Working in management, it is well known you can be faced with many challenges and obstacles that regular employees just don't have to deal with. You're held to a higher standard and forced to make the toughest of decisions; all the while keeping a cool head and relaxed appearance.
This past week I had the opportunity to watch a movie that I have been waiting to see for quite a while now. The Sanford Prison Experiment is certainly one I would recommend. It's based on the 1971 human behavior experiment by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, focusing on power & authority. To give a short summary; college students agree to take part in a two week psychology experiment in exchange for fair payment for each day. The students are split into two groups: the guards and the prisoners. They even create a sort of mock prison in the basement of an academic building, then sit back and watch their masterpiece.
To give you a fair understanding without ruining the film for you, they end up cutting the experiment short due to the physical and psychological mistreatment by the "prison guards." In almost losing track of the clock of this experiment we are shown that what was supposed to be a 2-week experiment took only 6 days before it was shutdown.
Throughout the entirety of this movie all I could do was compare the situation of the "guards" and the "prisoners" to a much more unhealthy and blown up management scenario; the guards in this case acting as management and the prisoners acting as the managed (stay with me here).
To understand this relationship we have to understand the differences between the "guards" and the "prisoners." The only outwardly identifiable difference between the two is that one set wear a uniform with numbers to identify them while the others are given sunglasses and a night stick. Of course these "prisoners" have been given some form of a charge as well as a sentence while management or the "guards" have been given the authority and task (night stick) of watching over them and keeping them in order. Zimbardo actually goes on to eg the "guards" on and encourage them not to allow the "prisoners" to control the "prison."
As one of the post-prisoner interviews stated in the movie, "You give them the uniform with the glasses and the night stick and they simply can't be the same person as if they were in street clothes." This really hit home with me as the actor portraying Zimbardo goes on to talk about the "small subtle differences" that "affect us more than we think." These differences come to us as rules, roles, symbols, uniforms, etc.
I can't help but think about the power one yields with a title like management, CEO or my personal favorite, bossman. While titles given to us may give us the decision yielding power, it also brings a major responsibility to keep the company afloat and that means physically, fiscally, but especially psychologically. If we abuse our powers as management, our co-workers will break down mentally.
Our jobs are then no longer jobs, but prisons and we are no longer employees but "prisoners" and our 2-weeks can turn into 6 days and as a result our "prison" will be shut down quicker than we imagine.
Most posts relate where I currently stand in my education as well as my daily work and life experiences.