The Life of Steve Wynn

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Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. — David Hume

Emotions and Moods
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

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Differentiate emotions from moods. Discuss the different aspects of emotions. Identify the sources of emotions and moods. Describe external constraints on emotions.

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Discuss the impact emotional labor has on employees. Discuss the case for and the case against emotional intelligence. Apply concepts on emotions and moods to OB issues.

L E A R N I N G
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O B J E C T I V E S

CHAPTER

8

Emotions Can Be Powerful

enthusiasm, as well as his temper. He once shot off his index finger in his office. And when describing his new $2.7 billion hotel, which he named after himself, he broke into a song from a musical.When have you ever seen a CEO do that? Wynn’s also given to making outlandish statements. He said of his new hotel, “This building is more complex than any other structure in the history of the world.” He also once commented, smiling, that “Las Vegas is sort of like how God would do it if he had money.” Many regard Wynn as the most powerful man in Nevada, largely because he can both inspire and scare people. One politician stated, “Steve Wynn’s control over politicians is all-encompassing. It’s overwhelming. Either you work for him or he tries to get you out of office.” Those who know Wynn say his temper can erupt as fiercely as the volcano he put

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teve Wynn, the famous hotel mogul, is an emotional person.1 He is known for his infectious

on the grounds of his flagship hotel and casino, The Mirage. At the same time, while Wynn was in charge of the Mirage, it was high on Fortune’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies. Interestingly, in contrast to Wynn’s volatile personality, his new hotel is meant to appeal to people’s desire for calmness. Gone are the exotic public displays, such graced as volcanoes his earlier and caged tigers, that hotels. He even says that he’d get rid of the casinos if he could. No casinos in a Las Vegas hotel? Could Steve Wynn be bluffing? ■

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PART TWO

The Individual

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t’s probably safe to assume that most of us are not as given to emotional extremes as Steve Wynn. If we were, could we be as successful as he in our professions? Given the obvious role that emotions play in our work and everyday lives, it might surprise you to learn that, until recently, the field of OB has given the topic of emotions little or no attention.2 How could this be? We can offer two possible explanations. The first is the myth of rationality.3 Since the late nineteenth century and the rise of scientific management, the protocol of the work world has been to keep a damper on emotions. A well-run organization was one that didn’t allow employees to express frustration, fear, anger, love, hate, joy, grief, and similar feelings. The prevailing thought was that such emotions were the antithesis of rationality. Even though researchers and managers knew that emotions were an inseparable part of everyday life, they tried to create organizations that were emotion-free. That, of course, wasn’t possible. The second explanation was the belief that emotions of any kind are disruptive.4 When researchers considered emotions, they looked at strong, negative emotions—especially anger—that interfered with an employee’s ability to work effectively. They rarely viewed emotions as constructive or able to enhance performance. Certainly some emotions, particularly when exhibited at the wrong time, can reduce employee performance. But this doesn’t change the fact that employees bring their emotional sides with them to work every day and that no study of OB could be comprehensive without considering the role of emotions in workplace behavior.

What Are Emotions and Moods?
Although we don’t want to obsess over definitions, before we can proceed with our...
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