We are born and then we die. In the magnificent eternity of Life which has no end and no beginning, a human existence is like a grain of sand in the vast stretches of the beach. Why are you born? Why are you born to your specific parents? Why are you born in the country that you are born in? Why do you have the roller-coaster of experiences as you journey through your specific lifetime, only to be buried under the ground or burnt on a funeral pyre; forgotten forever after a point even by those who loved you the most. To what purpose? For all you know, I may be dead in the very next moment. Then, why spend my life huffing and puffing away to get that next promotion, vent out my rage on the driver or anyone who cuts me short, walk past the housekeeping staff as if he doesn't exist, walk around feeling sad / mad / bad / glad; as if I have an eternity to live? And, how the hell is all this related to leading your organization from good to great?
Well, there is a method to this apparent randomness of the Universe. Sure, mine is a view from a point. As you put reality at the centre-point of a sphere, you can see there literally millions of points to stand on the sphere to look at the reality placed at the centre. From every different point, you have a completely different view. Absolutely, all views are valid even if they are contradictory because at 180 degree, for sure you will see two different views altogether. You can keep pulling each other's hair till death do you apart to vehemently and righteously prove your point of view, your belief, your view of the world as RIGHT and that the other person got it completely WRONG. I am right and you are wrong. All the mess in the world, in organizations, in families is only a function of lack of Leadership Depth where people have not trained themselves to have Agility of Mind to have a 360 degree view of reality.
Another question arises, if there are million views of the same reality; then which point should we stand in. The only point to stand in is that point of view which gives you the power to create your life and realize your greatest dreams in deepest communion with your highest self. The reason I wandered off to another topic is to assert that whatever I am putting forth is only a view from a point. Stand where I am standing, only if it makes a difference to you, gives you access to your Power to Create.
Before continuing the inquiry, let's step back to define what is Personal Mastery. Personal Mastery is to be the Greatest Version of your own self to
Have It All:
1. Deeply-fulfilling, super-successful, prosperity-creating career supporting you to live your purpose of life;
2. Loving, harmonious relationships at work and at home;
3. Happy, responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed; and
4. Lots of nourishing, nurturing me-time; while
5. Being at the source of transformation in the world through the work you do.
If you are a human being, you will wistfully hope for it. And, if you are a senior leader; you will scoff at it, masking the cynicism and resignation lying buried deep inside. You see, one of the reason people don't have it all is because people don't expect to. Therefore, they don't even play for it. In my coaching, shifting this limited view of life is the toughest part of my job. Everything else is a piece of cake. You see, where is the proof you can have it all. Who can stand tall and say, I have it all? There are just no role-models. I myself am a work-in-progress. Though, by believing this was my destiny, I played along and created a whole new world for myself; creating fun, fulfilment & freedom in all of these five areas of my wheel of life. Indra Nooyi's video went viral in which she said women cannot have it all. My response is that men also don't have it all and equally suffer; maybe more so because most times, they are not even present to it till it is too late.
My question is Law of Gravity existed even before someone discovered it; Law of Relativity existed even before somebody explained it to the world. Who says Law of Having It All doesn't exist just because all you see on media and the world around you is an absence of it? Everything in the Universe is so perfect, the human body's design, the flora and fauna and all you see in the Nature around you. Having It All is really perfect, then why should it not be available to human beings? It is just that it is very difficult to create. The fact is it cannot be created in the current Leadership Model which doesn't even believe in its existence.
Would you be willing to make Having It All the purpose of your life, your destiny? Is this goal worth striving for? Are you willing to put your heart, mind, body and spirit in the game to reach this destination? If yes, then read on. Else, you can skip to read news that tells you what all is wrong with our world.
You need Personal Mastery to
1. Have It All
2. Shift all your Limiting Habits in all your four bodies (Emotional, Mental, Physical and Spiritual) of your Being into Growth Habits
3. Shift into another Leadership Model which is value-based (Love, Gratitude, Reverence, Integrity, Personal Mastery) rather than remain stuck in the old Leadership Model of doing whatever it takes to get the next promotion and make more money.
4. Recognize that it takes a combination of Leadership Depth, Business Excellence and Craft Mastery to lead your organization from good to great.
