Balanced Leadership: Embrace Passion and Conquer Fear
Table of Contents
- Program Overview
- Benefits of the Program
- The Four Pillars of Balanced Leadership
- Two worlds
- Two operating systems
- Archetypal Intelligence
- Dynamic balance
- Applying Balanced Leadership
- Creativity + Excellence = Innovation
- Consultation + Persuasion = Change Management
- Belonging + Loyalty = Engagement
- Managing Shadow Behaviors
- Continuing the Exploration
- A. Introduction
“There is another world but it is in this one.”
Balanced Leadership awakens our recognition that there are two worlds or two lenses through which we, as humans, view the world. We call them worlds because they are fundamentally different from each other, each with their own rules and outcomes.
Every idea you have, every decision you make begins by taking the available information and attaching one of two fundamental emotions to it. One is fear-based, which compels us to push something away or results from the ability to push something away. Either way the motivation is to push back. Anger, greed, contempt, guilt, panic, disgust, doubt, irritability, disapproval, aggression, comfort, security, confidence, anxiety, and bravery are all fear-derived emotions.
The other emotion that allows us to make a decision is love or passion which inspires us to draw something towards us. It is an emotion that we instinctively move towards and sink into even if it is sometimes hard to do. Sorrow for example is best dealt with by walking into it so you can emerge on the other side and see the gift in it. Ignoring or burying sorrow causes it to be destructive in your subconscious. Compassion, satisfaction, sympathy, inspiration, belonging, creativity, depression, boredom, pleasure, hope, happiness, surprise, shame, envy, and joy are all love-based emotions.
To demonstrate and contrast the differences between the two worlds of Balanced Leadership and to give an introduction to us, Laurie Anderson and Kim Hudson, we are going to describe ourselves in accordance with the operating system of each world. Laurie will give an introduction from the fear-based world. Formal introductions like this use the expertise, titles, and experience of the person to establish credibility and instil confidence. It gives assurances that what Laurie says represents a form of industry standard, is externally validated for quality assurance, and tested through experience. This introduction is designed to give reasonable expectation that you are in good hands and it is safe to open your mind to the ideas being presented.
In contrast to Laurie’s fear-based introduction, Kim’s passion-based introduction is internally validated, intuitive and experiential. Kim will introduce herself from the passion-based world telling the story of how she discovered her interest in archetypal leadership and the joy we hope to recreate in you as the potential of this new model reveals itself. Her demonstrated vulnerability will create an atmosphere where it is safe for others to be vulnerable and more open to creativity. It will connect you to your own passion for new ideas and inspire a curiosity for the novel. Ideally, this introduction will develop an atmosphere that makes participants able to share their own personal experiences and ideas.
Understanding the differences in these approaches and the effect each has on the audience allows leaders to make choices to maximize the effectiveness of their introductions of themselves and of ideas. As you go through each of the introductions notice how they each impacts you and what this tells you about your own leadership style.
LAURIE’S FEAR-BASED INTRODUCTION:
Dr.Laurie Anderson is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University Vancouver, an Associate Member of SFU’s Faculty of Education, an Associate with SFU’s Centre for Dialogue Program, and a Lead Facilitator for SFU’s Public Square. Over the years Laurie has been an elementary teacher, principal, District Principal, Director of Curriculum, Associate Superintendent and Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Vancouver Board of Education. He has also been a consultant on education reform for the Ministry of Education, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC, a curriculum developer and instructor for Vancouver Community College, a mediation consultant for schools throughout BC, a facilitator of the VSB’s Leadership Development Program, and developer and instructor of the Instructor Training Program, a course taken by over 2,000 aspiring teachers of adults over the last 22 years.
Laurie has presented at conferences in Canada and the US, taught leadership courses in Hong Kong, Bangkok and various cities in China, provided education reform consultation to educational authorities in Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Hong Kong, and facilitated planning and visioning sessions with various public and private sector organizations in Vancouver.
Recently, Laurie co-designed and co-facilitated the Mayor of Vancouver’s Task Force on Affordable Housing and is currently working with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association on a series of consultative round tables.
Laurie obtained his BEd, MA, and PhD at SFU, served as a Director on the Canadian Bureau of International Education for six years and completed the Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute of BC. Laurie’s academic interests include the nature, meaning and intractability of educational reform, program implementation, leadership in general and archetypal leadership in particular, and contemplative education.
KIM’S PASSION-BASED INTRODUCTION:
I grew up in the Yukon camping, hiking, playing hockey and admiring all things masculine. By the time I was looking to make my way in the world, I had the distinct impression that science was the highest value one could attain so I became a geologist and worked in field jobs in remote areas of Canada for 10 years. My father and many feminists were very proud of me, yet, I always felt like I was from another planet as I worked very hard to blend with the guys. I even felt somewhat alienated from myself.
My colleagues started forming companies, but not with me, so I branched out on my own. I prospected, staked, and optioned properties based on theories I developed while doing my applied masters in mineral exploration at Queen’s University. I discovered I had a good intuition for patterns in nature which wasn’t really recognized in geology but was invaluable to me for identifying good mineral prospects. It was an empowering experience but left me feeling disconnected and isolated since most of my time was spent with my dog in the bush.
