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Ep 19 - Sensing an unsafe work culture with Marcel Schwantes

Jan 27, 2021

How a sudden physical injury helped a former healthcare leader see the impact that a fear-driven management style was having on his wellbeing and performance in a high stakes environment. 

Marcel Schwantes was set up for an accelerated career leading human resources departments in a hospital group. He was put through a two year leadership rotation program that demanded a lot from him - and he was up for the challenge. But pretty soon he began to sense signals of an unsupportive, critical team that was supervising him. His interest to contribute and share his ideas were met with disdain and rejection - he felt isolated, discouraged, and full of fear. 

At first, he could not sense how much this toxicity was impacting his health. But then he had a sudden injury that sent him to the hospital, of which the primary cause was stress. It was then that he realized that his stress was not because he was not strong or smart enough to perform in a challenging environment, but about the impact that the attitude and lack of support that his superiors had on his ability to be at his best. He now has transformed this wisdom into helping companies make a transition from restrictive management to servant leadership. 

In this episode, we explore how early stress warning signs can fall below the radar in high pressure environments, the need to balance responsibility between individuals to take care of their wellbeing and an organization to provide a supportive environment, and how top-down, autocratic management styles can lead to a culture of passivity and disengagement that ultimately impacts the bottom line. 

You can find out more about Marcel by visiting

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