Liderazgo Creativo en Tiempos VUCA

“Hay solo un golpe que está en perfecta armonía con el campo. Es “su” auténtico golpe. Y ese golpe lo está buscando. Hay un golpe perfecto allá afuera, buscando a cada uno de nosotros. Todo lo que tenemos que hacer es quitarnos del medio y dejar que nos encuentre”. 

-Coach Bagger Vance (Will Smith) hablando a Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon) en un tramo de la película “La Leyenda de Bagger Vance”-Bagger Vance

En dicha escena, el coach Vance le habla a Junuh metafóricamente de la naturaleza contraintuitiva de la creatividad y del foco.

Sugiere que en lugar de abrirnos camino “pensando en la mejor solución frente a un desafío”, mantengamos la intención y busquemos un lugar de quietud y de presencia dejando que la idea perfecta en ese momento y lugar, la que “está en armonía con el todo”, nos encuentre.

Este consejo, en un mundo VUCA (volátil, incierto, complejo y ambiguo), parece carecer de toda lógica.

Richi webEn mis talleres comparto con los participantes una metáfora donde una rueda gira a una velocidad creciente. La superficie de la rueda refleja el mundo VUCA con todas sus características. Cuanto más rápido gire la rueda, más relevante es que su centro esté quieto, que no vibre (por esta razón es importante balancear las ruedas de los coches). Es una metáfora que integra la aparente contradicción entre “ir rápido e ir lento”. Aparentemente contradictorias, se vuelven una condición que requiere de la otra. Como dice Einstein, sólo puede integrarse una polaridad mirando desde otro punto de vista con mayor perspectiva.

Este espacio está más allá del neo córtex, incluye “el corazón y las tripas”. Quiero invitarlos a considerar que el acceso a ese espacio de sabiduría se logra desde el silencio y la presencia.

La pregunta que recibo a menudo es cómo entrar en ese espacio, ¿cuál es el portal de ingreso? Mi respuesta simple (y profunda) es… a través de la respiración. Tomar unas respiraciones de consciencia es algo que todos podemos hacer. Es el despertador de consciencia más a mano que tenemos. Y es uno que a menudo ignoramos. El sistema respiratorio es un sistema que es automático (respiramos mientras estamos en un sueño profundo) y a la vez podemos “contener voluntariamente” la respiración durante un tiempo. Es decir, que es automático y volitivo. Tomar una respiración de consciencia frente a una reacción emocional. Inspirar, retener unos segundos, exhalar. Repetir, dos o tres veces. Es el acto más simple del mundo. Y nos coloca en un lugar de consciencia diferente al que teníamos antes de respirar. Y la paradoja es que cuando estamos en un lugar diferente tenemos elecciones que desde un lugar de ceguera no tenemos. Todas las opciones aparecen con la perspectiva, con poder ver “hacer objeto” algo a lo que antes estábamos “sujetos”. Es la diferencia entre “tener una historia” a que “la historia te tenga a ti”. Desde un lugar de mayor perspectiva o consciencia las elecciones se multiplican.

En un mundo VUCA, invertir tiempo de práctica para entrar en ese lugar de mayor auto-consciencia es clave para poder responder con efectividad, en armonía con tus valores a los desafíos que el entorno te plantea.

Como dice Shauna Shapiro, miembro de nuestro Advisory Board, “aquello que practicas, crece”. La neurociencia es contundente al respecto. Está profusamente demostrado que el cerebro físicamente se modifica con prácticas como la respiración consciente. Los invito a abrazarlas y a experimentar los efectos en su habilidad para ejecutar, en sus relaciones y en ustedes mismos.

Simple de decir, no tan obvio de hacer. Pero debe hacerse si queremos cambiar el nivel de consciencia y efectividad, en particular el nuestro, el de los equipos en los que operamos, el de las organizaciones de las que formamos parte y el de la sociedad en la que vivimos.

 

Language and the Pursuit of Happiness

“There is a world out there, and we speak about it.”  Most of us grew up with that story.

As I learned more about how human beings make sense of the world, I came across a concept that much more truthfully describes the process. “We only see out there the world that we can speak about.”  Is that possible?

Think for a moment about having a language for things, in the power of distinctions. For example, imagine for a second you raise the hood of your car. If you are like the vast majority of people I know, you will see “an engine and stuff”. In the face of a problem with your car, you will probably as a next step close the hood and call for help. Your friend Joe, who is an amateur mechanic, will notice something completely different. He will notice the spark plugs  or the injectors, the crankshaft, the pulleys, the water pump, the radiator, etc. In his world, the system makes sense, he understands the harmony or lack thereof, the interdependencies, what is a condition for what, what certain symptoms mean in terms of possible causes. Joe has a capacity to intervene in the system that you don’t; he has distinctions you don’t. He can “see” what you can’t because he has a language for it. Finally, he can fix the engine while you can’t.

Extrapolate this to your current life, at work and beyond. You walk around trying to produce results you desire. You want to be happy. What’s wrong with that after all? Sometimes it works for you; other  times it doesn’t. Why is that; what is going on? I want to postulate that you walk around using “filters” through which you look at the world. These make things appear to you in a certain way, and they have limitations, they have poor distinctions, outgrown by the context of increasing complexity and interdependence, therefore standing in the way of your accomplishments and your happiness.

richi-article

Let me address some of these filters. By using more powerful lenses you will unleash creative energy that will enable you to effectively pursue your dreams.

