•Culture is how employees’ hearts and stomachs feel about Monday morning on Sunday night
•If work routine is mundane there will be few opportunities for fulfilment, satisfaction or even joy
One rewarding aspect of involvement in The Amalgam Leadership Programme www.amalgamleadership.com is the quality of the conversations on our alumni chat. Few of our alumni were any different from their peers when they joined the programme, now entering its 7th year. Their career success was rooted firmly in the domain of IQ. Since childhood they had studied with diligence and later applied themselves wholeheartedly to their professional development. Rational and disciplined, they had barely permitted emotion a peek into their pressured lives. But as we say on Amalgam: ‘What got you here won’t get you there.’
So, our programme requires leaders to balance their obvious IQ with the latest understanding of Emotional Intelligence and the role it should play in life and work. Every year, when our class graduates, we witness some extraordinary individual transformations. Right now, we’re counting down to the 2023 Graduation in nine days’ time.
Anyway, back to the alumni chat, which recently entertained an emotionally intelligent debate about that universal human experience: The Monday Feeling. You know, the way you felt about Sunday evenings when you knew the school week was a few short hours away. Our catalyst was a quote from Bill Marklein, a thought leader in leadership development and culture design: ‘Culture is how employees’ hearts and stomachs feel about Monday morning on Sunday night.’
What was good about our alumni chat (and a measure of how emotionally intelligent these leaders now are) was the selfless acknowledgement that The Monday Feeling hits employees harder than leaders. Or alternatively, that leaders’ lives have more in them to balance the Monday Blues. For many leaders, especially the entrepreneurial ones, Monday isn’t a boundary to cross, it’s just part of the continuous flow of life and work.
There are some physiological factors that make us feel the way we do about Mondays. Sleeping in later than usual and for longer on weekends can trigger a discrepancy between the body clock and socially-imposed responsibilities. In anticipation of this, our body may release Cortisol, our stress response chemical, earlier than usual on a Monday morning.
Psychologically, The Monday Blues are connected with feelings of monotony. If work routine is mundane there will be few opportunities for fulfilment, satisfaction or even joy. If the workplace contains threats - real or imagined - the blues will be of a deeper hue. If weekend work has been a requirement of the job, employees may feel short-changed and resentful as they begin another week. And, as the generations change, everybody is looking for more ‘life’ time.
Leaders, spare some empathy for your employees as dusk falls this Sunday.
Chris Harrison leads The Brand Inside