When my mom developed a brain tumor it seemed natural to quit geology and take care of her for a year. Then a friend suggested I become a land claims negotiator for the federal government in the Yukon. I loved the work so much I had to force myself to go home at 7pm each night. Learning about First Nation’s culture, and finding creative ways to build a partnership between two radically different world views fascinated me, but I still lacked a real sense of belonging. I eventually left and had children.
At this point I decided to stop and really think about where my unique talent lay. I was surprised to discover I love writing and more specifically developing theories. I decided to become a writer and figured the easiest way to start was to write screenplays – they are only 90 pages and were all dialogue. How hard can that be? Actually, it is a real art but at film school, on the first day, they introduced us to the works of Joseph Campbell and archetypes. I finally knew what it felt like to be home. I swear I heard a choir sing as I connected to the beats of the hero’s journey. All the major events of my life made sense as they lead me to here.
The ideas spoke to me so powerfully I knew I wanted to explore them even if I never got paid to do it. I joined Jungians in Switzerland and Italy to explore the theory more deeply. I realized I had two very different ways of being, my masculine and feminine side I called them, and I needed a way to make space for both of them.
First, I wrote a book on the feminine journey to know yourself and be yourself, despite what everyone expects from you, as a counterpoint to the Hero’s Journey. The Virgin’s Promise was published through a US publisher in 2010. Then Laurie and I met the Hollyhock Program Co-ordinator who saw the potential for the development of my theory in a leadership context and with the input and support of Laurie Anderson, the idea has taken form in a very exciting way. Now I can’t stop reading, exploring, and getting lost in this exciting confluence of leadership and archetypes.
“Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.”
George Washington Carver
Exercise: Consider the following questions in your journal. Which style of introduction do you feel most comfortable with? Would you benefit from including a measure of the other style in your next introduction? Does it make a difference to be conscious of the effect of each type of introduction? Write an introduction for yourself or an idea in the fear-based and then the passion-based world.
- B. Program Overview
This introduction to Balanced Leadership will begin with a review of the benefits you can expect when you employ this new theory. Then we will describe the four pillars of Balanced Leadership namely:
- two worlds
- two operating systems
- archetypal intelligence
- dynamic balance
We will run through the four pillars quite quickly and then return to them as we look at specific ways in which they can be applied. Through practical application the pillars will become intuitive. The more you play with the theory, pay attention to any feelings of resonance that are inspired, and take a physical action that relates to your understanding, the more impact the theory will have on you.
Exercises are included to encourage this process. When something speaks to you, take an opportunity to explain it to another person and you will embed the learning. Crafting projects, journaling, and movie analysis are also offered as a way of working with the material more deeply.
Finally, we have included some suggestions for adopting Balanced Leadership to your personal and professional leadership after you leave the retreat/workshop.
- C. Benefits of the Program
There are many benefits you can expect to gain from applying Balanced Leadership including the ability to be less reactive as a leader, increased self-awareness, increased consciousness and mindfulness, and more options for moving forward in any given situation. Balanced Leadership expands your repertoire of responses to the challenges of leadership.
We all run a story in our heads all the time. Balanced Leadership gives the ability to be aware of that story and to make choices about it. It is a means by which to separate from the immediate situation, the reactive state, to see the situation on a deeper level. This ability to separate, that moment of pause, is considered by many to be the key to being an effective leader (Murphy 2011).
Everyday we make decisions based on the assumptions of the world that we live in. For example, Dian Fossey advisor, George Shaller, told her that gorillas behave very differently when you don’t carry a gun. Simply by approaching the gorillas with kindness, curiosity, and trust, Dian shifted worlds to the love-based world where fear and guns had no place. In order to do her remarkable research, Dian had to leave the operating system that told her to first and foremost protect herself.
In a very real sense, we teach other people (or animals) how to treat us by our actions and assumptions. Embracing the two worlds concept empowers leaders to distinguish which world they want to derive their power from and reveals the key to entering that world.
The moment that it takes to recognize which world you are in, fear or love-based, builds the space in which to be non-reactive. It creates a pause between stimulus and reaction. Archetypal Intelligence gives the ability to see the story playing out in life, and to make choices about the role you want to play in it. You take a moment of pause while you think about the archetypal energies that are driving the situation. The recognition that we all have a shadow side and it is on a spectrum with our light side also allows us to see all archetypes as informative and necessary which calms the reactive impulse. The pillars of Balanced Leadership work together to make leaders less reactive.
This non-reactive first impulse is automatic whenever you move yourself to the position of seeing the two worlds. At first you have to consciously choose to shift to the balcony where you can see both worlds. Eventually it will become your automatic default response.
You can hone this skill by considering the two worlds and the archetypes in situations where you are the third party such as when engaged in a movie or reading an article. This practice will make the pause more easily available to you in life situations.
Balanced Leadership not only causes you to pause, it also gives you the means to read the situation on a deeper level. It is a method that appeals to your instincts and offers meaning and direction from there. Being in touch with an archetype fills you with a sense of resonance which inspires growth and draws you back for more. It inspires not only your personal growth but growth in the people and systems around you through your leadership.