5. Live a purposeful life rather than a robotic, monotonous existence being busy being busy.
Since Having It All is a worthy goal (otherwise, you wouldn't have read till here if you didn't agree); then obviously Personal Mastery is your goal, your purpose this lifetime; because that is the input that is needed to Have It All.
There are five stages of transformation for reaching Personal Mastery in the New Leadership Model, based on the integration of all that I have studied and trained myself on the four bodies of our Being (Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual), Business, Leadership and various coaching methodologies.
Leadership Depth is defined as an inner journey to your Highest Self in the New Leadership Model and the fifth stage of this journey is Personal Mastery (called out as Gear 5). Jim Collins in his published study of Good to Great organizations talks about Level 5 Leaders. The problem is the old Leadership Model can take people from Level 1 to Level 4; but there is no access to go to Level 5 just because it does not belong to that model.
In my subsequent blogs, we will deep dive into each of the five Leadership Gears and discuss in detail what does it take to reach there.
Believe in your greatness. That's why you were born - to live in the expression of your Greatness, to give yourself the permission to let your Light shine through, to have it all. It is not the good luck of few but the destiny of each human being.
Limiting Habits Impact our Productivity & Performance, Creativity & Innovation. What to Do about It?
A human being is only a sum total of her habits - emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. If you want to 10X your life, 10X the velocity with which to transform your Limiting Habits to Growth Habits.
Here are a few habits to consider -
a. Physical - Coffee vs water, alcohol vs fresh juice, sleeping extra vs early morning yoga, sleeping extra on weekends vs playing sports.
b. Emotional - Social media vs face-to-face catching-up with people and deeply connecting, emotionally blocked vs journaling to authentically and with vulnerability experiencing your emotions, arguing with your spouse at home vs deciding the winner in a sport playing outside.
c. Mental - Watching TV vs reading a book, only working vs working and also investing in learning a new non-work related skill year on year.
d. Spiritual - Busy being busy vs self-observation through meditation.
The loss of energy as we age, disease (dis-ease: body not at ease), stress, pain & aches are all a function of limiting habits; which unfortunately have a negative impact on our productivity & performance, creativity & innovation.
If you are clear you want to create deeply fulfilling, super success this lifetime; not working on your habits is like having a pebble in your shoe as you race to win in the Olympics of Life.
There are 4 stages in transforming a limiting habit into a growth habit:
1. Unconscious Incompetence: You have a habit that is dragging you down but you are not even conscious of it. Working with a coach works well to support you to become conscious of your limiting habits. Your spouse can also rattle the entire list, probably pretty accurately, but spouses are not trained in the art and science of coaching. So, better to have an objective, neutral, trained party to work with. Any good coach will support you to transcend your limiting habits and graduate into growth habits because without this foundational work, no other coaching objective can authentically be fulfilled.
2. Conscious Incompetence: This is the most uncomforatble stage to be in; but the fact is without coming here, you can't progress further. In this stage, you are painfully and consciously aware of your limiting habits. You can see yourself drinking coffee, not waking up to do yoga and all the other limiting habits but you are able to do nothing about it. Most people, at this stage, begin to beat themselves up which further reduces their power to transcend limiting habits. What you need to do here is to acknowledge your inability to make a different choice and celebrate because you moved from Stage 1 to Stage 2; which is a progress. The second thing to do at this stage is to track every time you made the default automatic choice. What you track, you can transform. You are a Starter at this stage and will give in atleast 90% of the time to the default limiting habit.
3. Conscious Competence: At this stage, you are making an effort to consciously choose the Growth Habit over the Limiting Habit. You lose most times in the beginning, you win some times. Keep tracking during the day, and reviewing & reflecting on your progress at the end of the day. Here's what all you should be tracking to identify the trigger of the limiting habit - Date, Time, Emotional State, Physical State, Mental State, Location, People Around, Loss / Won. Track before you give in. At the end of this phase, you become a Champion and will give in at maximum 10% of the time to the default limiting habit.
4. Unconscious Competence: At this stage, the limiting habit no longer has a hold on you. You have 100% hit rate, no longer need to track and the growth habit is yours to keep. You no longer need to make a conscious decision to choose between limiting and growth habit. The choice of the growth habit has become an automatic default response mode and the processing has shifted from your Conscious Mind into your Subconscious Mind. You are a Master now of this one habit that you started your journey with.
