Vulnerability, fear, and contradiction: Why work doesn’t work for many of us

Ted Bauer
14 min readOct 17, 2021

How we think, at and about, work

Harvard Business Review goes and poses a good question: “If humility is seemingly so important, then why are leaders often so arrogant?” It’s a good question. If you were trapped on a desert island with a browser that could somehow only access Forbes and Inc and Fast Company, you’d assume humility is the norm in so many organizations, and is constantly being discussed and practiced. Most of business journalism is drivel, and a big reason why it’s drivel is because it talks about shit that’s not happening at all like it’s happening at scale, then every article mentions the same four companies, all of whom are always in Silicon Valley. I digress.

The HBR article then answers the question in the headline with this section:

There are a few important things to pull out there:

  • “Without hesitation, it means I can tell others what to do.”
  • “Many of us believe that if you’re not winning, you are losing”
  • “Life is fundamentally and always a competition”



Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.