Through more than 37 years of working with individuals, teams and organizations, I have come to the conclusion that the life we live is the life that we have created through the focus, decisions and actions we have chosen.
It seems to me that the world is stuck. We have political parties with seemingly irreconcilable differences, polarizing opinions on guns, abortion, the environment, with no signs of compromise and no apparent hope of resolution. The rancor from all sides has devolved to a single position: “Just say no.” No matter what price there is to pay. I’ve spent my life thinking about leadership and courage and over the next several posts to these pages I will offer my thoughts on the Courage it takes to Lead.
Why try? Why make any effort when we are all destined to die? Why effort in a world that can be so senseless, when things like the Boston Marathon bombing and Oklahoma tornado disasters occur?
In my clinical work as a psychotherapist and in my consulting work, I find many people are really living more “at effect” – reacting to what others do, feeling imposed upon, focusing on that things and forces that concern them but over which they have no control, feeling victimized or powerless or at the very least resentful or upset and blaming others. It turns out that few seem to realize that they have the tremendous power of being the CHOOSER, of being At Choice in their lives.
This is the last in the series on the four primary tools and methods for creating greater mental and overall flexibility to deal with discontinuities, challenges, opportunities and change. Resiliency is the capacity to spring back from set backs, stresses and discontinuities.
This sense of inner calm, of confidence, makes you more mentally flexible since you are not “on your guard” or having to “prove yourself” – you can be more relaxed and at ease in dealing with people and responding to the challenges before you.
What is your center? What is your Purpose in being on this earth? To what are you in service? Can you easily articulate in one short sentence why you are here, your sense of personal meaning on this earth?
The key here is to develop greater mental and emotional flexibility. Without that ability to flex without breaking, to bend with the currents of change without getting up rooted, an individual, a leader, a team or an organization can collapse, fall apart or lose their way.
Do what you do with all of yourself. In fact, in the challenges before us, we can not afford anything less. When it comes to addressing complex challenges, dealing with rapid change, being more innovative and getting more with less, we need the richness, intelligence and full engagement of everyone around us.
The challenge for all leaders and teams is how to both deal with rapid discontinuities AND how to become more innovative. The enemy to both is “old ways of thinking” and old forms of communicating, connecting and relating that limit human potential, imagination and capacity.