To lead safely or courageously?
What is safe isn’t necessarily productive.
The safest way to lead ourselves and others is to accept what we know.
But playing it safe doesn’t necessarily mean we lead productively.
We must accept and challenge what we know, think and understand; to do this takes courage.
Reality is decided based on what the mind can comprehend.
And decisions are made based on what the mind says is the truth, which is but a fraction of what is really true, possible or even accurate.
Here's a quote from Michael Singer’s latest book Living Untethered; it beautifully describes this challenge.
The only data the mind currently has is based upon its past experiences, so the mind always thinks it's right. This is part of the predicament. Please understand that your mind will always think it's right. The mind is not dumb; it knows what it experienced. But it doesn't know what it didn't experience—which is an infinitely larger body of knowledge. This is why the wise sage Lao Tzu reflected that a wise man does not argue—for what purpose? You have your mindset, and another person has their mindset. All their lifelong data says one thing, and your totally different lifelong data sees it differently. There's nothing you're going to do about that, except be humble enough to realize that at any given moment the data you are taking in is less than .00001 percent of whats going on everywhere. It's meaningless; it rounds to zero. In essence, you've had a whole bunch of zero-breadth experiences that add up to zero. The personal mind is so caught up in itself, it will never want to look at that truth.
Seeking to keep our worldview safe and fixed, we force, bend and shape the external world to fit our internal one. We demand others to conform to what the mind tells us is accurate, correct or valid, and we debate the validity of our reality over theirs.
Just as the fish isn’t aware that it lives in water and so doesn’t question its experience, the words our mind speaks are taken as facts, truth, and the only possible reality; we fail to challenge their validity.
We must develop the capacity to take on multiple perspectives and be okay with contradictions.
It turns out that when it comes to leading productively, we are much better off creating a reality together than imposing our own onto others.
Some of the most significant breakthroughs of human experience come from exceptional leaders challenging what is believed possible, not by force, but by envisioning a future that accounts for multiple realities. Nelson Mandela was instrumental in the slow dismantling of racism, going from an apartheid prisoner to South Africa's first black president.
To lead productively, we must go beyond ourselves and what we think we know and invite curiosity. We must seek contradicting points of view, open ourselves to what they offer and question what we might be missing. The more we develop this capacity, the more productive we will be.
And so, you can choose to lead safely or courageously; which one will it be?
Sparknotion — Think Differently.