Since the beginning of industrialisation, managers have had the primary task of increasing production and demanding top performance from their employees. Achievement of this has required a purely performance-oriented management style; an employee-oriented management style has rarely been adopted. For decades, most companies have practised a working method that leads to a strong performance culture. As such, the current predominant management style is still based on a strict hierarchical model, with a top-down leadership approach.

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In our reflections on this topic it is important to distinguish between a hierarchical structure and a hierarchical culture. Control and influence organisations are very different in nature. A hierarchical structure is quite important since we use it to define managers’ roles and responsibilities. Although new structural models for start-up companies are on the way, we do not want to question the current corporate structure as yet. Over the years, the corporate hierarchical structure has evolved into a hierarchical leadership style; this is known for keeping a certain distance and involving positional thinking, instead of encouraging closeness and eye-level encounters with employees.

The first time I heard about emotional safety, I felt that the terminology sounded like it belonged in a therapy environment. I was more used to terms like positive communication, empathy, good team spirit and trust. Emotional safety felt almost too much to me; however, when I came across an explanation of this topic by my favourite author, Simon Sinek, I found I could relate to some of the things he spoke about and even saw how it was part of my own seminars, to some extent.

The word ‘life’ in the title of this blog refers to a victorious and prosperous way of living. It includes all areas of life – and is also known as ‘success’. I would like to wish my dear friends, suppliers, customers and my great seminar participants this kind of life over the coming year. I would not be a good teacher if I were not eager to explain what the process of successful living is all about. To simply describe being successful as being lucky would not be truthful and does not resemble our daily experiences. I assume that this kind of high-quality life is achieved through an organic process, resembling a rather natural and comprehensible development by means of personal growth.

Rob G. M. Bots
Senior Management Trainer and Coach

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