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Upbringing Plays a Key Role in How We Behave at Work

I read Sylvia Lafair’s book Don’t Bring It to Work while I was on vacation. She was a family counselor for years and then was brought into corporate America to help resolve team conflicts. Her premise is that we play similar roles at work that we played as a child in our family dynamic. There were several revelations in the book for me but one key nugget that will stick with me. I’d always wrestled with why I worked so hard and pushed myself. She described classic over-achiever behavior that described me to a “T”. Typically busy and distracted by much to do, Lafair states that this behavior comes from being raised in an environment that’s economically or emotionally starved. Since that revelation, I’ve been much easier on myself, resting and letting myself enjoy life as I know it. Here’s a Churchill Club panel discussion where I touched on the topic.  

I was very thrilled that she contacted me when she was in town visiting Google. We had time for a quick popsicle and a short interview. Here are some tips for leaders in these tumultuous times.

Nancy Duarte