Wednesday 25 July 2012

Are we still at a crossroads?

In our work it is often the case we come home and feel frustrated or unrewarded. It can turn out that perhaps we do very little and in the end view our work as what we can get out of it and as a way of feeding our families and providing security. We may feel a lack of fulfilment and make up for it in our own free time where we can pursue our own hobbies, enjoy our families or other pleasures.

I believe there is more we can do in our careers so let’s raise the bar a little. We need time to look at the nuts and bolts which require a certain re-examination of ourselves as that is where it essentially begins. I will try to summarise as follows as to what is in fact is a vast subject of which Steven Covey has a better grasp.  The human body consists of the mind, the body, the spirit and the heart. Let’s ask ourselves some questions from this whole body paradigm, which applies to our work just as much as to our home.

• There is our mind or our mental intelligence. Do I have time to think? Am I able to reason well? How is my memory, and my sense of logic? How creative am I? Do I have a vision and a strategy?
• The body and our physical intelligence.  How healthy am I? Do I possess the energy, discipline and work ethic? To have the physical capacity to execute what is required? How competent am I?
• There is our heart and our emotional intelligence. How much passion and or compassion do I have? Can I love? Am I emphatic enough? Do I think, help and understand others?   Do I listen and have the ability to put myself in someone else’s shoes? Am I sensitive, socially aware yet at the same time courageous?
• There is our spirit and our spiritual intelligence. Am I in touch with my conscience? To have an innate understanding of what is right and what is wrong? Do I possess humility and have the capacity to forgive? Do I lead a life in business compatible to my life at home?  Do I act according to my conviction, in good conscience and with integrity, respect and fairness?

I certainly know areas in myself where I can improve. I am touching on but a few and on some pretty fearful questions particularly the latter ones. We just don’t know what we could find. It might be a murky world under there. Human beings are often fragile and fearful.  Nevertheless the most important of them all I believe is the spirit or our soul. This is what makes us human beings different to every other living organism on the earth. This is the source and the driver of the other three where your alertness becomes more acute together with your talents and skills. This is the great mystery of being alive. It acts in stark contrast to our ego or pride. It takes some serious channelling of a band of frequencies out of a World War 2 radio, in which many people require guidance; you can create a synergy in you as a person, build character and change.  You can create a sense of higher worth and a purpose. You can create in yourself a powerful force and be prepared to face challenges better equipped than ever before. You can perhaps grasp the wider issues and then begin to do something about it. You can feel and become unique.

When I worked as a head hunter, a lot of us were talented and in many ways it was a fun business but somehow in the 4 person paradigm something was missing. It became a dog-eat-dog world in other words there was a lot of competition, both internal and external and we would do anything to get something. Note ‘we would do anything to get something.’ It rapidly became a world of takers and no givers. Many of us including myself lost our sense of worth. Many often had their egos which got the better of them. There were persons who camouflaged their fragile selves with possessions and money as an expression of power, and status. There was some delusional aspect that the pursuit of wealth was an innate right that somehow made us masters of ourselves. We would never ask ourselves why except felt awe for ‘the haves’ and brushed aside ‘the have not’s. We hardly changed the way we did business except only to ask ourselves how we could get more. It was never, how can I change in myself, in order for me to better contribute to the needs? Or if there is a problem, how can I make a difference? As a result the industry itself lacked creativity and had lost much of its credibility and integrity.

I for one had lost my sense of self (In truth I was already in the Goby dessert and was busy searching) Imagine I applied this to my home life? It would be all hell bent lose. (I confess I was in a muddle there too) In the end we would lead a life as a form of duplicity; we were therefore not being true to ourselves. In short most people could not bear the why’s’ which simply gave meaning to our lives let alone all the ‘how’s’. Some people might argue that business is not for thinkers but for doer’s. I beg to differ. The great recession has taught us that we need both. Business has become a ‘force majeure’ in our society and with it should carry responsibility, reason and purpose.

Victor Frankl said ‘This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love’

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