Your Chapter 9

“Every man is condemned to freedom” Jean-Paul Sartre
This week’s blog is inspired by my friend Grant Soosalu, a very clever chap, who along with Marvin Oka, co-created the innovative field of mBraining. Having used methodologies from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Cognitive Linguistics and Behavioural Modelling and informed by the latest neuroscientific discoveries; Grant answered his calling, put a pause on his highly successful consultancy business to devote his time unpaid, with the full support of his wife, to ensuring the world heard about mBraining and all the science that is going on as we speak, uncovering even more evidence that supports beliefs and practices dating back thousands of years; that we achieve wisdom through the communication and alignment of our multiple brains.
This is not a blog about mBraining specifically, however if you wish to find out more, please follow the links at the end of the blog, or contact me directly. This is a blog about finding your purpose; it’s a blog about making a difference in the world, about following what you know, for you, to be intrinsically the right thing to do and having the courage to do it.
We have just witnessed an interesting event in UK politics, without wishing to get into politics, I thought it would be a good example to highlight, a case of choosing a Leader. Many employees may believe they don’t choose their leaders. I think this is partially correct; but they do have a choice as to whether they follow the incumbent leader or not! In fact, they may choose another leader elsewhere, something that now the economic landscape may be improving will be born out as people feel more at ease with moving to another organisation.
Back to the example, faced initially with 4 candidates, possibly all considered to be similar in approach, a small group decided to endorse a 5th candidate in the 11th hour to ‘widen the debate’. One candidate dropped out very early, citing a beyond-reasonable interest by the press towards his family who had little to do with him standing in the leadership contest… that took courage and compassion. The late entrant, a rank 200-1 outsider goes on to win the leadership selection with 60%+ of the vote. Why?
Authentic leadership. Interesting to hear two good friends with opposite and opposing political views in the pub the other day, both disagreeing with the winner’s political policies, but both identifying that they believed the winner believed in what he said, demonstrated commitment to his beliefs, was courageous and wanted to exercise that commitment by taking action that could make a difference.
There is much written about authentic leadership, in fact lots on leadership in general. Whilst I believe that we all learn from the experiences and writing of others, and that training, workshops and coaching can enhance our leadership capabilities, I support Grant’s notion that there is no single or fixed ‘authentic self’, no absolute Platonic ideal or intrinsic self that you must work to uncover. Your ‘self’ is a fluid and changing process that emerges from the ongoing narrative of your life. In a complex process of feedback and feed-forward, you author the story of your ‘self’. You create yourself through a complex dance between thoughts, feelings, perceptions, beliefs, values, metaphors, expectations and a myriad of unconscious processes across all your neural networks.
Our challenge is deciding how we are authoring our lives, if we are leaders already; how authentic is our story we are creating, how compelling is it for others to follow, how we want to demonstrate our ‘chapter 9’.
This blog contains snippets of Chapter 9 of
mBraining: Using Your Multiple Brains to Do Cool Stuff by Oka. M & Susaloo. G, 2012.
Australia: mBIT International Pty Ltd Leadership Decision Making