[May 27, 2023] I originally wrote this blog post with the title “Disrespect to Leaders” but realized that I was leaving out a big part of the picture by not including “anger.” What brought me to this conclusion was an article entitled “America’s Anger Epidemic: Why?” by Dan Bowens. It’s really about workplace dysfunction.
To buy into the belief that there has been a trend of increasing disrespect and anger in the workplace, one doesn’t have to look far. Indeed, this is largely circumstantial, but studies show that Americans are more angry than ever. To counter this trend, leaders should establish a positive workplace culture.
Bowens explains the anger in Americans as a product of uncertainty in the job market. I certainly can’t entirely agree with his reasoning, but here is a list of common reasons cited for workplace disrespect and anger.
- Declining morality and values
- Decreased attention to religion and spiritual matters
- Increased prosperity and the decline of “want,” instant gratification
- Infection of political correctness
- Increasingly litigious society
Bowen also mentions “celebrity meltdowns.” Presumably, people emulate them. He has a point, but people also observe our political leaders and see the rancor in the current debate over the government’s overspending and recent problems with controlling inflation, illegal immigration, increasing crime rates, etc.
Sadly, the dysfunction of disrespect and anger is too often seen directed against leaders, but it is certainly not restricted to this venue. It can be observed against customers and other employees. In most big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco (my observations), it is easy to observe the dysfunction in most department stores, public-government agencies, etc.
Leaders should not allow the infection of disrespect and anger – although much easier said than done. But this is what leaders must do. Only through leaders having the motivation and moral courage to make a change and create that positive culture can progress be made.
Note: For an excellent article with the same name, see Deirdre Sullivan’s comments here: http://www.npr.org/2005/08/08/4785079/always-go-to-the-funeral
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