To see order in any circumstance is to be inspired by it.
Can we be happy when things go bad? Or, do we have a sense of how the world should be, and don’t smile unless we get what we want?
Reality Challenges our Expectations and therefore, most stress, productivity blocks, emotional downers, mental health and relationship issues reveal a conflict between what we want (expected) to happen and what’s real.
We can prepare for anything in our head, we can run a marathon, make the best piece of art or lead groups to the top of the world in our head, but it’s reality that really questions our balance. Can you turn up, no matter what?
There’s an order in the chaos that most people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand. That order transcends what we wish, would like, would prefer, hope for, want, desire and expect. That order is the order of nature.
Say your company is struggling to meet budget. There are many responses to this: the most common is to up the anti and become more intense, work longer hours, be more demanding on the team, hold motivational phone calls and fret. The question we have, in this era, is whether acting in a primal level of human consciousness gives the best, long term result?
People become as you treat them. If you don’t trust people, they cheat. If you don’t like someone, they reject you. If you talk or think negative about people behind their back, they speak in dark tones to your face. Cause and effect are linked, and if you know and trust this part of nature’s law, you have a great insight as to how to lead, and self-lead a team.
Karma is the Eastern word for this. In India I visit a really close friend in Mysore. He’s a masterful healer and trained in both western and eastern medicine. One day over Chai, I asked him about giving people bad news. “what if you examine someone and find out they are going to die. What do you say.” His reply still rings in my ears, it was unbelievable at the time, but now, as a leader, I get it. He said, “I don’t want to cause bad karma, so I don’t predict a bad future.”
“Why wouldn’t he give them the truth?”
“Because, they know that. My job is to give them hope.”
Is this, at last, a real insight into the role of the leader?
How many people do we give hope to? How many lives do we make better because of ours? How many people do we love and how much value do we add to people’s lives? Maybe this is the real mark of leadership, love and relationship all rolled into one.
Self leadership comes to a real crisis point when we are faced with challenging people between what people think is best for themselves and what we judge as best for them. This is where we need to be “One step ahead”
Anything you can’t see the balance in, you can’t manage or lead. What is chaos to someone who follows you must, by definition be order to you. Otherwise, leadership is a farce and simply turns to management.
So, rather than add judgement to people’s lives, a leader’s responsibility is to reduce them.
Most often, this means being more realistic than those we lead. Which sounds like a kill-joy for those who love emotional uppers
and self-importance. But that’s not leadership, it’s motivation, we’ll put that in the management category, comfort and being in the NOW.
People follow leaders because they perceive their life will be better by doing so. People stay in relationship because they perceive their life is better by doing so. Maintenance is not motive unless it is the avoidance of fear and then, it falls into the same category of perceived life improvement.
When I am leading a walk I get faced with many ugly decisions. People become obsessed with the end goal and forget everything else. Some people just want to go higher and higher even though they are not acclimatising well. It’s a golden guarantee for disaster to continue and yet, they feel that my leadership is holding them back, they feel strong, healthy and totally mentally prepared. Experience in this case would be an expensive teacher, death or helicopter rescue at the least. What to do?
Certainty, or in Corporate Language: Clarity, is hard to beat. The more we justify ourselves, the more we debate something, the more we rationalise it, the less clarity and certainty there is. This is, for a leader, and anyone facing a conflict, a vital point. It is resolved easily and consciously as follows.
First, prove you know the whole story. Both that the individual is right, or at least half right by repeating all the positive facts they have for proceeding as they see fit. Acknowledge and accept that the half of the story they are witnessing is true and correct. Then, without using the word BUT, ask for permission to add other data: the other side that only you, as a leader seeing more balance than others, can see.
In a world without consequences of cause and effect (karma,) and where self-leadership might come to mean self-happiness, it would be easy to discount the knowledge someone has as being wrong, and you being right. This is an impossible debate. It is only the individual who balances information to make both sides validated that can meditate a debate. And this is a great skill in anger management in leadership.
How much responsibility must you take for conflicts and anger in your team?
You are responsible for your own state of mind, that’s obvious, and if there’s no peace within you, there cannot be peace outside of you. So, step one in anger management as a team or company leader is to find peace within. The key to this is to define peace properly.
Peace for many people is associated with a lack of challenge, lack of disturbance, a feeling of vindication. This is emotional comfort, and understandably confusing, it feels great. However, peace is better defined as it is in nature: the harmony between support and challenge. The more of one, the more of the other we must experience. This is balance.
You are responsible for your group, you are the leader and that defines your duty of care. So, what do you do when anger looms in one of your team. If you quench it at work by creating “laws” set around behaviour, you just send it home. Do you want to send anger home to families? I doubt it.
Anger doesn’t go away just because you or the HR team make it wrong. It never “goes away” but instead, you can use the energy. It’s a great energy if you can coach your team to express it as commitment, energy, enthusiasm.
Choices based on anger are rarely healthy but choices made without any enthusiasm are equally destructive, unambitious and droll. So, instead of bundling anger as a bad thing, we want to embrace it.
The key to this is in non reaction. An angry person needs a mirror to push against. If you are not swayed left or right by anger, you must instead, hold your convictions. Just hold good intent. Be genuine with your intention. Do you know your intent?
Could there be a greater divergence in philosophy. On one hand as a leader you need to be responsible for people’s wellbeing, while on the other hand, you need to empower people to make their choices in life. Do you empower your clients and team, and let them learn from mistakes? What is right?
The answer is really simple:
It depends on where that person is at in their thinking.
If you’re working with a person in the GOT TO head space, they are desperate and probably most headstrong. This individual is usually the most aggressive, expressive, determined, right, and will, if provoked cause the most corporate strife. However, they have the least wisdom.
To manage a person we need to understand where they are at in their mind. If desperate, or in survival mode, they need supervision, discipline, management, strict
guidelines. If, however, they are in a “want to, desire to, choose to or Love to” level of inspiration they can, for the greater part be self-led.
Wealth, health, righteousness, status, age, position, authority, public image, fame: none of these have any mirror back to consciousness. A billionaire who fears losing it all will be in a GOT TO headspace.
A young couple just married and madly in love can be in a GOT TO headspace if one of them are not able to trust. Circumstances do not determine our consciousness. Our perception of circumstances determines our consciousness.
So, later in this work you’ll be introduced to the concepts of coaching others from survival mode into inspired mode. But for now, it’s important that you know how to recognise those signs of mind space in yourself, at least then, you don’t act on low emotion.
Staying one step ahead means you know others better than they know themselves. This is not amateur psychology, it’s nature. We’re not second guessing people, we’re using nature’s laws to predict results.