Blog 9C. “The Beatings Will Continue until Morale Improves”


[This continues the discussion from Blog 9A and Blog 9B]

An abrupt manager may go against Goldsmith’s advice or undercut Rock’s SCARF traits without knowing it. It’s his subordinates’ feelings that react.

Most of your brain deals with subconscious reflexes. Nerve cells and connections that get you out of danger ensure we avoid enemies and threats. This is survival.

Fig 1. Drawing of brain from the left side


The brain reflexes for survival outweigh those for gratification because survival is critical.


Fig. 2. Lobes of brain and their functions. Frontal lobe: controlling movements (motor and pre-motor strips); motor output of language; higher intellectual and executive functions, including “pre-frontal cortex” (tinted brown). Parietal lobe: sensations from skin, joints, tendons, much of the body. Occipital lobe: various aspects of vision. Temporal lobe: hearing, balance (nearby: taste), putting together and interpreting language; interpreting vision; memory, emotions, sense of smell.


The parts coding for survival are small, on the front surface and sides of the brain’s hemispheres: nerve cells in part of the ¼-inch-thin outer layer, the “cortex”. The area for survival, called the “pre-frontal cortex,” deals with linear, logical thinking (see Figure 3).


Fig. 3. Mesial (middle) surface of brain, cut from back to front, top to bottom, and looked at from the middle surface. The pre-frontal cortex, at the very front, is tinted brown. The limbic system (see text) is tinted dark blue. The visible portions of the major lobes are marked, as is the cerebellum (balance, smoothness of movement, repetitive movements), the midbrain including the pons, and the hind-brain or medulla. Grey matter is tinted light blue. White matter (pathways of axons) is tinted orange.


Reflexes work in fractions of a second. Anything that opposes Goldman’s or Rock’s advice stimulates the reflexes to deal with threats.

[The discussion of how the brain reacts to threats will be continued in Blog 9D]


Illustrations in my blogs are either my own drawings or courtesy of

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Pieter Kark, MD, Eustis, FL 32726