Yes, it is a slow journey. There is no quick fix for this. Follow this path to Personal Mastery and you will find productivity & performance, innovation & creativity in every area of your wheel of life. Wishing you deeply fulfilling, super success.
Let's first define what a wildly successful business is. Here are some of the parameters by which I measure the success of a business:
1. Profitability increases year on year. Feeling elated at increasing sales without focussing on profitability is insanity. I would rather have a USD 100 million business with 20% profit than a USD 1 Billion business with 1% profit.
2. Customers queue outside the door to purchase our products and services; rather than the business chasing customers to convince them to buy.
3. Best-in-class professionals queue outside our door to work for our business and those who are working with us never want to leave.
Here's the input that is needed for the above output that we are seeking to create:
1. The Leader at the helm of the Business is deeply connected with his purpose of life and is crystal clear how his purpose of life is being lived through the work he is doing. This is the foundational step towards building a purposeful organization; where the Vision of the organization is not just some posters on the wall.
2. The Leader at the helm of the Business has clearly articulated Values; which to him define who he is as a human being, which give him a way to connect with each Being in his space, which give him a way to fulfil on his purpose of life and lead his organization to fulfil on its Vision. It is the Leader's Values that breathe life in the organization's values. The best way to know if values have any meaning for the Leader is to check if there are family mission and family values that he uses at home to parent, lead and coach his kids to be the greatest version of themselves. Otherwise, its mere rhetoric - both his belief and the Values that the organization claims to live by.
3. The CEO and the Senior Leadership team experience compassionate love, gratitude and reverence for themselves and for each other; leading the way for employees to feel the same way.
4. The CEOs and the Senior Leadership team start and finish meetings on time. They honour their word to each other, to employees, to customers and to all other stakeholders. If there is a broken word, they take responsibility and restore their word.
5. The CEOs and the Senior Leadership team play the game of mastery. They play to be the world's best in what they do as a business and play for personal mastery to have it all - successful business, loving relationships at work and at home, happy responsible kids, nourishing me-time while being at the source of transformation in the world.
6. Succession planning is a way of life, where the successor of the role is set-up by the predecessor to be more successful than him.
7. If disaster happens, Leaders take responsibility. If huge success gets created, Leaders give away the credit to everyone else.
8. Employee Business Model Innovation is a way of life:
a. How are we making a difference to our employees?
b. How can we make an even bigger difference?
c. How do we use innovation and creativity to support our employees to realize their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self through the work they do in the organization and have it all - deeply fulfilling, successful, abundance creating career; loving, harmonious relationships at work and at home; happy responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed, nourishing me-time while making a difference in the world.
9. Customer Business Model Innovation is an ongoing exercise, with continuous inquiry of and powerful effective actions inside of it:
a. Which customer communities are we making a difference to?
b. How can we make an even bigger difference?
c. How do we use innovation and creativity to create products and services to solve real customer problems at a price that they can pay?
10. The CEO and the Leadership Team switch off from work on a daily basis to nourish themselves by being with their family - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually; creating a space for their employees to do the same. This supports stress levels to dramatically come down, give space to employees to rejuvenate and refresh themselves; resulting in creativity and innovation in each individual to exponentially increase, directly benefitting the bottom-line of the Business.
I know it is easy to build a good business, than to lead it to greatness. It is easy to have a good life, than to create a great life. Yes, it is Good that is the enemy of Great. Unfortunately, the Good is not sustainable. Another word for Good is Mediocrity; which only leads to a certain death not too far away in the future - emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. The path leading to Greatness is about transforming what it means to be an organization, what it means to be a Leader and ultimately, what it means to be a Human Being. Taking it on?
CEOs are role-models for their organizations. Whether you like it or not; your employees consciously or unconsciously mirror you, your beliefs, your values and even whether you have work-life balance or not. You cannot shy away from that fact.
If humanity has to progress forward towards love, joy and prosperity for all; human beings need to learn how to have it all - deeply fulfilling, successful, prosperity-creating career; loving harmonious relationships; happy, responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed and lots of nourishing me-time; while making a huge difference in the world.
