‘I’ve always prided myself on being good at analytical/logical thinking, and when I was asked if I would like to go on a programme on developing my skills as a leader I thought I would learn to be even more logical and analytical. Half way through my first day all I could do was shake my head in disbelief.
We had spent the whole morning looking at ways I could make myself feel good and, although that was very pleasant, it felt both selfish and irrelevant to me as a leader.
The workshop facilitator persisted in looking at personal stuff for the rest of the afternoon, which was spent on how I think. Analytical? Nope! My intuition, for goodness sake! I haven’t used that since I was a child. I went home and told my wife that it was a most unexpected day. Two hours later she told me to shut up.
I was curious about the next day and had to admit I felt rather good about myself. As we began to explore what made a good leader I realised that I had what it took, but it wasn’t what I thought it was.
Since that five day session I think I have used about half of what I learned with Di – which is about 100%, at least, more than I have taken from other courses. It makes more and more sense, and it works. No, it really works.’
Adam spent the whole of the first day staring at me and shaking his head in disbelief. I could feel his gaze on me the whole time.
It’s a common reaction. At first many people think I am crazy. And I remind them that, when they do get themselves in a state where they feel good abut themselves, they are in a superb position to help others get more from their work.
Western society’s love affair with logical and analytical thought reflects a belief that science could solve all of our ‘problems’ This ‘logic’ breaks work down into boring and meaningless tasks, so that the work does not inspire and motivate, and ultimately the work gets done badly. Nice logic!
We have got to the stage in our culture where many of us think that work has to be boring, hard, stressful. If not, the story runs, we are not earning our money or our leisure time: “work hard, play hard’.
1. Enjoy your work today.
2. Give yourself some treats: stop and smell that flower, smile at that toddler, use your favourite soap, wear your favourite clothes.
3. Take a risk: go in after the traffic, leave your tie at home, leave your e-mails until you have spoken to everyone face-to-face
Enjoy your work today.
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