Putin, Fear, & You
Putin’s generals do not tell him the truth about the war. The generals are afraid and act accordingly. Putin does not promote transparency but towing the party line and results. If you fail on either count you are in trouble. Not from a court of law, jury of your peers, or comparison to closely held enduring values but from the dictator at the top’s whim and mood.
With companies and other organizations, we see similar cultures and expectations, and similar outcomes. Fear and performance are the mantra with any deviation resulting in less money, power, promotion opportunities, or worse.
You are not exempt from this culture and fear. I urge a return to the fundamental principles that guide how human beings actually work. This is not based on fear, power, or future favor. It is based on enduring principles that all long-lasting cultures, organizations, and people recognize but far too often lose track of in the pursuit of “more”. The principles inevitably are focused on becoming. This is a process that starts on the inside. It is work. It is how you can work to insulate yourself from the culture of fear.
It requires daily effort to recognize and live the principles that are most important to you. This is perhaps the easiest foundation to build, but most have not. What are your core personal values? These create the foundation of your foundation, the roots of a tree, the ground from which all other virtues, characteristics, principles, and accomplishments are built and guided.
How you are living those values is as essential as knowing them. Awareness and its close partner feedback help you understand where you are, so it is possible to map a course to where you want to go. Perhaps more important it creates awareness of who you are on your journey to who you want to become. In nature there are natural feedback loops built in. When your body works properly, and you need more energy, natural systems recognize that state and release additional energy. When energy is adequate your body uses that feedback to naturally cut back on energy production and remain in balance. Your body never judges the demands for energy, it dispassionately recognizes the signals and increases or decreases supply to meet demand. Similarly, are you open to feedback, to the signals of your mind and body, to the feelings and feedback of others? What is your relationship with that feedback, and those who provide it?
These are just two principles. Imagine if every leader and every follower were clear on just these two things – an explicit understanding of their values and living consistent with them and a commitment to live in balanced awareness with open and humble recognition of feedback. Leaders would be admired as much for who they have become as by their position. Followers would be aligned and not require coercion to pursue shared goals and interests.
You cannot control how King Putin commands his armies, and closer to home you likely cannot control how the CEO of your company commands his/her company. You can learn from these examples, however. What you can always control is yourself. Have you made your values explicit? Do you have a healthy and non-judgmental relationship to self-awareness and feedback? If you have, it will be much easier to identify and connect with people and organizations that have done the same. You are the captain of your own life. As you take these simple steps you become part of a movement that will make your own life better and your family and community by extension. You cannot control the abuse of power. As you do control your own life and become it’s captain you help create a community that will no longer tolerate abuse at high levels and the entire world will be better off.
David R. Edwards is the author of the new bestseller, "New You! Who Knew?". You can find out more on his web site including how to make your own values explicit and develop a healthy relationship with feedback. www.davidredwards.com