If leaders at the helm of their organizations scoff at the idea of being able to have it all, and believe super successful career can only be built at the cost of every other area of their wheel of life; humanity will continue to slowly and surely move towards a downward negative spiral. Lets understand how.
If leaders and employees mirroring their leaders spend most of their time at work; it is being done at the cost of spending time with their kids, their spouse and with their own selves. A healthy, confident, happy child needs nourishing emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual connection with both their parents. You need to spend time with your spouse to be friends and soul mates on this journey called Life; for both of you to learn, grow and evolve to your greatest selves. Both parents are required to be deeply engaged in parenting, leading and coaching their children to be No-Limit human beings; coaching them on the family mission, family values and how to live them moment to moment. If this is missing at the level of the family which is the fundamental unit of society because parents are busy working to maintain the lifestyle and building successful careers at the cost of other areas of their wheel of life; how can Mission and Values exist authentically in organizations? This will only lead to a society where the foundation is fast eroding. If there is no value-based parenting and as a result of that no value-based leadership; humanity will continue its downward spiral towards chaos, poverty, crime instead of relating to each other with love, gratitude, reverence, integrity and personal mastery. If there is no love, gratitude, reverence, integrity between a father and a mother leading to broken relationships and families; how can there be love, peace, joy, prosperity and fulfilment in the world?
If you are a leader at the helm of your organization and continue to put your head in the sand like an ostrich ignoring that stress levels are deteriorating your health, your marriage is fast progressing towards becoming empty and meaningless; your children only look at you for material comfort and for maintaining a lifestyle that you have got them addicted to; life is no longer fun except when you are busy being busy at work. It is time to step out of the speeding train of life to really understand where it is headed.
I am not saying you have to give up your career to make your wheel of life spin joyously. All I am saying is that whatever you have done so far is not leading towards supporting you to have it all. I am inviting you to consider another way of being, doing and having. I am inviting you to explore another Leadership Model whose destination is to support you to have it all; rather than take it away from you. In that new Leadership Model, you will learn to accept that your Being has four bodies - Intellectual / Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual; and take on nourishing, growing and evolving each of these bodies for you to have it all - deeply fulfilling, super successful, abundance-creating career; loving, harmonious relationships experiencing a deep human, heart-to-heart connection with each one in your space; happy, responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed and lots of nourishing me-time; while being at the source of transformation for the world.
May the Force be with you.
The perfect time to divorce your spouse is when you are deeply in love with her. The right time to leave your organization is when you are deeply fulfilled with and joyously passionate about the work you do, you are at the peak of your career, the future is looking extremely bright for you in the organization and you are about to get your next big promotion.
You see; your spouse and your organization are the only opportunities you have for your learning, growth, evolution and transformation to your highest self. When there's trouble, you are not enjoying, not having fun, being there seems like a drag, you don't feel the connection, you don't feel love, joy or passion; you jump the boat looking for it elsewhere. In that jump, you lose an incredible powerful structure to look in the mirror to discover yourself at the source of the mess-up, disengagement, emptiness, stress and miss to work on yourself to transform what it means to be you; to remove yet another curtain between you and your Light, your greatness. You delay your own evolution and transformation; and in that, delay it for all of humanity because of which the world is torn apart with impregnable walls between the two genders, between religions, countries, between the rich and the poor, between the illiterate and the literate, between neighbours, between you and me. Universal Consciousness is really a sum total of the consciousness of each being in the Universe, each one of us is a part of the whole. Then, isn't each one of us responsible for how it is out there?
A relationship has three phases:
Phase 1: Honeymoon Period - In this phase, you project your best self and focus on only the best parts of the other (person or organization). No real growth takes place here because the focus is only on projection.
Phase 2: Growth Phase - As the honeymoon period ends, slowly but surely whatever you loved in the other suddenly becomes irritating. Joy and passion gives way to complaining, nagging, resignation, cynicism and disengagement. If you are intelligent, you will push all this under the carpet and get busy with being busy; while consciously or unconsciously hunting for other options. This phase is your only opportunity for growth. If you walk out, you lose the opportunity. Instead of walking out, you could take 100% responsibility of all that happens in your space and look inside for the reason of the rot outside; and take powerful effective action on all the four bodies of your Being (Intellectual / Mental, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual) to walk towards your highest self. In that journey; you will heal yourself, heal your relationship and re-discover the joy and passion of being in that relationship. In that journey, you will find yourself on the path to realize your greatest dreams in deepest communion with your highest self and have it all - deeply fulfilling, super successful, abundance creating career; loving harmonious relationships; happy, responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed; lots of nourishing me-time; while being at the source of transformation in the world.
