What an honor to learn some of these leadership nuggets from Peter Senge today, at Jakarta, thank you to Cherie for the invitation and warm hospitality.
Thought of sharing my raw notes, hope we all can take some of the wisdom and practice it immediately. 🙂
On letting chaos into order
- Life is just not orderly, life emerges. Out of that emerges, order can come but it’s different than the order that we control.
- How hierarchy can work better, not in the absence of hierarchy.
- The deep principle of innovation is collaboration: At MIT and its successful innovations, the heart of it is collaboration. Innovations emerge through working in teams.
- All innovations come from someone who praised someone for stepping ahead, by taking risks.
- Technology is meant to connect but now unfortunately has fragmented the society. Online communities tend to stick to the similar group because of zero-cost of exit. Real communities can only happen when you are stuck with each other and embrace diversity.
- Diversity creates innovation. Solidarity is not uniformity but commitment to shared vision.
- Harmony only exists because of diversity. The beauty of orchestra is diversity. This is deep old problem.
- Technology is neutral and only an enabler. Technology does not define Industry 4.0.
- The unintended consequence (such as terrorism) accelerated by technologies – it is not technology but really the human dimension (ie. motivation/intention) underlying behind it.
- The journey for IR4.0 is understanding our past and then create the future. The very first question: Will we still be a country with Industry 4.0. It is a question about identity and root.
- Movement requires deeper sense of security. To take courage and step ahead, it is paradoxical that there has to have a sense of deeper sense of security.
- Similar to biology, the process of evolution is transformation through conservation – it is rather paradoxical.
- So, the important part for revolution is two-part: (i) what do we want to create and (ii) what identity do we want to conserve. But who are “we”? Whose identity?
- Do not confuse rank / formal authority with leadership. Just because you have a title, does not mean you are a leader. Most organizational leaders do not have titles.
- The job of the CEO is to patiently listen to what’s being said and then forcefully communicate and execute.
- In combat, it is easy to find a good leader, finding those that people whose team are willing to fight and die because of trust.
- Masculine and feminine leadership – balance of leadership. The challenge we are facing in the leadership in this decade is re-balancing because the past has been fully-dominated by masculine power. That’s why yin and yang together are so important. With one-eye we don’t see the depth, only with two-eyes can we see the depth and the truth.
- The deeper problem is how do I find myself something to appreciate when we see someone of different political view.
- If we don’t like what we see, hold a brighter mirror. Of course, it is about changing society, but it starts with holding a mirror in front of us.
- The real work of a leader is always external and external impact but the process is very reflective. “How do I keep discovering the flaw of my own ego, where my own fear takes over, when I don’t listen..”
- To become a leader, you must be a human being. – Confucious
- We can have respectful authority and challenging authority in the army. It is about balance. That’s what Innovation 4.0 is leading to. Hence, the chaos…. but we need to get comfortable with chaos..
- It is not enough to have ideas and vision, but we have to practice. If we want to change, we need to create new practices. The leadership practice is about deep reflective practices AND execute simple daily actions.
Roots of words
- “To lead”- indo-european is lithe which means, to step across the threshold. Leadership is stepping ahead. Leadership is from the edge.
- Leadership is uncertain, you may fail. You will need courage to step ahead.
- Willingness to be vulnerable (yet the images in the society that leaders are perfect, always right), hence why innovations are stalled.
- It doesn’t matter because we are all human, we are imperfect yet we step ahead.
- Leadership is the ability to clarify your goal and mobilize people.
- Most effective leaders are deep listeners.
- Courage means “opening of the heart”
Being happy can feel elusive sometimes. There is so much hunger in ‘chasing happiness’ yet the exact act of chasing happiness is the main reason why we cannot ‘achieve’ happiness – what a conundrum.
I joined the bandwagon of ‘chasing happiness’ more than a decade ago.
Feeling dissatisfied, I could not understand why I was not being happy despite career and family successes. It made me ponder if I was being ungrateful, since nobody seems to be openly bothered about not ‘being happy’.
The quest of ‘chasing happiness’ brought me to interesting paths – some require detour, some lead to interesting insights. Through journaling, personal development classes and books, I had a fascinating discovery: that I might have defined happiness too narrowly.
