Gluten Free Management* - The Neo-Boss

Posted by jlubans on September 12, 2020

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Weve all seen products labeled Gluten Free. If you are among the 1% that suffers from celiac disease, you pay special attention.
Interestingly, its a magical phrase for about 30 percent of gluten-tolerant American adults. They believe in their hearts without any evidence - gluten free is better for the world and them.
For example, my daughters laundry detergent proclaims to be Gluten Free! Some vodkas now claim gluten freeness! thing is, vodka never had gluten.
Ditto for Olive oil. Butter. Cranberries, Milk. Garden hoses.
Perhaps there is more to the label than just a marketing profit motive. Are those consumers spotted in the gluten free aisle more with it than the rest of us?
Of course, managers do not have Gluten Free emblazoned across the shoulders in three-inch letters.
My use of the term applies to how managers act, how they behave.
When a manager is gluten free, what replaces the gluten?
When something is declared sugar-free, the replacement is usually a cloying chemical sweetener.
When a product heralds itself fat-free, whats the replacement? Among other ingredients, a large scoop or two of sugar.
For my GFs, the replacement may be slogans over substance. And, the GF orthodoxy may be made up of taboos, indefinite stereotypes and unproven assertions.
But, conforming to what others want may require lying to yourself.
And, if you side with one segment really a clique - you may alienate a much larger group.
Remember that there are some 70% of people who dont habituate the gluten free aisle.
Of course, one solution is to hire only the wokest staff; but doing so is certain to limit diversity of thought. (Did I just hear the woke transgression alarm go off?)
To help clarify what I mean by gluten free management, here are some traits and indicators:
When pushed, GFs go along.
GFs are woke and intolerant of those less so.
GFs on-the-job decisions are knowingly influenced by one-sided societal and political thought.
GFs, being aggrieved about one thing of another, tend toward the humorless.
Some argue that this mind set leads to sweetness and light, but GFs operate in a climate of fear. Contrarian ideas are eschewed and those with differing opinions are crushed.
Such a climate requires the GF ever to be on the qui vive for shifts in whats woke and whats not.
Hardly an enviable position for the new manager.
Is it reversible? Only if senior leadership has the courage to offer guidance away from bias.
The trapped, unwoke manager, stuck in the gluten free aisle, can only hunker down, work hard and hope for the pendulum to swing toward a more open and diverse work environment.

*While my use of the term Gluten Free Management may be new, the condition is not. However, its been exacerbated of late. If past generations sought to drive out fear in the work place, that fear of being out of step, of being censored for contrarian views, is once again ascendant.
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Text Copyright 2020 John Lubans

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