Insight and enlightenment are concepts no longer reserved for New Age discussions only. The relevance of these terms is gaining more and more value in the very tough and serious field of business management. Notice, though, that the term "management," as technical and modern as it may sound, basically means "to handle things," and this is what people have been doing since the human race came into being.
Insight and enlightenment both embrace the ability to recognize connections between thinking and experiencing and make use of the fact that our own ideas about life determine our experience of life.
Managing with the basic force behind everything
One half of the species homo sapiens, called female, incorporates the love principle by nature. Women as symbols of loving care have always been in leading positions, although some people don't want to recognize that. Because the basic principle of life is Aloha, which means love in the sense of growth and prospering, women with their ability to give birth and to care for children have always been enlightened, by nature. Every man as well possesses, as a matter of fact, female aspects, too, as simply every form of existence tends to live and grow. Love is support, understanding and acceptance and - last but not least - creative constructive thinking.
Magical success guaranteed
The nurturing, loving side of humankind doubtlessly symbolizes the intuitive, creative aspect of human nature. To take on a women's perspective may be seen as an analogy for any enterprise, as new products - new life - come into being by means of loving creative influence, raw-material and workforce.
The maternalistic way of leading is not expressed by overwhelming mo-thering, but by the ability to see connections and to nurture and support the right aspects in order to build up or strenghten the whole family, system or body Ð all that an enterprise is. The members of the family are being encouraged and trained to become self-responsible and have their own tasks including organizing and handling the procedures. When everyone deals in his best ability in a responsible way with his own field, a naturally strong network can come into being. Paternalism is the contrary of Maternalism and stands for the stone-age idea that the leader of the pack has to direct the thinking and acting of every single member of the community, with practically no right of decision-making by the individual. "Father knows best" ... is just a fairy-tale. No one knows the best for everyone else in every aspect of life! Daddy only knows his ways of dealing with things, but every family-member has own ideas and talents to deal with whatever comes up. And some of those other ideas about management may very well fit better to what is required in certain situations in order to enforce prospering.
Leadership is encouragement
People who lead in a maternalistic sense are attentive for everything that happens or shows in the present moment and acknowledge the very personal ways of every single employee. As everything that happens within a company has to do with people, it is a good idea to turn towards them, as a leader, and become aware of their mana. Energy flows where attention goes, as we know, and every company would benefit if the boss incorporated the understanding of this principle. Mistakes and failures must be dealt with, but not dwelt on. They may rest in peace as a subject as soon as the learning is clear.
Kathleen Sanford, author Leading With Love, of a book about maternalism, says that "a company is very similar to a living organism," and together with the enterprise every single worker develops and changes. To acknowledge love as principle of leadership is not a Flower-Power-slogan, but a smart idea, using nothing less than the strongest natural force in this cosmic network. Everything that wants to be achieved, wants to be supported with love - concerning the very personal aims of a single being as much as family-projects or the endeavours of an enterprise.
Every boss applies his personal belief-system to everything he decides, based on everything he thought, experienced and did before, as all this information are stored in his cosmic personality and built the person in a spiritual sense. Any development within the company he leads is influenced by that, too.
Regardless of whether someone manages an enterprise, a school, a class, a family, a religious community, a two-person household or a flea-circus -leadership always requires attention to the very characteristics of the members of the pack. The Chinese philosopher Confucius taught that no ruler could preach virtue without walking his talk. So how could a boss of a firm expect that his enterprise might be admired and respected, if he doesn't equally love every single being that is connected with it?
Communication is the basis
If the owner or a company at the bottom of his heart refuses to take over responsibility for his private actions, he might give his workers a hard time by refusing to recognize and acknowledge his own weaknesses in leading. If the leader of a company basically dislikes the subject of his enterprise, this attitude is surely to be felt in the procedures of the enterprise and will show, sooner or later, in the economic situation. If you want to get rid of something, you will have to face changes sooner or later - as no one can live very long in a situation of contradiction such as wanting to be successfull with something, but I hating to deal with it! Of course, there are always others or circumstances that can be blamed for failure.
To think and act in a maternalistic way as a boss means to be willing to see what is there in the current economic, personal and productive situation of the enterprise, not to dwell on what should be there, ignoring the status quo. Attention may be paid especially to one's own true ideas and wishes, as they may be directly projected into the enterprise's wellbeing. The present can changed and the future can be influenced by decisions and visions in the here and now.
Success through interest and understanding Sanford mentions prominent companies like Motorola and Harley Davidson as examples for maternalistic leadership, as they created a company culture of success with trust, openness and partnership among all people involved in the enterprises' procedures. Managers who act in a maternalistic sense do not feel pressured to fix everything themselves, but they delegate the tasks according to the abilities and motivations of the employees. This requires an organization where every member of the company has his very own responsibity and is, above all, aware of that and her/his tasks. People who do not think that someone other than themselves will take care of things naturally act and work in a more efficient way. In an enterprise that functions on maternalistic principles, every person is in in charge of his own big or little corner of the company and is authorized to deal with any issues himself within the framework of her/his responsibility. The bosses learn from the employees and the other way around as well.
A boss who trusts and delegates tasks is a strong boss, as he has enough space to focus on his leadership over the organism as a whole. To hit the table and yell "I am the boss," denying any input from a lower level and refusing to acknowledge any other point of view than one's own, shows fear. That is, the chief's fear of losing control and power. It never shows power to keep other people from living their own innate mana, it is the other way around. A really powerful person empowers others to make us of their mana for the benefit of the whole system they work in. This is the principle of living together in any form of community, so why not go back to the roots and start out with the most natural system of sharing? Human beings are each unique, which means that everyone has certain abilities to offer that others simply don't have. The diversity of products in civilisation is based on the fact that the ideas of the single Homo sapiens differ. A human being can't help being creative. We are the co-creators of our world!
Change is the nature of life and enterprises
A friend of mine, who had been working in an old Austrian construction-enterprise for twenty-five years, told me lately that the new boss did not allow him to use his old-fashioned paper notebook with telephone numbers any more. The reason the boss gave him was that "We want to give the impression of a modern enterprise! We use computers even for the notes we take ... I don't want clients and visitors to be confronted with something so archaic as a pocket calendar!" My friend now hides his little book in the drawer whenever the boss shows up. No question that he gave up his trust in the man's qualities as a leader.
Everyone is a leader
There are numerous management theories, but mostly they fail to be successful because they are based on the idea of taking over as much control as possible. The best possible control, though, is to let go of the stress of pulling the threads on which the marionettes dance, and help them as human being to learn to dance on their own. People are more efficient when they are allowed to think and act according to their mana. No ability or interest can be forced into a person's life. It will always remain only an attempt to fulfill somebody else's ideas of what is the proper and suitable way to think and act.
The esoteric efforts of the past thirty years or so have had a great effect. Modern people are not as fearful any more as their ancestor's used to be because of the cruel, rigid leadership of authorities of all kinds. Many people have woken up, recognizing that they are the ones who decide about every step they make in their own lives.
That is why the new management theories all deal with acceptance and loving understanding. The times of control are over.
[Top of page] - Contact us