Exercise: When you read the paper, find articles which have a strong fear or passion-based focus. Describe the elements that are the hallmark of each world. What would this situation look like if it was shifted to the other world? (This can be done individually with a journal or in discussion with another. There is great value in creating a community of people who think and speak in terms of the two worlds.)
Without self-awareness you cannot give from a place of power.
Self-awareness is crucial to good leadership. Jung said the unlived lives of the parents are played out on the children. As leaders, our unmet needs will also be worked out through the people we work with. Unmet needs leave us feeling powerless and we instinctively seek to remedy that from whatever sources of power we have in our lives (activation of the Coward or Bully archetype). Unaddressed issues send us to our shadow side but from there we must move towards the light side on our own personal version of an archetypal journey through Archetypal Intelligence.
Self-awareness in the passion-based world is to know you exist and you are of value. When we do not have this awakening of a joyful connection to our authentic self we will unconsciously gravitate towards opportunities to be affirmed as worthy by others which may create a sycophantic, dependent atmosphere. Alternatively, it may be difficult to say no to people, or difficult to hold an opinion that is unpopular. We may feel compelled to always seek praise, attention and approval from others. In this situation it is difficult for people to do their best work because they are busy fulfilling the insatiable needs of the leader. Until the leader decides for his/herself, from an intrinsically motivated connection to her/his talent and unique value, there will be an unmet need. Leaders who lack an internal guide to mark their success and value, will be driven by a need for external proof of their worthiness. However, this need can never be filled externally. It requires a Virgin’s journey (the word Virgin often throws people off. Its root meaning is to know you are of value just for being yourself as in a virgin forest).
When we don’t feel worthy of having our needs met we may manipulate people emotionally rather than ask directly. This substitutes for inspiring others and receiving what they genuinely have to offer, which is a great loss to the workplace atmosphere. In the passion-based world Leaders needs to know they are of value and can be authentic. This permeates a workplace and makes room for others to be authentic. Grounded in their personal sense of worth Balanced Leaders see others for their unique value and create the conditions for workers to be all they are capable of being through strong listening skills, creativity, and compassion.
Leaders without a sense of their right to receive from others may also run themselves into the ground taking care of the needs of others and neglecting their own (the Martyr’s journey). They find it difficult to ask for help. They don’t take vacations. They model this behaviour for others to follow. Drawing from the well and never replenishing it means there is eventually no vital life-generating energy left in the workplace. People burnout and start making desperate decisions when what is really needed is the rejuvenating effects of joy and play.
Self-awareness in the fear-conquering world is the knowledge that you have the capacity to take care of yourself. You can survive what life is going to throw at you. If you do not understand this about yourself you will feel justified in controlling, neglecting, or sacrificing others to secure your survival.
This kind of self-awareness comes when you have been tested and been found to be brave, rugged, and strong. Brave means you can stand up for what is right even if it is life threatening (metaphorically speaking). Rugged means you understand that what you actually need to survive is very little, physically. If needs are inflated, confused with wants, fear of scarcity takes over and there is justification for monopolizing the resources, or blurring of the lines of morality.
Leaders must have a base sense that they can make it on their own and everything they need to survive is within their power. It builds space for integrity and risk taking. We have to know how to be rugged, and to do without, if we are going to take risks. Otherwise we extract insurance, hoard, or micromanage and our world becomes smaller.
To be strong is to be disciplined, to develop skills, and to have the ability to endure.
There is also the self-awareness that we are more comfortable in one world than the other. The fear-based world’s emphasis on doing what has to be done is very active in the external world, particularly in service to others. The passion-based world focuses on being and recognizes the importance of following your impulse for joy as a reflection of being who you are meant to be.
It is important as a Balanced Leader to sojourn into the world you are least comfortable with and develop this aspect of yourself. This builds appreciation for what others do, increases your ability to lead them well, and creates empathy for the challenges faced by others when outside of their comfort zone.
Exercise: Journaling is a way of being in a moment and accepting it for what it is. Write three pages of stream of consciousness capturing whatever thoughts run through your mind, exploring a connection to your inner voice. This is best done first thing in the morning, when you are closest to your subconscious.
Exercise: Dancing, singing, twirling, and yoga also bring us in touch with the present and our body. Choose one of these activities that are unfamiliar and dabble in that world. Remember to be non-judgemental and connect to what it tells you about yourself.
“Modern society tends to condition us to be anything but mindful. The dominant American culture validates virtually mindless productivity, busy-ness, speed, and efficiency. The last thing we want to do is be present. We want to do, to succeed, to produce. Those of us who are good at the doing seem to do well in our institutions and corporations…. The toll this has taken on our physical, mental, and emotional health is significant. “
Susan Smalley and Diana Winston
When Balanced Leaders take a moment to identify the fear or love-based world, they automatically separate from the situation and place themself in a third position. The moment we decide to see the two worlds or the archetypes, we move psychologically to the position of the observer. We have automatically achieved a highly sought after state which is considered to be fundamental to leadership and mindfulness: the non-reactive state.
How much of your life is on automatic pilot? We all live with a series of assumptions we rarely question that fundamentally impact the decisions and actions in our lives. Balanced Leaders shifts from a one-world view to a two world view by becoming conscious of the moment and their world view. This shift in understanding requires unconscious and instinctive behaviours to move to the conscious (E. Harding page 12).
