Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Find your inner guru

It is concluded that challenges around communication at the office manifest as general mistrust of senior management, and result in staff satisfaction surveys that never rise above 50%. For three successive surveys, the results have been pretty much the same, half-half satisfied-dissatisfied.
This has frustrated the president of the company who is the kind of person who would like to leave a legacy. In his previous job, he turned around  attitudes to safety. It was this achievement that was his calling card for the present situation. Now, he is taking on communication in a scientific way, engineering a solution.

First he found a guru. Modern gurus are not born, they are made, usually self-created. They have the ability to self-reflect in such a way that they crystallise a paradigm that is easily demonstrated - through some self-evident truths. Learn and apply the system and you become a follower. The more followers the greater confirmation of the guru's worth. Amy Chua is becoming a modern guru for "tiger mothers," who demonstrate love through discipline. (You can read her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Is it possible to be a tiger mother if you are not Chinese or Chinese descended?) Robin Sharma is a "success coach" making the case for leadership. Be the leader in your own life, he says, be responsible for the only attribute that you have absolute responsibility over - your attitude. (Here's a place to start:

Of course, one of the greatest gurus of all time told us simply: love your neighbour as yourself; and treat others as you would want to be treated. As a guide to a way of living, it is foundation stone for harmony in societies, countries, and how we live upon the earth.

So yes, a guru was found to help observe current practice, provide some common templates and a pathway to productive conversations. Needless to say, the method to permeate the organisation requires many sessions and training trainers. There is no dwelling on the unwritten code that must be foundational for any communication system to work: respect, trust, the common agenda of the organisation. One hopes that practice will so prevail, that attitudes will follow. 

There are common themes among all gurus. These are worth paying attention to. The most important is mastery of self. Be responsible for your own heart and mind. Control your own thoughts, words and actions. Shape your own attitude with respect for others. Lead by example, without expectation.

By today's standards, however, success is more often judged by how many others you influence or control. Not everyone can be a guru. But there are surely enough candidates. And whatever the issue, you can find the expert who has a theory, a procedure, and a way to make a living from selling lessons. Guru-dom has become a career.

The lesson for today is this: be your own guru. The greatest challenge in your life will be to know yourself; the greatest satisfaction to know that you are creating your best life.

"Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately reflecting the world outside them, not realizing on the contrary that the mind is itself the principal element of creation." (Tagore)

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