The following article was written by Adriana Méndez, a specialist in enabling processes of change and human comunication. For further information you may visit her official website. On behalf of the SABF team we would like to thank Adriana for taking the time to write the following contribution. We hope you enjoy it!
After so many years of working as a trainer in companies and teaching not only leaders but would-be ones, I have been in contact with different kinds of leadership that much of the literature describes.
Our societies require really soon a paradigmatic change as far as Leadership is concerned: A change of direction. There are a lot of leaders, trainers, scientists from different areas and disciplines that state that our world needs other type of leaders and they explain and describe clearly this change and its characteristics but… what happens that we cannot put it into practice? We can perceive this perfectly well since our world is suffering from lack of leaders that are really interested in the wellbeing of people who they are leading; instead, what many of them are doing is just working for their own interests and selfish purposes. I will develop briefly the work of two authors that I like very much and enjoy reading: Fred Kofman y Joseph Jaworski.
One of the concepts that it would be advisable to start bearing in mind in order to stop doing it is the concept of “separateness” or “being in fragments” which creates a barrier among people. Almost everything people do is based on this concept when Nature shows us just the opposite: WHOLENESS. Our brain-mind-spirit works as a whole, just like the Universe. Why is it that we have worked so hard to separate and divide everything since many years ago?
THIS IS THE CHANGE I AM SPEAKING ABOUT AND WHAT MANY GREAT AUTHORS ARE ALSO SPEAKING ABOUT!
Jaworski talks about the inner path towards Leadership. I couldn’t agree more since the discipline that I teach, Human Communication, tells us that Change starts from a change in ourselves.
Jaworski, in one of his books, Synchronicity, enumerates characteristics that a different leader should develop:
• Worth of the Nature of Leadership
• Focus on Concepts that enhance the INTERCONECTION and avoid the current separateness (communities, nations, disciplines, fields of work, etc)
• Development of the interdependence and a perspective that includes the Wholeness of the world.
• Focus and awareness of values: Ask key questions: Why? And What for?
• Training and Learning to produce these necessary changes and not only write about them but create different conditions to favor the implementation of these changes.
• Acquisition of responsibility in each action.
• Awareness of the environment in which each leader interacts.
David Bohm, one of the greatest scientists and thinkers of the XX Century, stated: “Wholeness is necessary to understand parts and parts are necessary to understand wholeness. The Universe as a whole influences each event. YOU ARE THE WHOLE HUMANITY. The individual capacity of being sensitive to consciousness is key to human change.”
When people operate on the level of mutual relationship, a magical and powerful mechanism starts working which makes everything flow in a completely different way from what is currently going on. Bohm adds: “You have to pay attention to Consciousness. It is something that society ignores. It is assumed that consciousness does not require attention. But consciousness is what GIVES this attention. Consciousness itself requires a very alert consciousness; otherwise, it simply destroys itself. It is a very delicate system. We have to think with everything that we have. We have to think with our muscles. We have to think, as Einstein said, with what we feel with our muscles. THINK WITH EVERYTHING. It is a process that goes inwardly and outwardly helping to make communication possible. ” and adds: “We have inner resources and skills that we are not aware of.”
That is why I think it is vital in our time to train ourselves in subjects that are common to all disciplines and that is HUMAN COMMUNICATION: A discipline that is above any other and that sometimes it is underestimated because it is considered to be obvious and generally, “obvious” means what it is not said or shown and often, prevents us from putting these concepts into practice. This is so since what it is not shown or said is where difficulties arise.
Besides, to illustrate more information about Consciousness, Fred Kofman in his book “Conscious Business” develops ideas that work wonders and that of course, I strongly suggest reading and practicing.
As stated by Kofman, to put this consciousness into practice, the following qualities are required.
• Unconditional Responsibility: to become the protagonist of your own life.
• Essential Integrity: to reach success farther on success itself.
• Ontological Humility
These three qualities are attributes of personality.
• Authentic Communication: to tell our own truth and allow others to tell their own.
• Effective Negotiation
• Faultless Coordination.
These three qualities are interpersonal skills.
Last but no least, the seventh quality is what it is needed to make the other qualities be fulfilled: EMOTIONAL SKILL to generate an honest Leadership, since BEING, more than DOING, is the real path towards excellence.
Finally, I would like to finish this article with the words of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “… if leaders do not see workers as unique and valuable persons but as tools that can be disposed of when they are not needed any more, workers will not see the company as something valuable either. They will see their workplace as a machine that delivers paychecks. Under those conditions it is very difficult to do a good job and even less to enjoy their own work.”