Mindfulness involves being non-judgmental, open, accepting, and curious. This kindness may be the ability to recognize the shadow side in yourself, accept it, be non-judgmental and make a choice about future behaviour. It is to recognize that you are not your behaviour. Without this recognition, denial of your shadow self is really your best option, because being disconnected from your self is truly painful and damaging.
Archetypal Intelligence creates a non-judgmental state by recognizing we all have a shadow and a light side and embracing it. The shadow provides important information as to which world is operating, and what is being sought after, even if it is pursued in a negative way.
There is a spectrum of growth between the shadow and the light. Often the shadow is necessary to propel people towards the light. Conscious understanding may come from experiencing the shadow and choosing to move to the light, a point of well-being or higher purpose.
Exercise: Guided Meditation. The group will be led through a short period of meditation, with a focus on being present, mindful and aware. This will be followed by a discussion about the experience, the challenges of staying in a non-reactive mental state, and with suggestions on how to stay in that “third position” mindset, separate yet aware of the two worlds.
With a one world view, there are limited options. Balanced Leadership with its two world views opens more possibilities including something that is more than the sum of its parts. There is a power of opposites that injects a new energy and understanding into a situation.
We can often understand the less familiar world by grounding in the world we know and considering what would be the binary opposite of that concept. For example, the fear-based world in extrinsically motivated. An external parameter is threatening the continuance of something of known value to the community. The binary opposite found in the passion-based world is looked to when creativity is needed to inspire change and growth which is rooted in an intrinsic motivation – something inside the individual.
There are many leadership theories and it can be very confusing to know which to follow at any given time. What works sometimes may not work other times. This may cause a leader to discard the theory when it is just the result of a mismatch: applying fear-based methods in the passion-based world or vice versa. Balanced Leadership provides a framework that accommodates many other theories for leadership. It shows how apparently contradictory theories have great value when rooted in the right world. For example, ideas of Servant Leadership function best in the fear-based world while Appreciative Leadership and Transformational Leadership follow the values of the passion-based world.
Other leadership models focus on a set of skills or procedures (ie. “six essential steps in leadership.”). The reason many theoretical and skill-based approaches to leadership often come up short is because they don’t get at the underlying fundamentals. In that sense, Balanced Leadership is a meta- model of leadership because it delves deeply into the core elements of our nature as human beings.
D. Four Pillars of Balanced Leadership
Balanced Leadership is a model designed to capitalize on our fundamental human condition. It will bring energy into your leadership through the drives that deliver us towards that meaning and sense of direction that we all crave; the drives to embrace passion and to conquer fear.
Everything we do and feel is somehow related to these two drives at its most primary source. Every piece of information that comes into our brains needs to have either a fear or love-based emotion attached to it for us to be able to use it in decision making (ref?).
Each of these drives creates a world. Balanced Leadership shifts thinking from a one world view to a two world view to ensure both worlds are clearly visible.
There are four pillars of Balanced Leadership.
- Two Worlds
- Two Operating Systems
- Archetypal Intelligence
- Dynamic Balance
1. TWO WORLDS
Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.
When we become conscious of our world view, we can expand it: there are more possibilities for action and greater chances of success.
Our current assumption is that we live in one world with one set of operating conditions, values, and goals. This favoured world is the fear-based world. Fear is not the same as cowardice. Fear is also the emotion that drives us to take actions to push back danger and build comfort and safety. Bravery cannot exist without fear.
In many areas this dominant world view has worked well for us. Fear-based values have built systems that look to the past for lessons that keep us from repeating mistakes. It also imagines possible futures and seeks remedies and defenses to the negative ones and develops the skills to capitalize on the positive ones. Metrics and rules are very important in this world along with objectivity, predictability, justice, and goal setting.
This drive has led to the development of many systems. The current economic system is fear-based, believing that everyone is in competition to get the most they can for themselves and theirs. It has led to the creation of much wealth and significantly reduced global poverty. Similarly, safety considerations in transportation systems, mine operations, and engineering standards have saved innumerable lives. The fear of being oppressed or ignored has been a catalyst for improving people’s lives, from reducing slavery to extending voting privileges to women and minorities. Every day the fear drive causes us to take precautions that ensure our car is in good working order, our homes are well maintained, and our children are educated. In short, there are many positive aspects of our fear-based world
The dominance of the fear-based world may not be immediately obvious because it is everywhere. There is nothing to compare it to. Fear-based values are pervasive in our legislation, criminal justice system, medical system, entertainment industry, economic models, news reporting, education system, and our language.
It is sometimes easy to not notice what is being neglected, until the situation becomes unbalanced. Financial journalist Michael Lewis noted in 2008 that “One of the distinctive traits of the financial disaster was…how little women had to do with it.” (We could say the same thing about every war.) The National Council for Research on Women concluded that “the companies implicated in the crisis needed more women leaders because they needed a more balanced decision making model”.
The Balanced Leader is one who recognizes that if we are not conscious of both worlds we are unable to navigate in both of them. In order to make choices based on the full potential we have as humans we need to be leaders who recognize both the masculine/fear and the feminine/passion paradigms. It is important to note here that we all have a masculine and a feminine side – it is a question of giving recognition and value to both.
