Sitting on a Continental flight in seat 21D on a flight from Austin, TX to Newark, NJ and I thought I would write a post (maybe this would be better classified as a rant or a stream of consciousness) on change and vision. I realize that this is more of a culmination of random thoughts than anything else but what the heck I’m bored, well not rally bored but need a break from work. Over the past few weeks I have been working relentlessly on powerpoint presentations and writing a lot while I am flying so I thought I would use the last hour or so of this flight to dump a bunch of random thoughts onto paper. Clear some room in my brain for new ideas 🙂
As human beings it is very difficult to step outside our skin and change our perspective. This inability to readily change our perspective in my opinion is the key contributor to our resistance to change and our inability to create a generally acceptable vision. The thought that we may be removed from a comfort zone where we are no longer the authority and forced into the unknown can be frightening. A few years ago (more like 10 years ago) a good friend of mine introduced me to a concept called “Remote Viewing”. “Remote Viewing” is a technique employed and taught by the CIA as a way to visualize things through the eyes of another person (from the CIA’s perspective this would be the enemy). I was blown away and for years I believed that I could learn “Remote Viewing” and it would hold the key to my success in life, the ability to fully commit to someone else’s perspective, to the degree that I would see the situation exactly as they would. I could then take this knowledge and apply it to the mission of morphing their perspective. The ability to do this would provide me the unfair advantage I was looking for. Well needless to say I don’t think anyone has to worry I have not mastered “Remote Viewing” but then again if I had would I tell you 🙂
Interestingly enough as an outgrowth to remote viewing I became interested in something called Neuro-linguistic programming. NLP is a little bit more grounded than Remote Viewing. I researched NLP and purchased and read 4 books on the topic. Once you read the concept you will understand why it was so intriguing to me and for those of you who know me it should be even more evident why I would be so captivated by the concept. My wife can attest to the fact that I am definitely not the life of the party with my philosophical opinions on topics such as “Remote Viewing”, NLP and other bizarre topic like the Bible Code. As a matter of fact years ago she put moratorium on such topics in public settings, thus I am forced to write about them on my blog 🙂
The term “Neuro-linguistic programming” is pretty self explanatory. It is is a set of techniques, axioms and beliefs most often leveraged for personal development. It is is rooted in the study of body language and language patterns. The techniques are predicated upon the principle that all behaviors (whether excellent or dysfunctional) are not random, but have a practically determinable structure. Wow, what an amazing field, the ability to interpret subjective reality. My thought process when I began educating myself on NLP was that I would learn how to morph subjective reality into objective reality.
So I purchased several books on NLP and began to battle through the very dry material in an attempt to learn the techniques and leverage them as a way to get inside my audiences head, understand their subjective reality and create an objective reality aligned with my subjective reality. The ability to lead is firmly rooted in this concept, the creation of a reality that moves people.
What the hell am I talking about, oh yeah…
Why am I writing this? Change is inevitable and our ability to cope and stay grounded is based in our ability to create a subjective reality. The ability to understand and alter the subjective reality of others in my opinion ultimately holds the key to our success. Now the tough part of determining how to do this. My adaptation is a mix that works for me but may not work for others:
- Defined End-State – Having a clear, defensible definition of the end-state is critical.
- Vision – Have a vision. The ability to clearly and concisely convey your vision is key. It’s not over once you achieve the end-state. A vision should not be finite. The end-state should be the horizon, once we reach the horizon a new horizon is created.
- Faith – The only thing that matters is the end-state, while milestones and the measurement of progress are applicable they should not define the map for the journey. Execution of a vision requires a fluid adaptable philosophy executed by individuals with insatiable desire, not individuals with a need to hit milestones. This in my opinion is by far the most difficult aspect of executing against a successful vision. This is not an exact science but rather an art. Often times the painting is meaningless until the last brush stoke is applied to the canvas.
- Commitment – Stay committed and vigilant. The horizon is distant and will often seem like a mirage, the ability to stay focused on the vision and committed to the destination is paramount.
- Flexibility – Be flexible, the ability to influence is predicated on the ability to morph and adapt to detours in the road to the end-state.
Finally for those of you who were boy shouts “Be Prepared”…
Ahhhhh…. I feel refreshed!