LEADING BY FOLLOWING

LEADING BY FOLLOWING

Here are some thoughts from E. Thomas Behr, Ph.D. in THE TAO OF SALES: The Easy Way To Sell In Tough Times.  First published in 1997, it attracted a lot of interest until it went out of print.  It’s since been re-issued.  (A great book.)  The major thought Behr had was this:  if you lead by following your principles and your own authenticity, then it makes room for good things to happen….

1.     DON’T JUST DO SOMETHING, STAND THERE.  If you take a stand on values and principles, perhaps others will develop the courage to do the same. Sometimes it leads to you being street pizza, when you try to face down assorted steamrollers, but I notice it does tend to be true that you can get a lot of the pettiness out of your life by doing this one.  This leaves a lot more room for creativity and for beauty, so what’s a little flatness here and there?

2.     SIMPLIFY ALL ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS TO A FEW CONCRETE PRINCIPLES.  Let the values guide the results.

This one works really well.  Mostly, if you always follow a few basic principles that mean a lot to you, then people know where you are standing and they tend to allow you that space.  Maybe they are just being kind about not wanting to disillusion you and all or maybe they just don’t have the time to start shoving your head into other spaces, but who cares?  It works.

3.     TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MEASURING YOUR OWN INTEGRITY YOURSELF.  You are not the only one who knows whether you’re walking your talk.  It shows.  It’s a good idea to pay attention.

4.     CONFRONT YOUR OWN CONCERNS AND FEARS ABOUT AUTHORITY IN AN OPEN, CARING WAY.  I do have major “issues” with authority.  However, I have figured out that scorched-earth war tactics really don’t leave much for anybody to work with.  It’s a lot easier on everybody if I can be gentle.  This is a lot harder for me than coming out swinging so I have to be really gentle with my own self as well.

5.     MEASURE WHAT MATTERS.  That’s a problem I have with bean-counters:  They are so busy counting beans when other things matter so much more to me and I often cannot get my head around their concerns.  I do try because it is important, I suppose.  I just prefer measuring things like room to move and heart-space and stuff like that.  (I probably drive the bean-counters crazy.)

6.      IF IT AIN’T BROKE, BREAK IT.  The best thing about this one is that it helps me forgive my own klutziness.  Calling the stumbling around I do “re-inventing the world” is a lot cooler than saying, “Oops!”.

7.     REPLACE “CONTROL” WITH “ORDER.”  The neat thing about this one is that there are all kinds of order.  Some of them are quite lovely and meaningful to the people who are in them.  It’s a very cool thing to be able to see other people’s “order” as wonderments rather than as them being wrong because you are so right, right, right….

In this YouTube video, Art – Life Made Me Do It, Simon Birch, an artist who has gained some renown in Hong Kong, tells about his life and how his art grew out of it.

That is the thing, isn’t it?  Following your life, letting your days lead you to your best place, is often the best way to get to authenticity and gives your life its own meaning and mana.

So, hey…what are you doing to get back to you?

Here’s a poem:


GETTING BACK TO GRACE

 

Getting back to grace is Job One.

(It says so right here.)

So…

What happens when you’ve run out of cheek to turn,

And your back is to the wall,

And you’re looking at yet another transgression,

Another incursion, another this or that?

 

Getting back to grace is gonna be tough

When you’re bucking the gale-force winds

Of somebody else’s stubborn,

Of somebody else’s stupid

And somebody else’s something-or-other.

 

It gets even rougher when you’re leaning into

The tropical storms of your own blindness.

 

Hmmm….

Let’s do it step-by-step.

If Grace is a place where I can stand,

Then, probably, it doesn’t need ME to make it real, right?

It’s just there.

I mean…I didn’t invent it.

It’s THERE already…

Like, say, Haleakala, maybe, or Pu’u Kuku’i.

 

And if that’s so,

Then all I have to do is find it again.

Hmmm…okay.

Maybe I just have to take off this stupid bandana

That’s worked itself down over my eyes….

 

There!

Got it!

Oh…well….

Wouldja look at that:

I’ve been standing in Grace all this time!

by Netta Kanoho

Picture credit:  Follow the Leader by ehpien via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

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8 thoughts on “LEADING BY FOLLOWING

  1. I found this a great read as I find myself sharing a lot of these principles that (I’ll admit) I gathered after realising I needed to take a stand. A lot of it related as well to ‘looking inward’ which I thought was great as I feel it is something everyone must do and I often encourage people to do so. Would you agree?

    1. Hey Ryan:

      Thanks for your visit and your comments. I do agree that the only way to get more meaning and gather more mana into your life is to look inward at who is standing there in front of the mirror. It is a process, isn’t it? You do have to separate out what your heart tells you from all the other stuff. And sometimes your heart mumbles. (Sigh!)

      Please do come again.

  2. Hello Netta,

    These meaningful thoughts are not just powerful, but the words which are being used are well constructed. I’d like to use them to give advice to people, in particular, stick to few principles. I think we are vulnerable to influences but in truth, we have the position whether to accept them and not. Too many principles isn’t a good thing as it causes conflict and hence, confusion, making out lives in a mess. By the way, I just want to add that the poetry is so beautiful. Thank you! – Tar

    1. Hey Tar: Thanks for the visit and the comments. Please do come again…

  3. I had a lovely feeling of being lifted up and gently carried along through your story.
    I work with children at times and it is amazing how many times they respond well when a “space” is created that they can move into. Stepping back and asking myself: “what is actually happening here and what are my moral responsibilities?”
    We spend so much time pushing and demanding instead of just being.
    I have found that most “Authority” comes from insecurity and being aware of my own morality, claiming it as my own and explaining politely what it is, can often achieve better results than attacking and provoking.
    Being “right.” We are al right, there are just a few different ways to get there. This can lead to conflict or change, depending on how we interpret it.
    A great article which I have now read twice. Thank you.
    I feel you have possibly held back and have more to say. Is that right?

    1. Hey HappyB: Thanks for your visit and your comments.

      Of course, I ALWAYS have more to say. The thing is, with values and meaning and mana, each person has to find their own way. I’m not aiming to be a wise guy who speaks with the VOICE. You know: DO THIS, OR ELSE…. li’ dat. I can only point out stuff that seem to make sense, stuff that I’ve tried that helped make things better.

      Please do come again….

  4. This really cool. These are some great tips that give you that little push to make it through adversity.
    I started an online business and it’s been really tough to get traffic to my site, so I been thinking about just closing down the site and just quitting all together.
    But these tips help me to see that I can’t be the only one struggling and I have to just weather the storm. Great article, definitely going to post this on my website.

    1. Hey Garrett:

      Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  It’s a truth…if you keep on going you get further than if you just stop or go off in some other unrelated direction.  This website-building thing’s hard, man.  So is trying to learn all the everything about marketing online.  

      Whenever I get to the place where I want to throw in the towel, I remind myself of a truth that my hero Seth Godin reiterates…there’s no rescue comin’.  If you want out of a tricky situation, you have to do it your own self.  And, that, too, is a hard one.  

      It does work, however.

      Please do come again….

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