An excess of either world can be detrimental. Love can be smothering and fear can be paralyzing. Fear seeks to maintain itself and its narrow focus. This has resulted in marginalization of the arts, wisdom traditions, and creative endeavours generally. This is largely because what is measured matters and some things like the arts don’t measure well.
“Most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the result of creativity.”
If there are two worlds how do we call up one world? And how do we move from one to the other?
Language is the means by which the two worlds exist. This has been understood since the beginning of recorded time. According to spiritual texts, nothing exists until you have a word for it.
The Babylonian creation myth (18th century BCE) says:
When the sky above was not named, and the earth beneath did not yet bear a name, their waters were mingled together. And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen; When of the gods none had been called into being.
Book of Genesis says:
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
In Indian mythology, Brahma created apparitions from his unconscious: then the world guardian, Daksha, gave the apparitions names so that they might be known and their functions assigned to them.
To give a name to something is to bring it into conscious existence. Naming takes something that is in flux and gives it a shape. The dominance of a one world view has been made possible because we value fear-based words most highly and de-value passion-based words. Words like chaos, love, relationships, intuition, virginal, and feelings don’t have the cache of order, fear, action, rules, heroic, and logic. Alternatively, passion-based words are morphed to fit fear-based values. Courage (to follow your heart) and bravery (to push back against fear) belong in separate worlds but are often used interchangeably. Happiness is confused with comfort and safety. Power is assumed to have one meaning when it really has two.
To have a two world view you need to be precise with your language and develop a community that shares that language. When the words are considered interchangeable everything is grey. Balanced Leaders bring two worlds into existence and move from one world to another through word choice.
Here’s an example of the two worlds and the importance of words. Power is a big concept and it manifests itself differently in each world. Power in the fear-based world is to assert your will even against the will of others (Max Weber definition). This is what we see in every hero story where the will of evil is pitted against the will of the good. It is what happens in any competition be it the Olympics or the boardroom. Martin Luther King Jr. defined power as one’s ability to effect change. This is heroic power – the ability to assert you will.
This definition applies well to political power, militaristic power, some religious power, and economic power. But what about the power of love, to quote Huey Lewis and the News? This definition has no meaning when it comes to love yet we intuitively understand love to be very powerful.
In the love-based world power means to be all that you are capable of being. To love your work is to see the potential in it and be inspired to bring it to life. A powerful feeling comes over you when you step into doing what you feel you were meant to do. Many leaders want to empower others to be all they are capable of being. All of this is rooted in a love-based definition of power.
Let’s consider another big concept: well-being. When you understand it has two definitions the chances of achieving well-being greatly increase. In the fear-based world, well-being takes the form of comfort and safety. A nice house and a secure job really can buy this kind of well-being. Well-being in the love-based world is happiness and joy. So if it is happiness you seek, turn to the operating condition of the love-based world to create it. This involves looking inside yourself and finding what brings you a spark of life, what makes you feel genuine; something you would do for free and you lose track of time when you are engaged in it. When you find the spark, feed it.
Another big concept is purpose which is defined by a sense of meaning in the love-based world and direction in the fear-based world. Leaders who give direction without a sense of meaning will create unbalanced workplaces.
As leaders we need to consciously know which world we are operating from in order to consider if we are taking our best option.
“What women see – what they notice and value and how they perceive the world in operation – is a great underexploited resource in organizations. Living in a world that is blind to the gifts of the feminine is demoralizing and causes women to doubt themselves. They lose confidence in their ability to communicate effectively and the result is depression, burn out and “the female brain drain”.
Although the fear-based world currently enjoys the most privilege in our culture, the love-based world is gaining a lot of attention lately, thanks to the research of people like Brene Brown (on shame and vulnerability), Stuart Brown (on play), and Martin Seligman (on positive psychology). We have reached the limit of the mechanistic model and the more humanistic model is what businesses require to have more innovation, engagement, and ability to deal with complexity.
Exercise: Watch Miracle on 34th Street or The English Patient. Notice how the failure to recognize the two worlds drives the plot.
2. Two Operating Systems
Each of the two worlds has its own operating system. If you assume there is only one operating system everything becomes grey and it is difficult to clearly know how to operate in either world. You cannot see the patterns. There often seems to be contradictions to every truth making it difficult to know what to do. The biggest mistake leaders make is using fear-based methods to get passion-based results.
For example, in the fear-based world objectivity is highly valued. It is the foundation of science which has resulted in huge advancements in comfort and safety such as medical knowledge, the laws of physics and chemistry and computers. The assumption is that everything is random and predictable based on the laws of chance. To survive in this world you have to set a goal and work hard to shape the conditions for a favourable outcome. People develop skills, improve weaknesses, determine the impediments and remove them; do whatever it takes to put the odds in favour of reaching a clearly defined goal. The subjective is systematically removed from the equation because it is not objective. It is described as the placebo effect or an outlier.
In the love-based world subjectivity is favoured, creating the path to art, consciousness, creativity, relationships, and meaning. The assumption is that things happen for a reason, a reason specific to each person. To flourish in this world you need to practice the art of being and connect to your authentic nature. There is an assumption that each person is born with a talent, a star, a piece of the divine, and when you awaken to your best path things will fall into place.
