I was writing an email to a client who is a CEO/MD. And as I finished the email I realized that this may make a good blog post to share.. So here is what I wrote ..
“I had this impulse to write to you because I have realised that often we human beings- all of us- are a bit crazy.. for example, I have seen in the last 14 years of working with/ contributing to more than 5000+ people, 500+ senior leaders (CEO/CxO/business and functional heads), 100+ plus facilitators, trainers & social entrepreneurs that..
‘The last thing we know is what to put first’ – Blaise Pascal
Human beings find it difficult to sustain what they give birth to.. to deepen and move towards mastery.
And organisations find it even more difficult.
Be that as it may, in leadership..
what differentiates the men from the boys (and the women from the girls- didn’t want to sound gender insensitive ;-))
and the good organisations from the great..
are 3 things:
1. Are they investing in developing themselves?
2. Are they noticing the relationship between success and deep self mastery?
3. Do they really appreciate greatness.. their own and that of their people and organisation/vision?
It is simple… in the field of leadership.. metaphorically speaking..
Boys, girls and good organisations don’t
Men, Women great organisations Do.
Now, you may wonder why am I sharing all this.
Well- having worked with you and your organization, I see there is HUGE potential
And yet.. to harness it, I believe it is vital to focus on developing the leadership and the team in a sustained way, to believe that this investment of time and energy will make a differnece.
The greatest leaders/CEOs/ organisations today focus on learning ongoingly.
And of course most organisations- more than 90% – are the ‘also ran’s- some who may move from mediocrity to being good..
But greatness is a different realm altogether.”
This is where the note to the MD ended. So.. some questions arise
Why is it that the last thing we know is what to put first? Why is it that we tend to not attend to the metaphorical golden goose that lays the eggs (ourselves)? In Urdu/ Hindi the word ‘khud’ (yourself) and ‘khuda’ (the divine-The Self) is what we often neglect. Why don’t we sustain the momentum of learning? In my understanding and from what I have ‘gathered’, this happens because of:
1. Oscillation: We have a deep desire to change, learn, grow, create what matters most to us (be in our Essence). However, we also have a deep-rooted belief. “I cannot have what I want (persona, limiting belief). We keep oscillating towards these opposing directions materializing the desire and actualizing the belief. Because either way there is a tension which seeks resolution. This oscillating structure (rocking chair-like) if mounted on an advancing structure (a Ferrari) can enable us to deal with this challenge. The advancing structure is born out of love and purpose not a ‘Return on Investment’ orientation (Refer: Path of Least Resistance – Robert Fritz)
2. Comfort Zone: We get back into our familiar patterns (personas) because there is a short term pay-off. A quick- fix like not taking responsibility and blaming. Making others wrong. Not bring dominated. Being on automatic pilot. Playing the triangle game. The adventure of living totally involves our willingness to feel all our feelings esp. the unpleasant ones (fear, anger sadness). Then they pass away like thunderstorms. And we can be back in flow working joyfully.
3. Upper Limit: As a result of our upbringing, we can contain only a certain amount of joy. We learn to limit the amount of energy we feel & express. Beyond that our thermostat trips. The familiar, though unpleasant seduces us. The fear of the unknown comes up as we enter a zone of positivity we have not occupied before. And we come down into low energy levels. (Refer: The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks)
4. The Human Design: The only way for us to experience joy is to experience what is non-joy (pain/unpleasant feelings)!! Because then there is a reference point. Paradoxically we lost it, only to be able to rediscover it. (Refer: Conversations with God – Neale Donald Walsh)
5. Emotional Nourishment: While we feed our physical body with food, most of us don’t nourish our “emotional body”. Most of us are not even aware of the need to nourish the emotional aspects. Hence that which we don’t give energy to begins to wither. “Whatever you focus on expands”.
We believe that, “All the positivity must automatically and always stay alive. I have right to feeling good permanently once I attend a training program”.
That’s like saying, ‘ I’ll have food today & it must last me for the rest of my life”.
6. Law of Nature: “All growth in nature occurs while its being inhibited”….. Maturana. If there is no resistance, its not living. All that grows in nature is in the presence of forces that impede it. We often give up easily and don’t persevere with the challenges.
7. Equilibraiting: Demartini tells is in ‘The Breakthrough Experience’ that all exists in pairs of opposites. Happiness just cannot ever exist without sadness. Pain without pleasure. The low without the high. Its just that we notice only a part of it and then we are not with the truth. When we ‘equilibriate’ i.e. notice the other missing part, we see the divine order and naturally move to love and gratitude seeing the divine order in all that is.
If you have come so far in reading this, I would invite you to look at any one small aspect of your life and see how might you take a baby step with love and patience to prioritise your Self. All it may need is a 5 minute vacation (another blog post here you may like to look at!)