Tag Archives: Steven Covey

Rethinking LEADERSHIP

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In speaking with Dr. Joe Dispenza, Gregg Branden remarked that he finds the shift towards the quantum awareness needed to create a better future most in the general population. Where he sees it least is in the leadership of our nations. His experience underscores my grave concern with what I’ve called the “international leadership deficit.”

It sketching a post called Leadership NOW, I recalled a relevant essay on Leaders. It will do for starters as an introduction to what will follow.

Here goes:

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ESSAY 4. LEADERS

Powerful individuals never show their strength, yet others listen to them because they seem to know. They radiate knowledge, but it is an intuitive knowing that comes from a direct understanding and experience with the ways of nature. — R.L. Wing, The Tao of Power

When it comes to answering the big questions such as what is going to happen to the world as a whole in five or ten years’ time, or even half-a-century hence, we are even more keen to find out what is likely to happen. For it will inevitably affect not merely our own future, but that of our children and grandchildren too. . . Fortunately, it is here that the world’s great seers and sages come to our rescue. — Peter Lemesurier, Nostradamus: The Final Reckoning

It is extremely valuable to train the mind to stand apart and examine its own program. . . Training without such education narrows and closes the mind so that the assumptions underlying the training are never examined. That’s why it is so valuable to read broadly and expose yourself to great minds. — Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

THE FRONT

According to Webster’s, “to lead” is to show the way, or direct the course by going before. To lead can mean to direct, guide, or cause to follow.

By extension, a leader is a person or thing that leads by directing, commanding or guiding as the head of a group or activity. In music, the leader is the conductor, who occasionally turns the lead over to soloists.

By definition, there are many kinds of leaders at every level of society. The scope of their responsibilities may be great or small. Followers can number from one to a multitude.

The native and institutional power any individual brings to a leadership role varies vastly. So also does the effect on others, either positive or negative. Leadership is not a fixed or absolute quality. Most of us act as leaders at one time or another, in one capacity or another. Most of us are leaders in some contexts, while followers in others.

Parents or caretakers who raise us are our primary role models. Next come teachers, who along with parents prepare us to live in the world and mold our early beliefs. Depending on their capacity for benevolence, they sow the seeds of trust or cynicism. Whether they feed or starve, honor or manipulate childish yearnings for acceptance and approval shapes our early years. The push/pull of positive/negative experiences later reflects in the quality of leadership we bring as adults to relationships and organizations.

Just as the seven energy centers influence conscious evolution, there are leaders who focus on each of these levels:

  • At the base chakra level, leaders take responsibility for the everyday maintenance of our infrastructure, keeping the roads in repair, the streets safe, the electricity running, and stores stocked.

  • At the second sacral level, they nurse, instruct and protect the young, the infirm, and those in need.

  • At the third solar level, leaders command our armies, negotiate union contracts and run for public office.

  • At the fourth heart center, leaders preach in the halls of worship, counsel those who seek solace and act as the peacemakers of the world.

  • Leaders at the fifth throat center open and expand the boundaries of knowledge, helping us define our ideas and ideals.

  • At the sixth, they serve as receivers of wisdom and transmitters of warnings about the future.

Wisdom traditions teach us to respect those more highly evolved than ourselves. They also hold those blessed with natural gifts and material abundance to a high level of accountability. It’s their responsibility to use their gifts to protect and uplift those they serve to the very best of their ability.

The immature look to more experienced teachers for guidance. But when we come of age, it is no longer appropriate to allow others to dictate our behavior. Ultimately, we must be led by the timeless, inner radar which informs us now as surely as it guided those willing and able to listen to stillness in ages past.

THE BACK

The positive complement of leaders are willing and worthy followers. Following implies loyalty, humility, sincerity and competence to comply with leaders’ decisions. The benefits of following include the opportunity to learn from those who know more and to share in projects they initiate for the common good.

The dark flip-side of leadership is coercion. Tyrants elevate themselves over others using psychological manipulation, intimidation and brute force. They inhibit and consume energy, discouraging free expression and growth. They can enforce the illusion of social cohesion, but cannot command love or loyalty.

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Use the Wheel to Make Yourself Whole

AXIOM SEVEN of the Positive Paradigm states, “With a Correct Paradigm and Useful Tools, You Can Make Yourself Whole.”

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The Handbook’s preface starts with a caveat. Everyone is already intrinsically whole. Put another way, “God don’t make no junk.” This is the wisdom behind the biblical admonition, “Ye must be perfect like your father.”

However, just as Einstein already had the Unified Field Theory but didn’t know it, each and every one of us on the planet is perfect in potential: made in God’s image. But we’ve forgotten.

Worse, many have been deceived into believing they’re inherently not-okay. The Handbook confirms inherent wholeness. Its structure provides a practical, hands on method for waking up. The goal is to re-member (“get it together”) and actualize in-born potential. It initiates the on-going process of making and keeping ourselves FUNCTIONALLY whole, over and over again.

The subtitle Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change isn’t intended to suggest that this or any other book can magically or literally make anyone whole, or that once through the book, you’re done. It requires not only initial work, but on-going follow-through. It’s personal intention and consistent effort that produce results. This is just a really useful tool.

But it is tremendously important to start this life journey with a reality map that accords with the way things really are. As written in Rethinking Survival:

Chances of success in life are slim to none without an accurate reality map. It’s imperative to have a complete picture of your potentials along with a correct understanding of the world around you, and what’s required to survive in that world.

Basing decisions on a worldview that’s distorted, incomplete or otherwise out of synch with the way things really are seriously diminishes chances of survival. In times as dangerous as these, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re operating on complete and correct information.

Unfortunately, many have been led to believe, not only that they’re no-okay, but that they have to look outside themselves for permission to be okay, usually at a stiff price. There’s a method to this madness.