In the book The Female Vision, Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson make an excellent point that women’s instinctual ways of viewing the world is systematically disregarded in the business world. Many women are on record as having felt something was wrong but questioned their own judgement. Their intuition, and emphasis on the relationships between the people as opposed to the focus on the goal for productivity is seen as a flaw. The objective is valued over their subjective world view. Language of the passion-embracing world, the feminine world, is often considered more suited to domestic life than the workplace which severely limits access to that world. Even in writing this book we wrestled with saying love-based world or passion-based world to find a world that would be palatable to business.
On a personal level, self-worth cannot be measured in the way the fear-based world wants things to be. It is a state of being. If you are measuring your worth by fame, status, income, or who you know, you are applying fear-conquering methods to get passion-embracing results. A sense of self-worth comes from the time you spend engaged in things that fill you with joy and passion. They are unique to you, and need only matter to you for your self-worth.
The two worlds are binary opposites. What works in one world is counter-productive in the other. Therefore, you cannot be in both worlds at the same time. Intuitively we know this. You can’t push and pull at the same time. You can oscillate back and forth from fear to love but you don’t feel them simultaneously. You can feel comfort and safety, play and joy, or fear and sharp mental focus at the same time because they are pairs from the same world.
Knowing this gives leaders the ability to shift the dynamics as needed. When fear is overwhelming, switch to the love-based world for rejuvenation. When you are trying to further something in the love-based world like creativity, job satisfaction, or relationship building, remove fear-based elements, e.g. timelines, goals with specific outcomes, or competition.
Balanced Leadership gives these insights in a fundamental way that can be adapted to thousands of real life situations. In the fear-driven world you delay gratification, drive hard to a specified goal, all for a greater final reward. Mistakes are life threatening and to be avoided at all costs.
In the love-driven world you give gifts to inspire people towards their best selves. Everyone has a special ability and is worthy of support to explore it. Diversity creates interesting and fulfilling communities. Mistakes are really just surprises to be curious about, delight in, or learn from.
When you know the operating system of each of these worlds, you have a passport for entry into each world. Leaders also gain an ability to be active in a positive way.
|everything has purpose, meaning, a natural order||everything is random, we must shape outcome/direction|
|subjective reality highly valued||objective reality highly valued|
|creativity, spirituality, sensuaityl awakened||strength, bravery, ruggedness tested|
|frequent gifts of inspiration||final reward, delayed gratification|
|meaning focused||goal oriented|
|patterns arise from complexity||order is constructed and imposed|
|sorrow is the raw material of joy||bravery is the raw material of comfort and safety|
|personal authenticity||personal duty|
|experience the moment||measure and record for future evaluation|
|friends: people who care about you||allies: people who share a common goal|
|intrinsic motivators||extrinsic motivators|
|domestic realm valued||foreign land explored|
|inspire, change||preserve, protect|
|limitless time||ticking clock|
|novelty, rebellion||constancy, stability|
|belief in enough||preparation against scarcity, quest for abundance|
|curious about novelty||preserves the old|
|receive small gifts that ignites a sense of self-knowledge which builds self esteem, sorrow, depression||take tests just beyond known capacity. Self esteem is the ratio of expectation to success.denial, avoidance, blame|
|flow immediate feedback is joy (sensual delight)||flow immediate feedback is success (passes test)|
|creativity leads to increased self awareness||challenges lead to skill development|
|harnessing psychic energy||harnessing physical energy|
|now focused||past and future focused|
|surprises offer insights||mistakes are life threatening|
|be authentic||compare to others|
|sense of belonging||knows his place in hierarchy|
|follow your bliss||persevere|
|antagonist grows||antagonist is destroyed|
|play and rest||fight hard and do maintenance|
|feelings, intuition||metrics, rules|
Exercise: Vocabulary Matters
a) Divide a page of paper into two columns. Label one side Love-based and the other Fear-based. Then consider each word below and place it in either column;
b) Once the words have been divided, go one step further by identifying each word in either column as either Light and Shadow categories (i.e., creating four columns, Light and Shadow in the Love-based column, and the same in the Fear-based column). Hint: There may not be a complete “set” for every word, i.e. both worlds, both Light and Shadow, so just categorize as best you can!;
c) Group gets together to discuss their rationale for classifying each word.
Compassion, sorrow, shame, authenticity, abundance, random, rewards, dreams, intuition, anti-social, certainty, shame, faking it, doubt, envy, being, gratitude, instability, discernment, scarcity, nothing, guilt, story-telling, avoidance, gifts, action, goals, joy, denial, gossiping.
3. Archetypal Intelligence
Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.
The story was the bushman’s most sacred possession. Without a story you have not got a nation, or culture, or civilization. Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own.
Laurens Van der Post
Balanced Leadership recognizes that story is the foundation of what motivates us. We run stories constantly in our minds in order to engage with the masses of information that comes our way each day. On a macro level, every culture on the planet and through time has stories. They are fundamental to the human condition.
And often these stories are very similar. Our stories are peopled with archetypes that can be recognized across cultures. These are core archetypes, such as the hero, that exist in the unconscious of every person and emerge through story-telling. They are our instinct for growth.
