Tyranny of the Frantic

by | May 23, 2019 | Change, Ideas |

Frenzied frantic-ness spreads. While the definition does include the option of being about excitement and passion, it predominantly is rooted in anxiety, fear, desperation. But it spreads, it’s contagious. It triggers the oldest part of our brains which is wired to protect us; constantly scanning the environment for threats. The primal aspects of it make frantic-ness immediate, urgent; it is difficult to avoid.

It has the power to disrupt and to derail. In teams and in project, there is a need at times to create disruption and urgency, but we need to avoid the frantic as it is harmful. Perhaps even toxic.

When everything is a priority, nothing is. When we are frantic, to steal the words of Larissa, then we fall victim to the tyranny of the immediate and live in the perpetual now. We can only see the now, the narrow, the short term. Our role is to raise our heads and help others see beyond, to see a bit broader, to see that it might be ok to say ‘no’, to take a pass on the frantic.

Frantic-ness is often a symptom of something else – of fear, anxiety, uncertainty, overwhelm. As long as no lives are at stake, pressing pause might be the best respond to the frantic. Breathe. Go for a walk.

Frantic-ness creates culture – the way we do things around here; it’s unlikely the culture you want.


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