Leadership

Three Reflections About: Shame, Learning and Leadership

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Today I’ve had wonderful time reflecting on my painful experiences and trying to learn from them. Having gone this process I am sure that many of these lessons could be beneficial insights to anyone and therefore I decided to summarize it all in a one blog post.

 

Shame is the central human experience and a tool to deal with it

Upon waking up and pondering, the last party night and past weeks I began to depress. A question came to me: what is it exactly that prevents me from living the life as fully as I would like to? After journaling it became clear to me that it is the experience of shame.

Shame is a very limiting emotion, actually a collection of emotions as I further studied and recalled. Feelings that can be connected to the shame are:  feeling of insufficiency, inability, weakness, helplessness, feeling different, feeling of failure, imperfection, feeling of rejected, feeling of being hurt etc.

I discovered many of these feelings in the social interactions. The story of shame is the story of my life quite simply. However, what I’ve found increasingly awesome is that I’ve been able to begun to process it, which is necessity to get ahead in life. Only that which we acknowledge we can begin to heal from. So, although I still might suffer, I already remembered that I’ve begun the process.

Seriously finding a good and working with a good therapist would be a shortcut in this. However, writing journal, friends and family can good ways and addition to process some of it as well.

For me it’s mostly journaling, reflection, friends and on these kinds of days its’ also studying. Always when I get into the mode of reflection I start to study and recall as well what is the root cause all about. Then I finally try to recall or learn some kind of tool to help to deal with it more productively. Today I found one really useful tool from my online coaching materials by Jari Sarasvuo: “In 20 years, who cares?”

That’s very powerful! It gives the proper time perspective to all things in the present. Time is on constant flow.

 

Life is so limited, so what you going to do about it?

In life we can achieve only so much. Today I was also learning about history a bit, because of earlier discussions with friends and then I happened to stumble upon documentary about Silk road. In particular I was interested about the fate of Persepolis, which was ruled by the Darius I. It was interesting, that Darius had subdued all his enemies and therefore the city was left unfortified. This was for a while of course a great idea, until there came the Alexander the Great and pillaged the city.

Darius was Great. Persian Achaemenid Empire was great. Alexander was Great. Later on world has seen even greater empires. However, I think there is a one particular quality that strikes in all the greatness and it is the leadership ability to get things done.

There are different kinds of greatness, because in each civilization there is someone who really gets things done and manages to organize the common successes.

Alexander was a man of ambition. Did you know he left a will? The will goes on like this according to Wikipedia and its’ sources:

  • Construction of a monumental tomb for his father Philip, “to match the greatest of the pyramids of Egypt”
  • Erection of great temples in Delos, Delphi, Dodona, Dium, Amphipolis, and a monumental temple to Athena at Troy
  • Conquest of Arabia and the entire Mediterranean Basin
  • Circumnavigation of Africa
  • Development of cities and the “transplant of populations from Asia to Europe and in the opposite direction from Europe to Asia, in order to bring the largest continent to common unity and to friendship by means of intermarriage and family ties.”

Alexander was a military commander, and my ideals would lie in nonviolence, however I still gotta admire most of this list and the level of the ambition. I believe he had the ability to organize these successes, only if he had the time.

That’s why I am saying time is of the essence in life. Most great people get done great things, however they would benefit from the ability of more leaders.

So few people are actually born leaders, they taught. And there are few people who are able to teach leaders. I’ve recognized this path as something that I would like to do, to teach about leadership.

 

Feel the Burning Desire of Leadership? Here Are Some Ideas to Get Started

Jari taught me about four levels of learning:

First level is to learn.

Second is to learn to learn.

Third is learn to teach.

Fourth level is learning to teach about teaching.

 

I really like this kind of thinking and thus it is rather guiding thought in what I do. However, what is central here is the learning skills as well as the teaching skills. Where and how does one exactly acquire all this? Short answer is by constant practice.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ―  Albert Einstein

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov

By constant practice I mean there is no way around it: we have to do it by ourselves. We do not have to do it all the time by ourselves: we can involve others, however there is just no way that we can skip the part of learning by ourselves.

Self-education is called autodictatism.

When graduated from university of applied sciences with my bachelor’s degree in business, I knew I was just getting started with learning. I had started my thesis by reading a single book about organizational culture, ended up going through some hundred books and I still wasn’t satisfied. I am still on the quest to learn more and to describe exactly what it is that I want to teach.

We may have unlimited information available through search engines, however what we need to be also aware of is train our minds for the task of recognizing quality information. This is what learning is all about. When learning is applied we get results.

When learning is applied so that it can be taught to many, we are talking about teaching as well as leadership and the results can be multiplied.

 


I started the story and the blog very personally by admitting that my shame still limits me. The key learning here is to get moving and a good question to get moving is, “in 20-years, who cares?”

Decades are good timespan to think anything meaningful. I decided to try some different beliefs about ten years ago and from that point to this point I am living in utopia. This was utopia back then, yet  it is just everyday life now. There is still a lot of work ahead of me, a lot of shame and all kinds of inner demons to be dealt with, however there are tools.

Main tool in here is learning, serving the needs of others first and then organizing common successes.

 

Janne

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