Thursday, September 3, 2015

How to Guide Your Change

“Change is the only constant in life” Heraclitus.
Then why are we so afraid of it?

In the post Organizational change I have written that employees, others as well, perceive stability as security and therefore normally oppose changes. Such perceptions present difficulties or even block a change.

Where, then, is the exit door to ‘changing’ that?

Let’s start with a simple question: what do I want to be?

The answer does not lay within New Year’s resolutions where we write down our wishes and intentions on a piece of paper, store it in a bottle and launch it to sea, hoping it will manifest by itself! No. The Universe isn’t going to make this happen. You are the only one to do it!

New Year’s
So, how then?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fajin Power that radically changes your Leadership

Fajin or fa chin is a term used in some Chinese Martial Arts

MomentumWhen I first heard the term I didn’t know what to think of it. If your background is natural science you know that MOMENTUM is the product of the mass and velocity of an object and that the net FORCE acting upon an object is equal to the rate at which its momentum changes with time. You’ve also learned that POWER is equivalent to an amount of energy consumed per time unit.

If everything is already explained by physics, what now with this Fajin?

Let’s see what Fajin is and then how a person could practice and achieve this skill in Tai Chi practice.
In Chinese, the character ‘Fa’ literally means ‘to issue’, ‘to discharge’, ‘to send out’, whereas ‘Jin’ is a little more difficult to translate. Dictionary term is ‘strength / force’ but does not fully express the correct difference between ‘strength’ in Chinese ‘Li’ and ‘Jin’ in Tai Chi. The best description between ‘Li’ and ‘Jin’ is that the latter is generated by the whole body and is able to permeate the four limbs while the first is bogged down in the shoulder and the back.

Difficult to understand?

For me it was. So let me give you some hints.

In Tai Chi classic The song of Thirteen Postures it is said: “To store the Jin is like pulling open a bow, to issue the Jin (with Fajin) is like letting the arrow fly”. The root of Fajin lies in the feet and is issued from the feet, controlled by the waist and transmitted to finger tips.

Still having trouble understanding?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ideas to Spark Positive Motivation

We recently got a puppy Xia. She entered our hearts immediately although Biba left us not long time ago (see: Lesson of Leadership by Biba).

We rescued Biba from the shelter when she was about one year old. Xia came to us eight weeks old from a breeder. This time we did not hesitate to start educating Xia right away. In the first weeks we tried “old” school techniques according to our previous experiences but they were not working well. So we decided to get an instructor to teach much more us than her. The instructor was very confident in telling us that his principle is a positive motivation that is easy for dogs and hard for owners. And it proved so all over again!

XiaWe were awarding Xia (with briquettes) whenever she was doing something that we actually wanted her to do in the way the instructor taught us. Xia was not receiving her food at home but was fed out throughout a day and practically for every single briquette had to do something. In two weeks’ time she was completely clean. As dogs are more inclined to “understand” gesticulation and not words we had to learn right gestures. When she understood them we gradually added words to them. All this time whenever she behaved “properly” she was rewarded with food from our hand. Wrong doings were overlooked but not punished. Until something was done rights, she did not get food. Xia almost immediately learned what brings her food.

The instructor told us that normally the repetition of 10.000 times makes the command stored to dog’s musculature “memory”. How equal to us! (See: How To unify Body, Mind and Spirit). Practically the same goes in practicing martial arts: “If you want to really learn something you have to repeat it 10.000 times!”

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How To Unify Body, Mind and Spirit

In the philosophy of all Martial Arts ‘body, mind and spirit’ have to be and work united in order to be successful in any combat situation. In my previous posts you can easily figure out I claim that the same is valid in exceptional leadership.
body, mind and spirit
Here I’d like to go deeper into the subject by using the knowledge that has been steadily compiling. In the post Wing Chun basics 4Leadership I explained this topic through Wing Chun perception of ‘central line, economy of movement and simultaneous attack and defense’. The first can be used as a reference for body as on the ‘central line’ reside most of the vital points of a human. The mind is the most energy lavishing organ in our body. Therefore, a martial art teaches to store “the muscle knowledge” of all your hits, kicks etc. in your ‘muscle memory’ (will be discussed further below) allowing us to be faster and more explosive than we are within the conscious (mind) way of moving our extremities. In the fight there’s simply no enough time to deliver hits and protect oneself. Therefore ‘a simultaneous attack and defense’ is called for. It is “a spiritual way” to be confident that your whole body and not just your hands will protect you. But, at the same time a person has to have high spirit to combat with the opponent.

Looking at those two different options and issues through the same lens give us the opportunity to appreciate the similarities in them. So I tend to see most of the Asian Martial Arts as trains heading for the same destination – the unification of body, mind and spirit - but on different tracks.

Tai Chi’s (Taiji) main aspect is the yielding: when attacked Tai Chi “turns into water” and yield. The main emphasis of Tai Chi is working internally utilizing the Qi (see: Qi–energy–leadership). The Great Masters of Karate, Judo, Kendo, Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu, Sistema etc. all taught and tried to inculcate different principles to unify the three.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Reasons why Leadership is not about manipulation

by JBerceAfter recently a puppy joint our household once again it proved that from the moment we are born we have been predestined and taught how to manipulate. All small kids (the same goes for puppies) use basically 24 hours per day to watch, observe and consequently ‘calculate’ what is good for them and how to achieve it.

Well, assuming that is so and also knowing that manipulation has a bad reputation, how could we distinguish manipulation from a persuasion (does not have a bad reputation) that we use as well?

In my view a manipulation is, by definition, a form of persuasion and vice versa. Might be that manipulation is more of a short-term strategy, but consequently, manipulation and persuasion are all about getting someone to do something that you want them to do. Isn’t it?
From persuasion point of view I would say that it distinguishes from manipulation in a small detail: influencing someone because of something that is ‘good’ for the person or, better said that the person may be persuaded to perceive such doing as beneficial or good. Therefore, in this relation the trust in the persuader is the fundamental element for the effective persuasion. And trust is mostly missing or abused in manipulation.