Business Magazine

Why Guilt-Ridden People Make Better Leaders

By Shrinkingthecamel

Why Guilt-Ridden People Make Better LeadersHey, guess what? You don’t have to feel so guilty any more for feeling guilty! 

A research study by Francis Flynn from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business revealed that those who are more prone to guilt received higher performance ratings from their bosses. Related studies showed that these guilt-ridden people were seen as stronger leaders by their peers.

Well. That explains a lot.

I know this feeling all too well. Whenever I try to relax and take it easy, there’s always that abusive little voice in my head telling me what a slacker I am.

You can’t leave work already! It’s only been 10 hours today!

Don’t even think about taking a nap! Do you honestly think Jack Welsh ever took a nap? Now there was a real leader!”

“Put down that book! You could be working on your next blog post!”

I’m not at all sure where this comes from. Perhaps it’s just the wet towel-snap of the good old Protestant work ethic. Or possibly it came from that ill-tempered swim coach I had when I was ten years old:

“I have a cramp, coach! Can I take a breather for a few minutes? Pl- ea-hea-hease?”

“Get back in the water and swim it off, you panty-waist! And give me another 500 yards, right now! I better see your scrawny butt in here again tomorrow morning at 6 am for double workout sessions, or else you’ll never make it to the Regionals!”

Or, maybe it’s a backlash of guilt from actually slacking off and avoiding all labor whatsover from the time I was 15 until I was 23.

Flynn’s take is that the guiltier people have a keener sense of responsibility for their actions. You know, like, maybe they actually care about following the rules and ethics and morality and all that.

Another upside to guilty personalities: Flynn found they are more satisfied in their jobs, more committed to their organizations, and less stressed than others.  And - here’s the clincher - they are more selfless. Specifically, the guilty are prone to be more willing to make charitable contributions and help other colleagues in need.

Sounds like the model leader.

So there you go.  I think we should replace the “Greed is good” motto with, “Guilt is Good!”  Perhaps some inspirational posters to that effect, plastered around your office walls would not be a bad idea, either.

Go ahead and gete your guilt on. Embrace it, nurture it, let it be your guide. And don’t forget to thank your parents or the nuns or the rabbi or that stinking swim coach next time you see them, because all of that tyranny has helped you succeed.

Now, what are you doing reading this pathetic post?! Get back to work, you no-good panty waist!


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