Greed 2

People often think
greed
is wanting more.

Greed
may also indicate
a lack of clarity
around what we really
want.

Because a lack of clarity
around what we really want
can often breed anxiety
around a perpetual sense
of not having enough.

After all,
how can we have enough
of what we don’t know
we want?

Being Strong

At our first session,
she would habitually use the word “strong”
to refer to herself.

“To be strong,”
she said,
“I should
Stop worrying and,
instead,
Focus on problem solving.
I should
Stop blaming my employees and,
instead,
Blame myself,
the CEO.”

On the surface,
these sounded wonderful,
virtuous, even.

But after a month
of realizing empathy with herself,
she discovered
that by “strong”
all she meant
was “numb to pain & discomfort.”

There’s a world of difference
between following advice
and realizing for one’s self
by leading through a journey of innovation.

A journey
through which we learn new
or unexpected choices.

Without the journey,
“stop worrying,”
can merely mean “repress stress & anxiety.”

“Focus on problem solving,”
can merely mean “focus on eliminating fear & concern.”

“Blame myself,”
can merely mean “lead with unconscious shame.”

To frame this phenomena
as someone’s “fault”
prevents a deeper exploration.

More valuable
would be to recognize what happens naturally
when we lack
a sense of choice
or proper support.

The Journey of Three Emotions

When we, as founders—
especially those with humane intentions—
work to fertilize change in our organizations,
3 types of emotions often rise up
in ourselves:

  1. Overwhelm
  2. Anxiety (also Worry / Doubt / Concern / Fear)
  3. Frustration (or Anger)

When we don’t spend the time
to realize empathy with ourselves
in relation to these emotions,
these can easily develop into:

  1. Sense of Isolation
  2. Hopelessness
  3. Helplessness

Which, over time, can calcify as:

  1. Sense of Betrayal
  2. Shame
  3. Resentment (or Contempt)

Between Fear and Care Arises Concern

With accumulated life experience arises fear.
Between fear and care arises concern and anxiety.

Our concerns are well-intended.
Yet, when we behave out of anxiety,
it can also do harm.

How many parents ever intend to hurt their child?
Very few.
Yet, we were hurt by them.
Often by behaviors that arose out of anxiety.

I have yet to coach a CEO who does not care about their co-founders or employees.
Yet, these others were hurt by the CEO.
Often by behaviors that arose out of anxiety.
Same holds for CEOs hurt by co-founders or employees.

Not caring isn’t always the issue.
The challenge is also to care without anxiety.
It is to regulate our own tension.
A difficult, but necessary skill to learn as a leader.