My tour questions
What am I working on?
Professionally I teach social informatics at University of Ljubljana. On the other hand as an author I’m interested and do research about a different approaches to outstanding leadership.
How does my work differ from others of the same genre?It is a work that merges Western and Fareast mentality and is based on approach coming from martial arts (Wing Chun, Tai Chi) Philosophy aiming to a personal growth in order to become an exceptional leader.
How does your writing process work?At the beginning mine writing process takes quite a while as I do frame it, I do read a lot about the subject, but when started the words just flew.
Be sure to check out the next two authors next week:Coleman Weeks’s blog http://howdowefeedtheworldsstarving.com/
Ed Gellock’s blog http://lakesidelivin.wordpress.com/
LaRae Parry’s blog http://laraeparry.wordpress.com
Excerpt from my book...
“I needed this detour to understand that leading by virtue is an inner concept. A concept that has many parts described by our Shifu during this past year. Tested in different ways by you—Ben and me. It is a process called by our Shifu the Dé Lǐng Dǎo way—a process of personal growth that each of us has to go through if we want to succeed. It is not enough to know pieces or apply them uniquely. You have to grasp the whole. You have to live by it. Then and only then it pays you back—as, Ben, you have disclosed it with your organization and its culture change toward better business environment.”
“Ben and Martin, good conclusions,” says Shifu, who finally speaks and cuts down our discussion to sum it up. “You discovered the basics behind my Dé Lǐng Dǎo way from your cultural background. It is normal that you didn’t understand the Eastern way at the beginning. You needed your Western approach that is much more systematic and structured than what the Eastern approach offered you. There are definitely different ways to understand the same topic although I prefer dealing with people in an unstructured while still holistic way offered by Eastern views. We are not robots. We have our emotions that are mostly overlooked by Western management approaches. They are internally driven therefore handled carefully within the Dé Lǐng Dǎo system. Causes and consequences, as we have seen during our conversations, are the topics that are better embraced in the Eastern way too. The solution lies in the Dé Lǐng Dǎo path and in the impact and response from others that are captured when following the Dé Lǐng Dǎo. We demonstrated that others perceive a leader’s behavior and react according to his/her conduct. It need not be observable, but I would rather say it is detectable. Like dogs, they obey you on a sense basis no matter if you are small, big, handicapped, or something else. In nature, wolfs attack much bigger pray if they sense fear or weakness. So people sense your attitudes and behave accordingly.
“I’m aware that you do not yet know how to collect and connect with all principles that form the Dé Lǐng Dǎo. It will come with time, eventually. But as for me, I do not call them string or quantum theory or even the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, but rather in a different Chinese way—the Three Treasures, or Sān Bǎo, and they consist of Shén, or spirit, Jīng, or essence, and ultimately, what Martin just described properly, life energy or Qì. We've already been through these three concepts long ago, and you must know them. We use them in Wing Chun all the time. I just never mentioned them like this. When we gathered today, I thought that I would need more time and explanations to show you this final part of the whole system.
“But you surpassed me with your discussion that opened up the fullness of complexity precisely. Okay, you did it in a more Western way, but that is not wrong at all. We should start to merge those Western and Eastern issues, concepts, and wisdom to improve human knowledge and go beyond where we are today. You described the Dé Lǐng Dǎo in a very sophisticated way that suits you. Living so long in Western society, I can understand the way you approached. Science with all its elements—from physics, statistics, and so on—is well routed in your culture. Nothing wrong with that except that the holistic approach needs also some other measures too. The Dé Lǐng Dǎo way offers, with an internal leadership approach, an addition to well-described external ways of leading people. It gives a leader a tool how to reshape his or her attitudes accordingly and brings a change in the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency, and confidence, which all helps externally in employee empowerment.”
As we both stare at him without comment, he continued slowly. “Now let us return to the main subject we opened up a long time ago when Ben needed out-of-the-box thinking for his leadership process and when Martin asked for help to frame his research about how to coach. I would now like to conclude our learning parts that there are many leaders amongst us, some of them more popular and famous than others. The best leader differs from others not because he or she is with a special organization, working in a superior environment, leading a company in an exceptional sector, or just having a formal title with power. No, the best leader contrasts from others rather by violation to the virtue coming from an internal power that is driven following the Dé Lǐng Dǎo way.”
These last words trigger me to shift my thoughts to my question from long ago: What kind of a leader should I become? It is still a question that bothers probably because I still hadn’t grasped the totality of it. But this doesn't bother me anymore as I intuitively know that I follow the Dé Lǐng Dǎo way now. I have changed a lot. The changes on processes and in our company culture in those last months show that there had been great change. This is evidenced not only by successful merge, but rather because we realized that the changes are mostly in those soft undefined fields and hard to be described and difficult to be measured directly. At various levels, there is no avoidance of responsibility or passing it on to me. There is no fear to openly express one’s opinion....