The human instinct is to go on universal journeys to form a strong relationship with our self, with others, and with the cosmos. Stated another way they show us how to take up our individual power, to use it well with others, and to release our power back to the cosmos. It is the beginning, middle and end of a life well lived.
Each of these journeys is done in a fear-driven or love-driven way or, to put it in human terms, a masculine and a feminine version (recognizing we all have a masculine and a feminine side). Balanced Leadership and Archetypal Intelligence is essentially working with these six core archetypal journeys of human nature.
Archetypal Intelligence allows leaders to read situations on a deeper level and gain insights into meaning and direction. Archetypes fill people with a sense of resonance that injects energy into a situation and inspires growth. They are attractive and draw people in. This makes them very powerful tools in leadership.
An understanding of our personal archetypes makes us better able to work with others. Leaders need to be aware of their relationships to self so they are not working out their personal issues on people in their charge. This is the foundation of Personal Leadership and done through the Virgin and the Hero journeys.
We need to own our stories, even our stories of shame and cowardice, our shadow stories. When we own all our stories we can offer ourselves the compassion we need to grow. We can acknowledge our fears and face them head-on.
Jungian psychologist, Allan Gugenbuhl, described the disconnection of our current culture from its geography as a dangerous fragmentation that leads to denial of our shadow nature. We live in one city and have a summer home in another. We have our businesses all over the world and all people really know of what we do is what we tell them at our annual BBQ. It is easy to say that we give a lot to charity and have a successful marriage when no one ever really knows us. There was a time when we lived with the people we grew up with. They knew we stole candy when we were eight and that we carried our gramma’s groceries every Wednesday. When the Mayor works in the town he grew up in he can’t deny his own shadow side. When passing judgement on a thief it must be done with compassion.
Without connection to geography we each have a stronger responsibility to own our shadow side. If we as leaders don’t own our shadow side as well as out light side we have to keep walls up so nobody can see the lies we have told to paint our perfect story.
Owning your story is the antidote to shame. Shame is basically the fear of being unlovable – it is the total opposite of owning your story and feeling worthy. Shame is the belief that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging (Brene Brown). Shame needs secrecy, silence and judgement to grow. It causes us to develop lives of isolation.
Perfectionists are essentially wallpapering over their stories to shape their life in a way they hope makes them lovable. They are using fear-based methods (shape your world) to get love-based results. When we feel shame, or when we feel we must be perfect, we pass this message of not being enough when we are just being ourselves to those we work with. Authenticity is not encouraged in an atmosphere of perfectionist values. This is hugely detrimental to creativity and workplace engagement which are key to success in today’s world.
Leaders also need to develop the ability to connect with people that are not like them, to see the value in ideas they could not have come up with themselves and use their warrior skills to provide a place for it in the workplace (Mother-Goddess and Warrior King archetypes).
Finally, Leaders need to have a vision for the bigger picture and convey that message to others (Mentor and Crone). Therefor there are six universal journeys, each with a pattern you can apply to numerous situations: the journey to self, others and the cosmos, in both the fear-conquering and passion-embracing worlds.
You will know when you have connected to the archetypes in your collective unconscious by a feeling of resonance in your body. Try to be aware of when you feel it: an ‘aha’ feeling, a sense of something ringing with truth, or a tingle of recognition when faced with something intrinsically valuable. Take some action to mark your recognition; make a note for yourself or raise your hand or a finger for a moment when you notice it to make it solid in your consciousness (when you give a thought an action it becomes real).
Archetypal stories are a powerful way of making connections with others. They allow us to reach out to people’s hearts and communicate in ways that addresses to the mind cannot. Archetypal Intelligence allows you to read any situation as a powerful story and determine what role you want to play in it.
Every life, just like every story, has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We take up our power, we learn to use our power with others, and finally we release our power back to the cosmos. All our lives we are faced with one or the other of these opportunities to grow. It is a constant process of growth with the need to retain the lessons and understandings of the beginning as you face a middle challenge. The end challenge requires that you hold the teaching of the beginning and the middle while you face the end. With each new situation we may find ourselves in any one of the archetypal energies. Archetypal stories guide us forward on these journeys.
All these archetypes play out in the workplace and effect things like productivity, creativity, achievement of goals, flexibility, resilience, continuity, loyalty and work satisfaction. When a leader is able to recognize the archetypal energy that would best serve a situation, that person can work to create the optimal conditions for moving forward. When you can recognize the archetype you are personally operating from you can choose to bring forward your best self. Archetypal Intelligence is the key to this kind of power as a Balanced Leader.
We say there are six core archetypes each with a shadow side but there are many names for these six. Archetypes are like symbols. They hold a great amount of meaning which people intuitively understand. However, no one word can fully describe all the meaning that is held in a symbol. As a result, for each archetype there are several names. For example, Crone is also known as Trickster, Fairy Godmother, Fool, and The Jester. Below is Kim’s attempt to give words to how she understands the archetypes. Use them as a path to connect to your own understanding of the archetypes and modify as seems appropriate to you.
RELATIONSHIP TO SELF
Virgin aka Maiden, Princess, Prince, Creative, Artist, Magical Child
To know you are of intrinsic worth as in a virgin forest. The quest to be true to yourself despite the beliefs and wishes of your environment. The source of creativity, authenticity, spiritual connection, and belonging. Know thyself and be thyself.
