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The principle of clamping
On February 03, 2010, in Leadership principles, by Neculai Fantanaru

The more pressure you exert on people, the more they will become introvert.

Everyone's nature has two separate sides: one of them is agreeable, delights people and makes them feel better and the other one is disagreeable, becomes transparent in moments of crisis and rejects everybody, discourages them and makes them lose their interest. Why do I believe this?

I still remember the days I used to play football. I was registered at a juniors' club in the city, where I also played in the first team. Every day, I used to go training, make great efforts, as well as great progress. I particularly liked playing football, it was my biggest passion during high school.

The coach was a pretty tall and sturdy man, with short, auburn hair and a bit speckled face. But what made him memorable was his bad-tempered nature. He was always ill-humored and he flamed out from no apparent reason. He couldn't help screaming and cursing. For him, any mistake made by a player, no matter how tinny that mistake was, it became a huge one. Still, he was considered to be a fine coach.

One day, we played a friendly game with a junior team from Constanta, if I remember well. It was an absolute disaster. They lead us with 3-1 till break. We were immediately called down by the coach in the locker room. Angry, with tears in his eyes, deeply disappointed, he vehemently cried out:

- So, you're mocking me. You're mocking my work. What the hell do I train you for? For you to play like some fusty boots?

His mind was going insane. He started screaming, criticizing us, and insulting us. One of the boys, sick and tired of the coach's aggressive attitude, got off his t-shirt, dropped it to the floor and was off for good.

The second round started. The 45 minutes elapsed in a painful and non-constructive way. We all played with fear of making the slightest mistake, which automatically made us fail. We lost our self-confidence. And we received two more goals. The final score was 5-1. As I said, it couldn't be any worse. The coach was distraught with rage. If I told you the whole riot he made, you wouldn't finish up this article.

Building a thick, protective wall

The way our coach influenced us is not at all neglectable. His morbid desire to criticize us every time we couldn't score great results, his hypocrisy, his inadequate attitude in different situations, the high standard he established and imposed us, the pressure he exerted on us, determined us to move to another football club. Two or three months later, more than half of the team was playing for another football team.

How could someone reach a considerable level of performance if he's always out in the cold, permanently criticized, blamed for incompetence or idleness, labeled as bloody minded? What does someone feel every time he finds himself offended, cursed or denigrated? How long could someone bear with all of this? Until when? And what would the impact on him be?

The truth is that, the more pressure someone exerts on people, the more they become introverted. They'll become more and more confused, and then they'll feel ever guiltier because of not being able to better themselves. They'll become undesirous and uninterested. They'll refuse to cooperate further, they'll become introverted and they'll build a protective wall for themselves. And, finally, they'll look for another job. In other words, the one who tries to compel people to fulfill his desires, just like a clam, will score counter results.

How do you influence those around you?

The leader influence those around him through his actions, either in a positive or negative way. He can do good or bad around him through his attitude, he can propose himself some great aims he can quickly or never achieve. After all, his whole future depends on himself, because he's the one giving the necessary tone to people in order for them to better and develop themselves, and to achieve great results in the end.

Through his personality, he inspires people's actions, both within the organization and at a personal level, bringing them closer to him. But, on the other side, he can ruin people; he can make them unhappy, smashing their self-respect, self-perception and self-confidence. And, at the end, if people don't perform efficiently and don't get the predictable results, the one who loses will be the leader.

I find it very hard to work with people. “The human resource” is different from other resources and it requires a lot of work and patience which, of course, require lots of energy and availability from the leader. He must be endowed with a balanced nature and behavior, doing the impossible to equal the level of understanding of his collaborators; he himself must be a facile and flexible person, in certain limits, of course.

 

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