Re-branding the 7 deadly Sins for the Workplace
Updated: Aug 20, 2019
But I’m loathe to dismiss them so lightly. I think there’s a case to be made for re-branding them and bringing them back into unapologetic use. I don’t want to refer to them as The Seven Deadly Sins. In my world, I just want to call the ‘The Super 7’
For a start, if I was going to compile a list of ‘deadly’ sins, I’d probably put murder right at the top. You can’t get more deadly than that. And then I’d have to add rape and torture, and a host of other things before I’d get down to the list we have come to know as the 7 deadly sins.
You see, it’s more than possible to claim that The Super 7 don’t have to be deadly at all; not if they are used in moderation. Unlike murder, it’s easy to argue that a little bit of wrath is good for you. You can’t have a little bit of murder. The act or murder is already an act too far (possibly because of an excess of wrath!), but wrath itself isn’t a villain.
So my first defence of The Super 7 is that they are nowhere near as bad as others, and probably don’t deserve the ‘deadly’ tag.
But I’m not interested in acquitting them just because they’re not as bad as murder. They could still be pretty terrible if that was the only defence offered: “I know I stole all your money, but look on the bright side: I could have killed you!” No, that won’t work!
I want to rehabilitate The Super 7, and draw out positive qualities and benefits that they bring to our lives and work.
Nietzsche had some fun trashing the Deadly Sins and like him or loathe him, made a pretty good fist of it. But how do we use The Super 7 to make a positive impact on our lives, our work and the lives of those we associate with?
Over a series of short blogs, I aim to take the Seven Deadly Sins out of darkness and bring the Super 7 into the light. Let’s learn to love them again and give them the respect they deserve.
Why not begin our re-branding of the Super 7 with a bang. Let’s get angry!
One of the problems I see in companies is that people aren’t angry enough. If they were, conversely, there might be less conflict and tension.
When you store up anger and frustration, keep it inside and try to hide it; it simply eats you up from within. It isn’t healthy.
And if you don’t get angry about injustice, intolerance, poor performance, bad customer service, etc., terrible practices prevail with your unwritten permission.
Some things deserve getting angry about, and the demonstration of this emotion can be hugely productive, especially when selectively used.
I think we should all get angrier about high sickness absence rates at work, for instance. If they are more than 2% there’s a high probability that some people are lying about why they aren’t at work. That’s fraud. It also puts massive pressure on people who do turn up. That’s something to get angry about, express anger about, and do something about.
I think we should get angry when people bypass fundamental regulations regarding quality and safety. Perhaps we should have been angrier much sooner about the recklessness exhibited by our financial institutions. And in the light of recent sexual abuse cases, we should have been angrier about inappropriate and criminal activities that were being perpetrated before our very eyes.
We need to get angry with lying, cheating, failing to deliver on promises, and acts of sabotage. But that doesn’t mean we need to get violent or aggressive A sense of outrage, productively expressed will do the trick.
Not getting angry implies you don’t care, and you don’t have any personal or emotional investment in what’s going on around you. That can’t be a good thing in any business.
Please comment if you think Wrath should be rehabilitated as one of the Super 7.
And keep coming back to this site to read how it might be possible to welcome back greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.