Monday, June 9, 2014

Not getting any cooperation? Meditation for 6/10/14

Seabrook Is. SC

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”  - John Maxwell

“A good leader inspires people to have 
confidence in him; a great leader inspires them to have confidence in themselves.” 

   Enduring and effective leadership requires obtaining the cooperation of others both by encouragement and leading by example.  In the short term, those that intimidate, badger and manipulate may show results, but their impact is short lived.  As obvious as this appears when spelled out, it is much more difficult to implement.

     When we are responsible for others or when we are in a position that others are involved and something needs to get done, it is easy to get upset when others slack off and take short-cuts.  If others would only understand, if they would only see things as we do and do what we think they should do, everything would be fine and everyone would be happy.  As we seek to impose our will upon them, with noble intentions of course, the situation deteriorates and we not only end up without getting what we set out to do accomplished, but now have new problems as there are resentments to contend with.   The next thing we are bemoaning our “luck,” discouraged that we are stuck with such “losers” around us to work with, which brings on a healthy bout of self-pity.  Manipulation and badgering, regardless of how subtle, just do not work in the long run.  Our motives always come clear to others in retrospect, and sooner or later we find ourselves without the cooperation we need anyway.   

     An alternative attitude we can consider is to assume that others are doing the best they can with what they have.  This attitude releases us from the feeling of personal responsibility for others behavior, but it has to be kept in balance.  On the one extreme we can just transfer our controlling tendencies to decide that we have to figure out what it is they need in order to get them to do what we want them to do.  On the other extreme we can become judgmental and critical, which also is doomed for failure because it ultimately inhibits us as we define and limit ourselves.  But kept in balance, assuming others are doing the best they can with what they have gives us the flexibility to honestly offer assistance, guidance or material support – an honesty that is perceived by others.  If they do not accept it, we are able to move on to other alternatives without the feelings of resentment or scorn that can so easily happen.  This attitude yields further benefits also as our observation of things that happen around us that we are not involved in becomes much less judgmental and thus more compassionate.  It is but another example of how changing the way we look at things changes the very things we observe.

Today, may I be tolerant.

Happy Tuesday!!

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