Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

Leaders: Where are you being willfully blind?

How many times in our lives – at work or personally have we known that something isn’t quite right be it about a particular situation, a business transaction or a person and yet we have chosen to be willfully blind.  According to Margaret Heffernan in her insightful and engaging book, “Willful Blindness” – why we ignore the obvious at our own peril, this is far more common and pervasive than we would possibly care to think about.  With real case studies, she answers questions like, why do we choose to keep ourselves in the dark, what are the forces at work that make us deny the big threats staring at us in the face and not heeding the warnings and why as individuals, companies and countries we regularly look back in the mirror and howl: How could we have been so blind?

Here are  twelve factors at play that she covers in this highly recommended book.

1) Affinity and beyond – familiarity does not breed contempt.  It breeds comfort and a sense of safety. Madoff’s  crime is described as an affinity crime,  preying on people like him who knew others like themselves, who didn’t ask questions because their level of comfort was so high that they felt they could take shortcuts.  Our blindness grows out of the small, daily decisions that we make which embed us snugly inside our affirming thoughts and values.  We think we see more but in fact the landscape has shrunk.

2) Love is blind – we blind ourselves to inconvenient or painful facts. Because our identity and security depends on our loved ones, we don’t want to see anything that threatens them. It is easier to be blind than deal with uncomfortable feelings. Neuroscience shows that love activates those areas of the brain associated with reward such as food, drink, money or cocaine.  The chemical processes stimulated by love disable much of the critical thinking about the loved one. There is the paradox of blindness – we think it will make us safe even as it puts us in danger. We make ourselves powerless when we pretend not to know.

3) Dangerous convictions – Psychologist Anthony Greenwald called this the “totalitarian ego.” It operates like a police state: locking away threatening or incompatible ideas, suppressing evidence, and re-writing history, all in the service of a central idea or self-image. (more…)

Your Leadership Mantra for 2013

focus, values, mission
Some years back my colleague sent me an article by Guy Kawasaki’s  on mantra vs. mission statement.  Guy, a former Apple Evangelist and now a Venture Capitalist, is an ardent supporter of individuals and organizations having mantras rather than mission statements. It was no surprise that my knowing colleague had sent this to me.  The idea of having a mantra for the New Year appealed almost instantaneously!  My Indian DNA quite relished this concept and could contemplate the many possibilities. (more…)

Activating your human superpowers

 This edited post is by guest blogger Amanda Fleming.The purpose of this article is to present you with an expanded way of thinking and feeling about yourself, and to offer a view of what the present ‘moment’ in our unfolding process as individual and species truly and realistically offers if enough of us only knew how to use it well.  I believe we have the power to co-create a future worthy of our greatest aspirations by allowing ourselves to be guided by our deepest yearnings.  This power is the great gift it is to be human and alive today.  It’s time to clean the lenses of our interior and see our world anew.   (more…)

Where does your consciousness reside?

For a long time, my loved ones were telling me that I should consider finding myself a “better” place to live. One that was more reflective of me rather than the smallish place I was living in.  The thing was it worked because it was small – easy upkeep, convenient to all the places that mattered to me including a short drive to the CBD and a brief walk to my favourite, local café!   The café sustained me while I was writing my book.    But they were right in that it precluded doing a number of other simple, joyful things such as sitting around with friends on the patio with sun, colourful pot plants and being able to enjoy the outdoors in a restful way. They called it my working pad.

Well last month – the unexpected happen! (more…)

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