needs to be tangible. This is why bonuses work better when they have a number of metrics over time be it daily weekly or monthly are tangible, as we get intermittent hits of dopamine to keep the employee motivated on an ongoing basis. The trouble with dopamine is that it is highly addictive, when we consume alcohol, gamble or receive nicotine dopamine is released, making these activities so addictive.


Seotonin is related to pride and status- we need public recognition of others, this is why we have graduation ceremonies, movie awards and sports awards. With the more serotonin in our bodies confidence goes up, and most importantly it enforces the relationship between the care giver and receiver e.g coach and a player, parent and child manager and employee. However we are in a materialistic society you can trick serotonin into being released. This is why designer labels are on the outside of clothing, they are a status symbol.


Oxytocin is the feeling of Love, trust and friendship, physical contact is paramount to to the release of this chemical e.g hugging. This is why shaking hands matters! Oxytocin is not a rational chemical it is about the feeling of safety, we need touch to be ratified,  we put value on time not money as it is irredeemable we give credence to leaders who give us time. This is the problem with email- this is why birthday cards are better than a Facebook message or a text message – oxytocin requires you need to sacrifice energy . Oxytocin inhibits addiction boosts the immune system, and increases our ability to solve problems. However oxitcoin takes time to build up and requires work.  

So that was the science, but now you are asking yourself how do I get my employee’s to stay working for me? The Outside word is full of danger and uncertainly for your employee’s, to survive we come together in our groups so we can feel safe. When we are surrounded by people we trust we can stand together. Outside dangers are a ”constant” in business, it may be a rival competitor which is trying to gain more an more market share resulting in you losing your job. It’s not personel it is a constant threat. We can deal with these stresses if we have the feeling of safety. Inside our organisations dangers are a variable, these are controlled by managers and ”leaders” Great leaders extend the circle of belonging and trust right down to the apprentice.

Wouldn’t you love to know and work in an organisation that others will back you up and have your back if a risk you take doesn’t pay off. All of the feelings we have are produced by chemicals. Cortisone is a chemical which causes stress and anxiety. This chemical was originally designed to keep us alive first stage of fight/flight. In order to conserve energy the body shuts off unnecessary functions such as hair growth, the immune system. This is fine in a short bursts like running away from a predator. When we go back to work in a place that we don’t feel we belong we have cortisone dripping through our body which inhibits serotonin production. Arguably people’s careers are killing them.

Trust in a company allows us to innovate, take risks. We are hard wired to recognize the alpha so we constantly are evaluating ourselves and our colleges. We happily step aside and allow the alpha’s to be first the group. This is why no bother is angry that their boss makes more money then they do. They might hate their boss, they might think that he does a bad job, but they recognize the position. However the group doesn’t give their omissions away for free, the group expects that when hard times arise and danger is imminent that the alpha needs to put themselves at risk to protect group. Arguably this is why we hate bankers so much,as we feel that they have violated this social contract, they should have been sacrificed for the good of the group. However in the case of bankers they sacrificed the group for their own safety.

Leadership and management are often confused you don’t need to be a manger to be a leader, but you do need to be a leader to be an effective manger. Some tips below!

Quick wins to keeping your employee’s:

Do not reply to an emotional idea via email. Go up and recognize the individual in conversation or better yet in front of others. 

Leadership is difficult as u don’t have time for physical relationships with everyone, you need to ensure the people the you have contact with can and will effect others in the same manner

It’s the shield that matters,you must bring the a shield into work everyday with you everyday in order to protect your employee’s if the situation demands it.

Encourage risk taking and creativity, but make sure you are their safety net

Money matters!- it doesn’t matter how much you connect with your employee’s a fair days work must still equal a fair days pay.

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