. . . tyrants want you to sleep on. They’ll do anything to prevent you from remembering that you’re inherently okay. Because once you do, as Einstein did, no one can intimidate, control or dominate you. You’re aware that nothing anyone has for sale can make you more perfect. Nor can anything that anyone threatens to take away alter your essential okayness.

It’s your inalienable birthright. A given.

The Positive Paradigm is the viable basis upon which to build valid self-esteem. It’s the key to personal freedom — freedom from ignorance, freedom from fear.

It’s the rock-solid foundation of functional democracy. It’s grounds for rethinking what the word really means and how to implement its promise.

One minor caveat: it all depends. While we all have the option to remember who we truly are, most of us are like Lambert, the sheepish lion. It takes a smack with a two-by-four upside the head before we’re finally ready to wake up.

Often it takes the form of life-threatening danger to those we care for. A personal health crisis will also do the trick. So will job loss or a run-in with natural disaster.

But, like Dorothy stranded in the land of Oz, when you want dearly enough to return “home,” you can click your heels whenever you chose — and come to find out, you’re already there.

Useful tools do make a difference, however. Part Four of The Handbook gives examples of putting the Wheel into motion. Part Five supplies instruction on how to modify the Wheel with virtually limitless applications to suit personal interest and needs. Forms supplied in the Appendices help complete the process.

For example, Rethinking Survival shows my personal, evolving uses of the Wheel:

Over time, I began sectoring the circles into quarters, giving it North-South, East-West compass directions. I cut out a single eye from a graphic tiger and pasted it into the center of my template Wheel to represent an all-seeing eye.

I plugged the aspects of my daily life into the model. I chose major categories: work, personal life, social life and public service. I used it to analyze where sectors had changed to take too much or too little space within the wheels, where the layers had grown too thick or thin, or how sectors or levels were coming into conflict.

I repeatedly worked with this information to bring the various demands on my life back into balance, to continuously reintegrate the aspects of daily life.

Later, I found it necessary to break the quarters down into smaller subcategories. The concentric wheels began to look oddly like the twelve-sectored zodiac used by astrologers to diagram the placements and interactions of planetary energies.

I used the model not only to organize the sectors of my life, but to plan for alternative futures. I used it to picture not only where I was, but where I intended to go and what changes were necessary to get from here to there.

Another time, I used the Wheel to record my life history. I used compass North to mark my beginnings. On the surface I noted the date and place of my birth. On the middle level, I plugged in the names of my parents and grandparents. I created new sectors (pie-slices of experience) for each move, from Peoria to Boston to Tucson to Buffalo and so forth.

Inside, I drew significant events and people associated with each time in my life. I used stick figures striding along the surface to represent me in the role I played at that time. I drew happy or sad faces to indicate my state of mind during that particular period.

Personal work with the Wheel over many years has evolved into the inclusive method presented in the Handbook.

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Corollary A: The Positive Paradigm of Change is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question, “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?” It’s proof that humans are made in the image of the Creator — the microcosm mirrors the macro. It’s the universal confirmation that everyone everywhere is inherently okay. The purpose of working with the Wheel of Change is to remember who you truly are, to repair the pattern and make yourself whole.

Corollary B: The Wheel can be used to discriminate between absolutes and ephemerals. The “small stuff” goes on the surface. Unrealized hopes, dreams and plans fit in the middle level. Basic commitments are placed close to the center, next to guidance and connection with Conscience.

The Wheel can be used to separate the signal from the noise. Used as a meditative practice, it is a discipline for quieting the mind, withdrawing from draining distractions, eliminating bad attitudes and healing negative emotions.

The Wheel serves to prioritize the levels. By placing first things first, you can see what’s irrelevant and weed it out of the picture. Once Conscience as your ultimate personal survival guide is placed at the center, then everything that gets between you and your conscience is recognized as antithetical to ultimate survival.

Corollary C: Those who’ve done the hard, honest work of mental house-cleaning not only understand themselves better, but also others as well. You can’t leave a place you’ve never been. But once you’re been there and prevailed, you’re in a much better position to empathize with and serve others humanely. Nor can you be easily fooled. Compassionate, skillful leaders/therapists have earned their in-depth worldview through experience.

Conversely, those who block out memories or reject some sectors and levels of experience find it difficult to relate to the needs and experiences of others which they’ve rendered invisible to themselves.

Corollary D: Especially in dangerous times, changing the world is an overwhelming, seemingly impossible prospect. But that’s not your job, nor do you need to be overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter how much is going wrong “out there.” As your primary responsibility, the one manageable unit is the one closest to home: yourself.

The premier self-management method for linking and balancing the levels of the Wheel is the Motive + Purpose + Intent formula given in Chapter Five. Using the Wheel, you can map out and balance the Why (motives) at the center with the How (strategies/actions) in the middle level and the What (results) on the surface.

With this process, there are always choices. Hence the motto, “Because I can’t change the world, I change myself.” The world is a great motivator. The time to remember and wake up is NOW, while there’s still precious time left!

In the face of daunting odds, there’s comfort in the wisdom of quantum realities. The beating of a single butterfly’s wings can change weather patterns continents away. The same is true of personal change. The long-term effects of personal improvements and good deeds may never be known to the doer. But as a simple law of nature, good karma returns over time, exponentially.

Corollary E: Unity is accomplished through personal effort, one person at a time. Attempts to enforce global unity through world organizations operating at the surface of the Wheel are unnatural, unrealistic and no matter how seductively presented, “scary bad.”

Corollary F: Numerous authors have written about to the necessity of changing from the inside out. They include, but are not limited to, Stephen Covey, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Julie Morgenstern. The Positive Paradigm Handbook is a useful compliment that gives a memorable picture of the dynamic process which they advocate.

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