Phase 3: Partnership Phase - Here you partner with the other; experiencing deep love, gratitude and reverence for yourself and for each other; supporting each other on the journey towards greatness, towards Light. You lead your family and your organization from good to great.
What usually ends up happening is that when the Honeymoon Period ends, most people walk out and start another Honeymoon Period elsewhere. When it ends again, they start yet another Honeymoon Period and go on forever; or alternatively, they become resigned, cynical, bitter, hurt, suffering the pain of loneliness / disengagement / disconnectedness, blaming the other person, being the victim of the relationship. In both cases; never really learning, growing, evolving, transforming to the greatest version of themselves. That is why there's so little in the world that is great.
You may say; I want to honeymoon all my life and I don't care about greatness, good is good enough. And I say, hold the mirror to authentically look into your eyes, put your hand on your heart and with full vulnerability listen to what it is saying, close your eyes and feel what your body is feeling. They will tell you if good is really good enough.
A second grader is murdered apparently by an eleventh grader in school. There's a scuffle in the airport between an obviously senior corporate professional and airline staff that had them rolling on the ground like children in the playground fighting it out. Of course, anger being vent out in the office conference rooms or on the road is not an uncommon occurrence too. Outside my kids school, I once had to separate a gentleman brandishing a cricket bat at a driver who had come to drop his employer's kids to school.
I am not even looking at who is right and who is wrong because there's never anyone wrong from the point that they are standing in. I am looking for a pattern here, a pattern of something completely missing. What is missing are values - love, gratitude, reverence, integrity and personal mastery. If a human being is filled with love, gratitude and reverence for all of life; he wouldn't buy a knife to slit another human's throat. Neither would such humans run amuck in offices and roads trying to express themselves through anger tantrums.
For a moment, lets step back and look at some research findings. Based on Dr Hawkins hard research of 29 years (as quoted in Dr Wayne Dyer's book The Power of Intention):
1. One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of optimism and a willingness to be non-judgemental of others will counter-balance the negativity of 90,000 individuals who calibrate at the lower weakening levels.
2. One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of pure love and reverence for all of life will counter-balance the negativity of 750,000 individuals who calibrate at the lower weakening levels.
What this implies is that if there's murder happening at schools, anger management issues at work and no love on the roads for our neighbours sharing the road of life with us; you and I are responsible for not choosing to be optimistic, non-judgemental, love and reverence because if we were being that, we would have had the power to counter-balance the negativity of individuals in our society. What would support us as a species to learn, grow and evolve; to transform what it means to be a human being is to stop being righteous by inundating social media with what we think is happening in the world; which essentially is being judgemental and making the situation even more negative. What would turn the tide and create positivity is to look in the mirror and take responsibility for what is happening in the world out there because what is happening out there is only a reflection of who each one of us is; consciously and with full awareness take on being love, gratitude, reverence, integrity and personal mastery; have each word and each action be sourced from there.
This requires a massive shift in human consciousness because we are the children of the cave man who ran in fear on hearing a lion roar; not of that cave man who danced in joyous expression and ended up in the lion's stomach. Our brains are wired to be fearful of all that could go wrong and if we need to stop all the negativity in the world; we need to take on re-wiring our brain which requires conscious and deliberate training covering all the four bodies of our Being - physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.
Coming back to responsibility, the maximum responsibility of how the world is lies on the shoulders of those who are at the helm of their organizations because your influence is the highest. All your people consciously, unconsciously mirror you - both at work and at home. It is not enough to build a profitable business; what is critical is to build a SUSTAINABLE profitable business which is a mini-world of love, compassion, joy, reverence and a deep sense of purpose. Build organizations like that, the world automatically transforms because organizations are building blocks of the society.
Are you ready to create such a Brave New World by being on your Hero's Journey?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.