Energy and Awareness: A new form of Inspirational Leadership

Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Energy and Awareness: A new form of Insiprational Leadership

When you are inspired by someone, very probably you see a special energy shining from that person, and a form of awareness: the clear sign that the person is understanding “what is going on”.

This double presence is a highly valuebe form of Leadership, and when these two forces join, it becomes a Leadership masterpiece.

For any artistic masterpiece, a special energy and knowledge is needed.

As seen in this semantic map, energy is linked to vitally, to vigor, it can take form of physical states as muscularity, it can a scientific concept connected to the laws of thermodynamics (as free energy in a system) up to becoming a state of mind as “vitality”.

energy

Leadership regards inspiration. The artist needs inspiration, tools, know-how, the wish to express a thought, spread a message, or fulfill a dream. The ability to inspire people is of the uttermost importance in today’s societies, that seem so empty in spiritual values, up to the point that we see higher suicidal rates in richer countries than in very poor countries.

Firms without inspiration are like empty souls, walls and computers surrounded by nothing. Athletes without inspiration will find any training boring, and will soon give up. Leaders unable to inspire are not providing real energy.

From the following semantic map, we see a very interesting connection with the spiritual side of inspiration, something seen as almost a divine guidance, intangible skills as intuition, and tangible acts such as inhaling, breathing in, the intake of air. This is not a casual correlation, but a real strong connection between what inspiration is on the “material” side and the immaterial act of inspiring energies. To be inspired, we must (metaphorically) breathe, inhale values, good beliefs, hunger for justice, hunger for results.

inspiration

The same need for “fresh air” is true about the art of bringing Humans to shine at their full potential, or teams and organizations to work at their best.

Over 30 years of research combined with practical work on clients, brought the necessary knowledge and experience to highlight which are the six “main vectors”, the key-variables, or “core-cells” that contain the energy storage necessary for winning this challenge for life.

The Exa-Leadership model owes its name from the Greek word for “six” (Exa) and is also a tribute to the enormous heritage that Greek and Latin culture generated for western civilizations.

Leadership and self-leadership are like driving. Driving requires direction, a destination, but if you try to climb a steep path, you will also need a strong engine. Empowering our internal engine is our mission.

This freedom comes from knowledge of how your human system works, from the ability to recognize lies that have been told you on what your limitations are, how permanent they can be, what you cannot achieve, and start instead to become a researcher of truth and knowledge.

Semiotics is the science of coding and decoding, the search for meanings, the search for “truth” and definition of hypothesis.

We are the very first targets of our individual battle, the battle for decoding what values have been instilled in us by education and society, family and friends, and start seeing how we use those values in leading people and projects.

And when we see that some value is really a fake value, or simply is not more what we believe in, we must have the courage to throw it out of us.

VERITAS vows liberality

The truth shall make you free

This is true for the Self, and also for Organizations, since humans are the living engine of every organization.

As for any fuel-cell, our work aims at helping people to find the right fuel (input) before asking the machine to perform hard tasks (output).

For those who know what anxiety and depression is, how it makes you feel, how it blocks your future, and makes your present a nightmare, it is important to know that not only something, but a lot, can be done.

We need to fix a few things in our internal engine. By knowing how our human machine works, we will be able to set free its potential, we will be able to detect what stops a healthy “breathing” of the engine, to open the flow of air that is needed, and to restart our trip in even better shape.

For people who feel already well, and are looking for their best performances, the work on Human Potential is also essential. Before jumping into action we need to fine-tune the engine, and if you are going to race amongst giants probably you will have to do much more than a fine-tuning. You will have to fully empower your engine.

Fixing things is not enough. We look for the form of Art that can emerge from any human that achieves his/her potential, Art in a very broad sense, since a father or a mother can be Artists in their role, a teacher can be Artist in his/her role, Sports Athletes and even Managers can become Artists in the way they build a better future.

Perceivable human performances are just the external outcome. Optimal inner functioning and well-being is the real internal victory.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

Aristotle
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Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Carl Rogers: 19 propositions on Fully Being Humans

Carl Rogers. The 19 propositions. Source Rogers, Carl (1951). Client-centered therapy: Its current practice, implications and theory. London: Constable.

  1. All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the center.
  2. The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived. This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual.
  3. The organism reacts as an organized whole to this phenomenal field.
  4. A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self.
  5. As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organized, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts.
  6. The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism.
  7. The best vantage point for understanding behavior is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.
  8. Behavior is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.
  9. Emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal directed behavior, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behavior for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism.
  10. The values attached to experiences, and the values that are a part of the self-structure, in some instances, are values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values introjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly.
  11. As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolized, perceived and organized into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self structure, c) denied symbolization or given distorted symbolization because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self.
  12. Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self.
  13. In some instances, behavior may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolized. Such behavior may be inconsistent with the structure of the self but in such instances the behavior is not “owned” by the individual.
  14. Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self.
  15. Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.
  16. Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self structure is organized to maintain itself.
  17. Under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self revised to assimilate and include such experiences.
  18. When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all his sensory and visceral experiences, then he is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals.
  19. As the individual perceives and accepts into his self structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system – based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolized – with a continuing organismic valuing process.

Carl Rogers’s view of the Fully Functioning Person

Optimal development, as referred to in proposition 14, results in whate he describes  as the good life, where the organism continually aims to fulfill its full potential. Human Potential Development derives from his basic views. He listed the characteristics of a fully functioning person. Source: Rogers, Carl (1961). On becoming a person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy. London: Constable.

  1. A growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness).
  2. An increasingly existential lifestyle – living each moment fully – not distorting the moment to fit personality or self-concept but allowing personality and self-concept to emanate from the experience. This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, and a lack of rigidity and suggests a foundation of trust. “To open one’s spirit to what is going on now, and discover in that present process whatever structure it appears to have” (Rogers 1961)[15]
  3. Increasing organismic trust – they trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behavior that is appropriate for each moment. They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong.
  4. Freedom of choice – not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruent individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more fluently. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behavior and so feel responsible for their own behavior.
  5. Creativity – it follows that they will feel more free to be creative. They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform.
  6. Reliability and constructiveness – they can be trusted to act constructively. An individual who is open to all their needs will be able to maintain a balance between them. Even aggressive needs will be matched and balanced by intrinsic goodness in congruent individuals.
  7. A rich full life – he describes the life of the fully functioning individual as rich, full and exciting and suggests that they experience joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear and courage more intensely. Rogers’ description of the good life:

    This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. (Rogers 1961)[15]

Incongruence” in Carl Rogers perspective

Rogers identified the “real self” as the aspect of one’s being that is founded in the actualizing tendency, follows organismic valuing, needs and receives positive regard and self-regard. It is the “you” that, if all goes well, you will become. On the other hand, to the extent that our society is out of sync with the actualizing tendency, and we are forced to live with conditions of worth that are out of step with organismic valuing, and receive only conditional positive regard and self-regard, we develop instead an “ideal self”. By ideal, Rogers is suggesting something not real, something that is always out of our reach, the standard we cannot meet.

This gap between the real self and the ideal self, the “I am” and the “I should” is called incongruity.

Leadership in the Roman Empire vs. modern Toxic Corporate Leadership

ROMANSOLDIERStoxic-leaders-workplace

© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life

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The fight for Human Potential is a hard one. One must remain faithful to Human Potential Research, no matter how hard it is.

In arduis fidelis

Faithful in adversity

This value has intangible enemies. One of the most powerful enemies of Human Potential is the psychological climate, and leaders are the main responsible of this climate.

Toxic leadership as a concept is making its way especially in the literature on Army Leadership. A toxic leader is a person who has responsibility over a group of people or an organization; he/she abuses the leader–follower relationship by leaving the group-members or organization in a worse-off condition than when s/he first found them.

Rome_HBO_Series_a_true_leader_bleeds_1

It is already clear that a Toxic Leader brings his people to mentally starve, to die and suffer either physically or for stress.

It is the same type of leadership based on lies and superficiality, a “great packaging and empty values” style. This style brought to corporate disasters such as Enron, and it is present in any world failure. This problem is everywhere. It is so widespread that US Army revised its leadership bible, Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, to detail what toxic leadership means for the first time.

Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many “toxic leaders” — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army’s case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences.[1]

The manual defines Toxic Leadership clearly and states its dangers:

   “Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization, and mission performance. This leader lacks concern for others and the climate of the organization, which leads to short- and long-term negative effects. The toxic leader operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest. Toxic leaders consistently use dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce, or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves. The negative leader completes short-term requirements by operating at the bottom of the continuum of commitment, where followers respond to the positional power of their leader to fulfill requests. This may achieve results in the short term, but ignores the other leader competency categories of leads and develops. Prolonged use of negative leadership to influence followers undermines the followers’ will, initiative, and potential and destroys unit morale.”

Let’s look at leadership and leadership styles in Companies. Today’s leaders are unreachable, perimetrated by filtering yes-man, they don’t know anything of what happens in the real life of workers and normal people, they float on an ocean of which they ignore the depth, they do not know the fishes that are swimming underneath, and they feel them as distant as another galaxy. They live in the top floors of prestigious buildings and don’t even know how the day of an employee is, and the real problems of the clients.

The world as an interconnected entity is a “freak” concept to them and what happens in other countries is not of interest unless it touches their personal profit. They are faithful only to themselves and their personal interest.

This is quite the contrary of what we would expect, right? We need to be loyal and responsible not only to ourselves, but to mankind advancements.

Loyalty and dependability are not an option. They are a must.

Semper fidelis

Always faithful

Let’s see the distance from the model of the Toxic Leader and the model that emerges from the words of a great Roman Leader, Emperor Maurizio, General of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th Century:

The lifestyle of a General must be linear and simple as that of his soldiers; he must show a paternal affection towards them, he must give orders calmly and always try to give suggestions and discuss important topics with them face to face. His concern should be their safety, their nutrition and the regular payment of the salary…[1]

Strategikon. By Emperor Mauritius Tiberius (581-602 AD.)

How many companies lost this face-to-face contact with their people and clients? But let’s not think that Emperor Maurizio was only a good and wise “father” of his troops. In his treaty on Strategy, he also affirms that a good General, at the first emerging signal of lack of discipline must act to solve it immediately, without postponing it up to the point of letting it grow bigger.

Every time you see a corporate disaster (airplane crashes, ships, nuclear disasters as Three Miles Islands, Fukushima, Chernobyl, chemical, pollution, the Columbia Shuttle disaster, Lufthansa-Germanwings air crash, etc) we see that those companies wrote “Safety First” on every page of their internal manuals and external ads, and had never practiced for real.

The top management of almost any company treats corporate values of social responsibility as mere propaganda, assigned to PR companies and campaigns, but has an enormous internal deficiency of real values.

The ability to communicate well and lead well is not just a gift from nature but is something that can be learned, achieved, produced by exercise, by coaching and feedback, and mostly, the will to improve.

You almost never hear a top manager or CEO to give any real advice and coaching to leaders and manager on the fact that safety depends on a positive lifestyle, a clear mind able to perceive situational awareness, and Mental Training. Simply following procedures is never enough.

Procedures applied in conditions of mental chaos, are completely useless, all the disasters that happened where in companies and organizations whose “procedures” where so many that it was needed a “procedure” even to use common sense.

Getting back to a healthy communication style and generating healthy relationships is a must for every leader and every team-player that refuses to live in a box or in a psychologically filthy environment.

[1] Maurice’s Strategikon. Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy, Translated from Greek by George T. Dennis, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1984.

Strategikon. Manuale di arte militare dell’Impero Romano d’Oriente, a cura di G. Cascarino, Editore Il Cerchio, p. 92

[1] http://www.npr.org/2014/01/06/259422776/army-takes-on-its-own-toxic-leaders

https://evolution-institute.org/article/us-army-ambushed-by-toxic-leaders/

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© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life

Leadership Theory and Leadership Reality: A”Positive Egregore” alternative approach

Leadership in practice71

© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life

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The reality between what you see inside companies is very different from what has been tought to you. Nice ties and dirty mindis, expensive clothes dressing miserable souls, are the average truth you find inside most leaders in most organizations.

We too often seen companies leaded by arrogant people, without values, without ideals, idiots who would sell their mother just to get ahead in the hierarchy, to escalate the pyramid of the company or society. Put in front of them a choice between a mildly lower compensation, and a compensation increase of 20% in the next term, requiring a solution that will endanger people of a remote country, or within their country, the second generation after them, and you will see. Sometimes they even do things that might endanger their first generation’s future in 20 years, even their sons, but they do not care.

The 7 Generations principle seems not to apply to them. The “Great Law” of the Iroquois states that it is appropriate to think seven generations ahead (about 140 years into the future) and decide whether the decisions we make today would benefit our children seven generations into the future.

Ancient wisdom seems lost in face of a trimester data, a quarterly revenue, or a dental care insurance, or the possibility of having a larger pool in the penthouse.

These are not our reference points. Really, they are not. They are not “a career”, but an illness.

Isn’t there anything else or different? Well. There is!

A very ancient world, a world that seems lost, holds this secret. The Greek-Latin World is a “time window” in mankind history, a space that gave birth to places like the Library of Alexandria, where the best thinkers met and lived their life as a community of enlightened individuals,

Their passion: to shared ideas and advanced knowledge both in science and self-consciousness.

The flow of personal energy and human research is a way of life and not something you can “buy and get done” in a weekend. The search of soul and advancement, the “sacred fire” of human research, are still breathing. All we need to do is to take the spirit of Alexandria, Athens, Sparta, and Rome, and bring it alive, breathe with it and feed our souls in our very own lives.

A spirit that brought to mankind concepts of freedom. A spirit that had the noble purpose of having people to join and share, rather than only fight and battle against each other.

Communitate valemus

(Latin for “Together we are Strong”)

What could the human race achieve if it embraced the motto “Together we are Strong”?

The search for the soul and the best of human energies has no place and no time. There is not a fixed place in history or in a single geographical point. This spirit is an entity, an “Egregore”, a positive Egregore, an energetic entity of human power. It appears and disappears from time to time as a precious flower. It is a flower that we want to let grow in our inner garden, now, and forever. A leader is one who seeks constantly to implant “positive egregores” within his/her group or community.

Let this way of being be a part of our lives.

Egregore[1] (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a “collective state of mind” or “collective consciousness”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, thoughts of a group of people. In this perspective, I think it applies perfectly to the concept of “Group Thinking”, “Group Atmospherics”, “Group Moods”, “Group Feelings” that are the Center of Gravity of any Group Performance.

Positive Egregore do exist (e.g. the search for Human Potential) and we must feed them against negative Egregore (e.g. cultural arrogance, religious movements that oppress free thinking, “memes” that propagate wrong “missions” and sick communication styles in organizations).

A real leader is one who is able to bring “positive egregores” inside his team, passion, real values, real help, real sense of mission, real closeness, and eats the same shit that the others eat or the same cakes the others eat, feeling that he/she is not above the group but in the group. But these leaders are by far less numerous than those who bring inside their team thinking styles pervaded by “burocracy for burocracy”, closure to different experiences, narrow-mindedness, lack of time-perspective, and wrap up all this with a packaging made of “distance” and fake superiority.

Positive search is a way of thinking and being. The same way of being that gave birth to concepts as “Democracy” in Greece, the creativity of Leonardo da Vinci in Italy, the Genius of Archimedes in Sicily, and tangible buildings that are still unmatched as the Pyramids in Egypt.

What enabled this level of human advancement? And how far could we go if we could reach again that level of sensibility, both as a species, but also and especially in our very own personal lives? We can start here, now, and let this river flow forever in our lives.

[1] The first author to adapt “Egregore” in a modern language seems to be the French poet Victor Hugo, in La Légende des Siècles (“The Legend of the Ages”), First Series, 1859. The word is the normal form that the Greek word ἑγρήγορος (Watcher) would take in French. This was the term used in the Book of Enoch for great angel-like spirits. Source: Wikipedia online

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© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life

Critical Skills for Talent Management

 What do Organizations require from a Talent Management Specialist?