Naturally, as a true-blue engineer, I began to dissect the problem and began to see possible solutions emerging.
I find few of these frameworks and tips worked beautifully for me (hope you find them equally enlightening):
- Definition of happiness: This turns out to be the biggest AHA for me. When I started reframing the range of ‘positive emotions’ instead of ‘being happy’, suddenly many possibilities emerge. Rather than focusing on being happy, I started listing down all things (or actions) that make me feel joyful, in awe, satisfied, contented and accomplished. The list of things that made me feel positive suddenly grow by multiple folds. Being clear on these positive emotions had raised my awareness so I can incorporate more in my life. (And I learnt, I am not doing too bad in this arena as I previously thought!)
- Creating space to experience positive emotions: The power of setting daily intention of loving myself and creating ‘micro joy’ has been tremendously helpful. I know that reading, dancing, doing yoga, playing with my kids, connecting with people and walking in the park are the big things that create positive emotions for me, so I will incorporate 3 – 5 minutes of these activities throughout the day. The result? Magnificent. (I love things that require minimum effort with maximum results.)
- Physiology matters: There are many resources that point out that we can ‘trick’ our body to feeling joyful and happy. Simple things like dancing and smiling send powerful signals to our body and nervous systems that reset our stress response. My routine is either restorative yoga or qigong which have tremendously helped me cultivate the relaxation routine, which in turns, create the positive emotions.
Above all, I stopped expecting to be happy. 🙂
Imagine. Just one word on how you want to live and experience the year.
Do not be fooled by its simplicity. In its simplicity, therein lies the power – the power of clarity.
So, I thought this is an interesting experiment – choosing one word to represent the year. Over Roti Canai and Teh Tarik with my family, we brainstormed what would our word be and what it would mean to each and everyone of us.
Mine was Discover. My husband’s was Support. Our kids chose their own word that resonated with them. Our family came up with our theme for the year – Together.
Fast-forward a year and it’s January 2018. Little did I realize the power of clarity and intention. My year of Discovery has been truly eye-opening and full of discovery – of course, nothing short of bumps and surprises.
What did I discover in 2017 – Year of Discovery?
- I discovered the ability to love myself – This is by far the biggest discovery. Ever. I am still a novice but continuing to strengthen this heart and compassion muscle every day. Thanks to the Feminine Power (FP) Mastery Program by Claire Zammit, I have been able to learn a system on accessing that old ability and very grateful for the experience and for the supportive community. I can go on and on with this experience – which I will probably outline in a different section later. In short, the key principles are to be able to reconnect with my child Self and to forgive myself. Through the practices, I learnt to accept myself in totality – the good, the bad and the ugly. Only then, I can accept others in the same light. Warning: This took lots of courage (and heartaches!). But the outcome is well worth it.
- I discovered that I don’t have to go and do it all alone – This is the second AHA for me. Being conditioned in a competitive environment (I am an A-type and an athlete), I used to believe that the ‘race’ is all a solo sport. Only when I questioned this belief, do I see that I had mirrored this false belief in so many different facets of my life. With that shift, I am continued to be amazed at how I found help in seemingly hopeless situations. This is work-in-progress. I regress from time to time 🙂 I do want to acknowledge that it helps so much to start cultivating the deep relationship with people who have the same mindset and shared goals. For this, I am so grateful to have wonderful friends and family who are in the same wavelength and supporting each other in this journey. In short, find your tribe.
- I discovered that I can bounce back – This is the most satisfying skill I discovered. However, I would not be able to achieve this without cultivating the self-love (see #1). When I faced adversity (especially at work these days), I would catch myself now, questioning “What can I learn from this experience?”. This has kept me focused on the solutions – and I feel that this is the most loving act I could do to myself.
- I discovered that if I amplify others, I naturally will amplify my Self – This is a completely new concept as I journeyed through the FP Mastery program. This just takes away the habit of dimming my light or dimming others’ light – it is not a zero-sum game. We are all unique and we all can amplify each others’ light by standing up tall together.
So what is your word for 2018?
Mine is to Create, hence the creation of this blog. Enjoy!