The filter of certainty 

You have grown up doing three things:

  1. making stories about events you observe in the world
  2. believing these stories to be true (after all they are your stories…)
  3. forgetting you told these stories to yourself

You then walk around having opinions about almost everything, “knowing” what is going on. These constructs may have been useful at some point ; however, in the face of VUCA, they become outdated, useless. The context changes, but as you have grown oblivious and blind to your stories, you don’t question them . You continue to operate like they continue to be true.  The challenges and difficulties, the “not getting what we want” conditions,  start to show up pervasively. Then the response you give is to try (even) harder. You have the belief that if you keep at it long enough, if you keep striving, you will eventually succeed. Success becomes more and more elusive, and a tunnel vision ensues. You persist, struggling, pushing, toiling and … failing.

I want to offer that,  by taking one breath of awareness, you can reconnect with your cognitive limitations, your vulnerability, your bounded rationality. This can come across as weakness. I want to suggest that completely the opposite is true. In the midst of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), questions become much more powerful than answers. By entering this space of humility and consciousness you may begin to inquire with the curiosity of a child, finding alternatives that before were completely out of your field of awareness.

I recently read a quote that moved me to tears  – “A creative adult is a child that survived.”  Can you survive your magical child spirit and grow into that adult that can question the world from a place of wonder and awe? Can you once again recreate the conditions so the child within can survive and prosper?

And just like that, having these distinctions, as in the initial example of peeking under the hood of a car, create richer options so you can successfully pursue your dreams.

The filter of “blaming others and the world” for my suffering 

“I was late to the meeting because of traffic.”  I am sure you heard this many times. Is it true? Of course it is, as most cities’  freeways we live and work in are crammed with cars every morning. I read a phrase very appropriate to describe this explanation: TBU  – “true but useless”. The generative question is “ What is your power to influence the system?” If you place causality on traffic it is very low . Unless the 500,000 careless drivers become more conscious  and decide not to pack the highways when it is your time to drive to work , you are doomed. Of course a voice inside your head is yelling, “ Just wake up earlier you lazy bum..” By focusing on parts of the system where you have higher leverage, you can produce results that are dependent on you. You become power-full rather than power-less. I often ask in our workshops the (rhetorical) question,  “How do you wish to live, as a powerless victim or a powerful player?”. Of course , 100% choose the latter. However, as I also often show them through role playing, the choice of being in  the driver’s seat comes with a cost, the cost of anxiety, of accountability ; we must be willing to endure the consequences of our actions as the price to pay for power, for being in control of our lives.

I suggest that this mindset of always “responding to challenges” offers an outlook of hope and inspiration. You are in charge of your life and choose moment by moment how you wish to respond to the circumstances that are presented to you. Between the action and re-action there is a space of consciousness. This process of becoming and acting in consequence can change your life forever. And,  as in our initial example, it boils down to having more powerful distinctions that create a richer field of possibilities.

Easy to say, not easy to do, but it must be done if we wish to pursue and accomplish a life of fullfilment, expansion and joy.

Stages of Consciousness, Obesity and The First Law of Thermodynamics

food pyramidIn this paper I will argue that, as we unquestionably believe stories that are told by others we disempower ourselves. We also divest ourselves from power when we unquestionably believe our own stories. We make them dogmatic truths rather than questionable assumptions. I will argue that questioning, both others’ and own stories, coming to informed, independent and grounded conclusions, will make you powerful.

And I have the theory that that will create a richer context for your life, making you more fulfilled, happier.

Of course this is also a story. So please, question every word I say, don’t take me for granted. Challenge my ideas. Every statement I make is based on my own conclusions based on my own research. And I could be completely, dead wrong… So here we go.

Continue reading “Stages of Consciousness, Obesity and The First Law of Thermodynamics”

Conscious Business in Action: Integrating Process and Outcome Goals

Marathon RunnersThe London Marathon had banners on every mile marker. The 18th mile marker had a now funny quote: “Why the hell am I here, why did I not burn that damn sign-up form?”. There are times where, beyond your commitment to your goals, everything looks insurmountable.       My marathon trainer used to say “focus your attention on that signpost 150 yards ahead, all you need to do is get to it, then you’ll know what to do next.”

Process versus Outcome

The question underpinning  Fred’s LinkedIn post (Class of 2013: Find Your Spiritual Harness)  is “OK, so how do you stay focused on the process, when there is so much at stake, when you are terribly invested in the outcome?

Continue reading “Conscious Business in Action: Integrating Process and Outcome Goals”

Conscious Capitalism: Bringing Love to Business

Is it possible to build a business on love and care? That was the premise of the fourth annual conference on Conscious Capitalism held last May in Boston.

Love and business in the same sentence might sound a bit sappy, but far from it. Authors Sisodia, Wolfe and Sheth in the book Firms of Endearment researched hundreds of companies truly loved by all who come in contact with them and showed that they outperformed S&P 500 firms 1111% to 123% over the last ten years.

Many business people consider “love” to be a personal matter, certainly nothing that belongs in the corporation. Yet love forms the foundation of all human interactions. Without love, there is no teamwork, no leadership, no real commitment to customer service.

Continue reading “Conscious Capitalism: Bringing Love to Business”

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: