Some years ago, I attended a leadership conference in the human resource industry. Most of the speakers were senior HR professionals. A general manager HR for a well know membership based organisation gave a 45 minute presentation on a matrix of leadership and organisational development programs that the organisation was implementing. I could not help thinking, in the way it was presented, that this organisation seemed to pick up programs of the shelf based on the success that other organisations had with them and hoping that it would do the same trick for them. It very much sounded like a hit and miss approach. What was lacking, was a sense of understanding of the underlying mindset how these programs were implement in the organisations who did it successfully. I happened to know another manager in that organisation and mentioned my observations to her and who responded with, “you are spot on, that is exactly what is happening … and you worked this out in 45 minutes?” to which I replied “it became apparent after only 10!”
Does that sound familiar to you? Isn’t that what a lot of people and organisations are doing? We look at what has been created by someone else and the strategies, tools, and tactics they have used and then try to replicate that. And surprise, surprise, it often doesn’t work or with limited success!
Why is that?
Back in the 90’s, as part of establishing a local chapter and attracting members in my home state, the Professional Speakers Association of Australia ran a workshop named ‘From Free to Fee’. Essentially how to speak professionally and get paid for it. One of the attendees had been a well know business identity in the state involved in the banking and finance world who got caught up in the global finance crash in the late 80’s and losing much of his wealth. One of the strategies suggested to move from Free to Fee in the workshop was to write a book on something that you were good and successful at. The attendee went away and spent six weeks on writing a book on how he had become successful in his area of expertise. He then used that book as a platform to sell this expertise as a professional speaker. This was more than 20 years ago and to my knowledge he is still a highly paid and thought after speaker in his field. Again, to my knowledge, not too many of the others who attended the workshop enjoyed that kind of success.
So why did it work for this individual?
The reason is this, he already had the mental blueprint and capacity to turn an idea into success. He already had the required grounding, the mindset, the purpose, the strategy and the skills to bring an idea to life and to sell the value of that idea to a market, as he had done before. He only needed a new idea to where to point that grounding. That idea he got from the workshop. The rest is history.
How can we learn from that?
Firstly, what works for someone else may not work for us. What is for someone else may not be for us! When we try to replicate someone else’s stuff that is not really aligned with what we are about and stand for it can be a struggle to make it happen. We may think, at one level, that we want what others have or do yet at another very subtle level we don’t. When we measure and compare ourselves to how others are, what they have and what they do we can be misled or blinded by that illusion.
When we manage to step out of that illusion we drop into a deeper awareness and tap into a deeper wisdom that comes with it.
What do I mean by that?
For a moment think of something in your life where you felt a strong sense of purpose and direction and that guided you with ease. Where did that purpose, direction and ease come from? How natural did it feel? How hard did you have to work to make things happen in this space?
Implementing new initiatives, strategies, models, programs, projects, etc are only tools to move from one place to another. A tool is only of value if we know where and how to point this tool and for what purpose. Think of it this way, if I hand you a fork to eat a bowl of vegetable soup it most likely would be a frustrating eating experience for you as would trying to use a spoon to eat a piece of steak. Even more if you don’t like vegetables or meat.
With that in mind, looking at what’s been created you also want to pay attention to what is doing the creating.
For the more intellectually thinking soul reading this, one way of doing that is to study and model the underlying mindset, mental strategies and tactics, of a person or an organisation who created a successful product or services or life, in order to replicate their success. That can work provided that this is aligned with your underlying higher intentions that generally run out of your consciousness and drive everything you do. If these intentions are not aligned with what you are trying to achieve this can become problematic as what ever is driving ‘your show’ may resist and sabotage any progress. In that case you may want to work on your intentions and reset them. That, however, is a skill in itself!
For the more spiritually inclined thinking soul, another way of doing this is looking inwards, at what is doing the creating from the inside out. As alluded to earlier, where do your highest intentions come from? Where do you generate fresh thoughts and new ideas from? … You know, those AHA ones! They come from what I like to call Cosmic Google. A space behind the realms of the intellectual mind. That is the space that provides an innate and rich source of universal wisdom. It’s the space that points us in a direction that is purposefully aligned with who we truly are. It provides us with guidance that is not influenced by any contaminated thinking. This is simply done by a shift in awareness!
Operating through this space, picking the right tools is generally a more natural process as are their applications. We also seem to intuitively know how to point them in the right direction to move us forward …
… and more importantly make a difference that is aligned with the greater good and wellbeing of our wider community and the environment that we live in beyond being solely driven by generating profits!
I trust that what you have been reading has aroused the curiosity! To find out more about how you can tap into the what is doing your creating or simply reach out to start a conversation contact Mike at email@example.com or visit www.mikeschwarzer.com.
I look forward to serving you with my next reflection!
to your highest learning and growth
About Mike Schwarzer
Mike is a Transformation Professional and Learning Leader who helps leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere. He works with the underlying mental, behavioural and deeper innate dynamics that drive people’s and organisations’ thinking and actions. They learn how to tap into their inner and outer capabilities in transformational ways and develop behaviours and qualities that are flexible and supportive of the challenges of an increasingly uncertain and complex world.