Victim aka Whore, Sad Clown
To lose connection to your value. Defiled by your environment to the point of scapegoating and unable to hold onto a sense of self and intrinsic worth. To allow yourself to be defined by others.
Hero aka Saviour, Cowboy, White Knight,
To push back the boundaries of mortality through performing selfless acts. Overcoming the fear of your mortality. To develop skills of bravery, strength, and ruggedness through tests and self-discipline making it possible to live in a foreign land. To learn you can conquer your fear and live in a bigger world as an individual.
Coward aka Bully, Eternal Child, Saboteur
Avoiding, blaming, and denying the truth in order to be protected from death. To live a smaller life, through others, in order to be safe and comfortable.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHERS
Mother Goddess aka Nurturer, Mediator
Knowing your power to truly receive another and to lead them to their soul. Listening, forgiving, inclusive, rejecting the false. The quest to find a place of rejuvenation before the well of your power dries up.
Femme Fatale aka Martyr, Black Widow Spider, Wicked Stepmother, Manipulator
Knows her personal power over emotions but is disconnected from her Virgin power, her intrinsic worth. Uses emotions to manipulate others to meet her needs and to feel loved.
Warrior King aka Lover, Judge
Discerns the true value in another and is willing to give his life to push back the boundaries of her/his mortality. Faces the fate worse than death which is to be alive without another who shows him the connection to his soul.
Tyrant aka Evil Queen, Cheating Husband, Dominatrix
Uses other people to increase his personal power in the form of money, prestige, and unearned privilege. Transactional, blind to other people’s true value or pain. Uses fear of pain as a currency.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE BIGGER PICTURE
Crone aka Trickster, Wise Woman, Raven, Fool, Magician
Sees the meaning of life with a magical quality. Uses what’s left of her life to encourage people to live their best life. She uses the power of love to bring magic and joy to life.
Hag aka Letch, Dirty Old Man, Cougar, Harbinger of Doom
The harbinger of doom, messing in people’s lives to deny her aging reality. She disrupts the flow of life and love.
Mentor aka Philanthropist
Seeing the end of his physical existence, he sets out to expand the existence of what is good in society beyond his existence. He seeks to pass on the sword, the knowledge, the secrets to worthy recipients.
Miser aka Spinster, Hoarder
Even imminent death will not loosen the vicegrip-like hold he has on his wealth. Fails to see where life is going or what the cosmos needs from him.
4. Dynamic Balance
Even if it is well intentioned, authority has a tendency to exclude its opposite and will eventually become an oppressor.
Balanced Leadership is not about finding a point of equilibrium and staying there. As humans we are always in movement. Our brains are always tossing around thoughts, feeling and drives to action (estimates of this activity include 11 million bits of information per second and a thousand thoughts per week). We do not feel happy or joyful all the time and nor do we really want to. Life isn’t about constants.
YinYang are good descriptors for the two worlds because they emphasize that seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and, one gives rise to the other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other. Balanced Leadership recognizes that knowing the feature of one world helps you to understand the other because they are binary opposites. This is a very powerful concept.
The juxtaposition of the two worlds gives them more energy. Black will never look as sharp as it does when it is next to white. Fear and love give each other a boost of energy at their points of intersection.
Fear-based leadership is also referred to as masculine and passion based as feminine. The masculine is driven to provide, protect and preserve what already exists and is recognized as valuable. The feminine is the source of authenticity, happiness, sensuality, and creativity. It is the source of what the masculine comes to value. Perhaps this is the root of the expression Ladies First. The feminine creates something new of value; the masculine recognizes it and carves a space for it to exist in the world, preserving and protecting it. And the circle goes round and round. At the points of intersection great energy is created.
Remaining in any one world too long will lead to stagnation or chaos. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Too much protection against fear leads to oppression and loss of freedom. Passion without a container can spin beyond control. Life pulls us from fear to love and back again repeatedly.
There is a human tendency to look for one answer and use any inconsistencies to reject the model as if it is a competition that could have only one winner. What if the answer is to know which world you are best operating in and therefore know the optimal time to use each model? Balanced Leadership gives the insight to know when a leadership model will be effective. It also grounds you in the human condition making the model much more intuitively useable. The insights of Emotional Intelligence, for example, are more easily applied when grouped into emotions that push back fear and emotions that pull love towards you.
To achieve balance between the two worlds leaders must be able to move easily from one to the other. The key is in understanding the different operating systems. Language is a powerful means by which to switch worlds. Changing the work environment is another avenue for moving from one world to another.
Balanced Leadership does not say one world is better than the other. It says that by giving recognition to and validating both worlds, we open up significant leadership potential.
Exercise: Take a moment to consider a value you hold dear and consider its binary opposite. Order to chaos, extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation, logic to feelings, objectivity to subjectivity, hard work to play, group to individual, hierarchy to web of life. Consider that both of these are of equal value, they just belong in different worlds.
5. Applying Balanced Leadership
Laurie and Kim will be expanding these concept in a five day workshop at the fabulous Hollyhock Retreat on Cortes Island. It is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the concepts of Balanced Leadership and enjoy the rejuvenating environment, October 3 to 7th.