A selected list of skills and attitudes

  • Leadership. Effectively communicates and guides teams to complete programs and tasks and implement strategies. Embraces and drives the development of corporate professionals. Influences team to achieve defined objectives and strategies
  • Continuity. Continuously leads in progressive Talent Acquisition and Training strategies; combines traditional Talent Acquisition and Training techniques (applications, cold calls, classroom and internal promotions) with innovative strategies (social media, e-job fairs, College Forums, Closure/Merger onsite meetings, Employee Referral Programs, etc).
  • Measurement. Tracks and monitors all metrics associated with Talent Acquisition and Training develops a scorecard for weekly review with business partners and the team.
  • Executive Presence. Establishes credibility, informs and influences executive leaders
  • Training. Create training delivery standards of functional curriculum (IT, Marketing, CSA …) and build systems to ensure that property delivery mechanism meets or exceeds standards.
  • Benchmarking. Leads research initiatives to bench mark best-in-class training structures, programs and systems and introduces new practices in a systematic approach.
  • Initiative. Creates and seizes opportunities to win, even when faced with ambiguity. True passion for results.
  • Environmental Radar. Understands how to get things done and when to involve others
  • Range of Influence. Builds and leverages networks across various levels and functions
  • Internal Consulting. Analyzes needs and provides options, recommendations, and council
  • Effectiveness. Effectively manages work to meet timelines and goals
  • Problem finding. Sees around the corners. Anticipates the unexpected
  • Analytical Prowess.  Gets to the root of issues
  • Creativity. Generate new perspectives
  • Business Intelligence. Stays current. Understands how what happens in the world affects us, our marketplace and our competition
  • Entertain your Best. Demonstrates integrity, authenticity, and candor. Embraces inclusion and employee engagement
  • Outside In. Systematically seeks information on wants and needs of employees
  • Problem Resolution. Decisive and timely. Adapts with changes
  • Ability to attract. The Director of US Talent Acquisition (TA) will be responsible for developing a cohesive staffing strategy to attract and hire the best talent for Lam, ensuring consistency with the hiring and assessment processes, in line with the coherent global processes being developed, and in compliance with local laws and requirements.
  • Holistic Approach. S/he will develop holistic solutions, quantitative and qualitative, including defined goals, processes, metrics, communication plans and delivery methodology with defined hand-offs. Must be able to routinely exercise independent judgment in developing ways to achieve objectives.

Attitudes. What Talent Management requires

  • a smart, on-your-feet thinker with impeccable follow-through
  • like to create tailored solutions to everyday problems, and handle unique ones with aplomb
  • flexible, dynamic and can change in time with business
  • nimble at capturing, engaging and advancing the “secret sauce” of a company culture
  • can create learning experiences that have never existed before, and engage a diverse organization
  • love challenges and never assume you know it all
  • thrive on developing the big picture strategy and seeing it through to reality
  • balance an inexhaustible curiosity with experienced business acumen
  • read like a fiend and stay up to date on all sorts of cool leadership and management ideas
  • lead by example, relates to all walks of life, a person everyone can trust, and takes pride in setting the tone to create an awesome corporate culture environment

15 Skills for Emotional Awareness

  1. “Recognizing emotions in self and others”
  2. “Regulating and managing strong emotions (positive and negative)”
  3. “Recognizing strengths and areas of need”
  4. “Listening and communicating accurately and clearly”
  5. “Taking others’ perspectives and sensing their emotions”
  6. “Respecting others and self and appreciating differences”
  7. “Identifying problems correctly”
  8. “Setting positive and realistic goals”
  9. “Problem solving, decision making, and planning”
  10. “Approaching others and building positive relationships”
  11. “Resisting negative peer pressure”
  12. “Cooperating, negotiating, and managing conflict nonviolently”
  13. “Working effectively in groups”
  14. “Help-seeking and help-giving”
  15. “Showing ethical and social responsibility” [3]