Page 21 - Building the Team from Inside Out

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Chapter Two
The cascades of fear . . .
News spread fast and attorneys and consultants were like vultures cir-
cling their prey, waiting for the opportunity to pounce and feast upon
the delectable, vulnerable and perishable personnel that would soon be
classified as expendable assets. As soon as a management team hears,
we’re merging, consolidating, integrating or some other synonym for
this joining in corporate matrimony, the thermometer of fear begins to
rise faster than the mercury in a rectal thermometer placed into the anus
of a baby with a 104 degree temperature!
The fantasizing commences, as the patterns of thought provoke emo-
tions related to fear and anxiety. What will this mean for me? The subtle
wheels of fight or flight begin to turn. Over time, through meetings and
spreadsheets and analyses and proformas, stress permeates the core of
many. The uncertainty erodes the defenses and impermeability to stress
becomes challenged. At times the heart rate may increase as blood is
shunted to the extremities to provide fuel for the run. Breathing may
become more shallow and rapid at times, while the mind can’t stop cal-
culating the ratio of possibilities to the sum of mortgage payments, car
leases, student loans, and other expenses of daily living. Epinephrine
begins to be pumped out and the immune system takes a back burner to
allow the endocrine and nervous systems to produce the chemicals and
transmitters necessary to create a neuro-network of survival. If talks of
this merger take a long time, the vulnerable may even find themselves
with a new dis-ease.
Survival strategies begin to take place as the leaders on the team
wiggle and weasel their way to safety. The good of the whole may or
may not be ignored, as survival takes precedence. Will it be survival
of the fittest and what will define the fittest? Will it be the person or
people who can shove their heads so far up the boss’ or consultant’s
butt that they can no longer see the light of day but will find themselves