I am this which is “is-ing.” And I cannot be captured by the cartoon of conceptualized existence. I am both more and less. And it is this “I” which is writing, but not this “I” which having written, will write again. I am not my potential, I am its precise actualization.
For most people, reading is a monologue. But, the leader must make reading a dialogue. As we read certain content (hopefully not just business content), we should be asking, “How does this impact me?” We should be looking at the meaning beneath the meaning, and this only occurs when we slow down enough to turn the typical monologue we call reading, into a dialogue we call self-examination.
Some leaders think that when you set up a healthy atmosphere, you eliminate tension. The business that eliminates tension will soon go under. The enemy is not tension, the enemy is negative tension. Healthy tension is quite productive. For instance, there should be a degree of tension between the legal organization’s focus on protection and the sales organization’s focus on revenue. This tension is healthy if it is managed properly. The role of a senior leader is not to referee fights, but it is also not to eliminate all tension. The role of the senior leader is to balance tension (with great nuance) so that the ultimate end is achieved.
So I am writing, about our “I”. The metaphor by which we understand ourselves stimulates either our enlightenment or our confusion. If we transcend the western normative sense of “I”, and think in terms of “multi-plexity”, we think in terms of aggregate parts; the concept implies multiple units. If we think in terms of “zone”, we think in terms of area; the concept implies the movement across space. Either metaphor is flawed.
“Who am I?” is not as important as “What is ‘I.'"
Jesus said if we have faith like the grain of a mustard seed, we could move a mountain. Most of us do not seem to have even a mustard seed’s worth of faith, but we still have mountains to move. I may not have sufficient faith, but I do have the capacity to manage. And with effective management any “mountain” can be moved one stone at a time. Faith is a “Sexy” term. Management is a boring term, nevertheless, the power of management is virtually inestimable.
It is just as important NOT to see the things that I should not, as it is to see the things that I should. Leaders manage attention, but their toughest challenge is managing their own intention.
Leaders need to understand the 60/40 rule as it applies to certain types of communication. In articulating his values, the leader also reinforces them personally. We err when we think that such communication is just for the benefit of our team. There is something about verbalizing a position that solidifies it within. If the team is benefiting at 40 percent, then the leader is benefiting at 60 percent. It is not just that THEY need to hear it; it is that WE need to say it.
Life needs an operating system and this system begins with three essential questions: If one does not begin with the right questions, then the conclusions that follow, regardless of how cogent they seem, may be fundamentally flawed.
1. What are the right questions?
2. What are my limitations in answering these questions?
3. What shall I do in the face of these limitations
Question two will force one to consider the bitter realities of the human condition. It also demonstrates our inadequacy in the face of our essential metaphysics. Question three will eventually consider the adoption of a technical response to our limitations in “knowing.” One may analyze the works of the great thinkers within the construct of these three questions. Bertrand Russell, for instance, offers one response, while Kierkegaard represents another. The point of my work is not simply to answer a question, but to raise the right questions.
Some people are attracted to the notion of "being a leader". It seems like a way to become important in the eyes of others. These are the same people attracted to the job of the policeman or the martial artist -- any role with a uniform that symbolizes authority. They need to be "certified", or "validated". For such people, seeking leadership is a grave mistake. An effective leader will find their self-worth regularly trounced. Leaders err in public; leaders fail in public. And whether they are successful or not, they are criticized, and criticized often.
There are two kinds of patterns in our conversation. The first is essentially logical. The second is essentially perceptual. It reminds me of the difference between English and Hebrew poetry. The former rhymes and contrast sounds. The latter rhymes and contrasts thoughts. The difference between Milton's Paradise Lost and the Sefer Tehillim is apparent, but the similarity is disguised by the different forms of patterns.