Signs Of The Times: Being Prepared To Handle The Unpredictable

The two opposing realities and one vital leadership focus

From human-caused ultra-stress to the capriciousness of nature; the world is being severely tested. The facts highlight a cold reality: On many fronts, our world is unprepared to be able to handle much of the expected and the unexpected from within the framework of its existing set-up.

For anecdotal evidence we can relate to two recent events: The frighteningly disruptive effects of a relatively mild volcanic eruption and the way that sovereign debt defaults are impacting world economy. And then, there is a long list of predictable and unpredictable calamities waiting to happen any time. 

Depending on timing, location and circumstance, each period in world history creates unique personal development enforcements and opportunities. For some it is all about hard sacrifice. For others, its all about new hope and prosperity.

It is said that luck favours the prepared mind. There are many reasons why being prepared is the way of the wise. Creating space for luck to get on your side is certainly one of them.

The ‘fantastic four’ of leadership
To be well prepared calls for four basic qualities which define a capable, responsive leadership: High awareness, intelligent openness, comprehension and adaptability:

  • High awareness: Are you aware of the realities that are shaping the behaviour and response patterns of people around you?
  • Intelligent openness: Are you able to create in your mind space for perceptions, knowledge and points of view that conflict with your own views, opinions and thought patterns?
  • Comprehension: Are you able to accurately translate and understand what is happening?
  • Adaptability: Are you able to ‘turn on a dime’ and be effective outside your comfort zones?

The two opposing realities
Fundamentally, there are two opposing realities – two different worlds – that the world is being influenced and shaped by. One man-made; the other is a transcendent influence:

  1. The massive, unbridgeable global state of affairs of conflict of interests that the world is mired in. It is present and active at a stone’s throw anywhere you look and especially in politics. Can you present an example of two ‘friendly’ nations that do not share a deep conflict of interest somewhere, about something? A sinister aspect of this state of affairs is hidden agendas. I am sure that this does not require explaining. This situation is responsible for the whoelesale lack of unity that exists in the world; unity being a prerequisite to the kind of think-tanking that is now needed towards a state of being better prepared to meet the low and high ends of the future.
  2. The world of enlightenment, perpetual hope, fantastic opportunities and incredible possibilities; without which there would probably not be much of a motive to live on the unique and special planet Earth It is an evolving world that every so often goes through an exponential change to the upside, which is the case in our lifetime, today and now. A time of unprecedented quickening and growth of human cognizance, creative power and spiritual awakening. Those whose life is joined to this world are able to co-operate and collaborate. For them, the way of working together – where the ego takes a back seat – is natural.

Being prepared to meet the unexpected is a developmental journey.  A person whose centre of gravity is located in the second world above will be much better prepared and able to respond to the unavoidable expected and the unexpected. The reason for this is hopefully obvious: Being based in the enlightened world means being connected to one’s innate human potential and its incredible range of creative powers.

In this context, therefore, we can define being prepared as:

Being prepared: Acting out of a cohesive, integrated, intact and connected inner core and alignment to what is really important at any given point in time and being able to derive one’s responses accordingly.

All the great teachings throughout history educate and train people to handle the unexpected by devising ways of living and practices that help them to develop the attitudes that make it possible for them to become connected to their innate potential. Consider the place of meditation in the lives of millions – perhaps even billions – of people around the world: How a practice that requires inner stillness helps people to be better prepared to meet the changing demands and rigours of living.

The vital leadership focus
The one vital leadership focus is to be able to identify and then be singularly focused on what is really important.

There is one simple way to evaluate whether what you consider to be important really is: it will always accommodate or be attached to eternal values and principles. There are many important things in life, such as being prompt, being consistent, being fair and creating values. The question is: do they live in isolation in you or do these important habits and practices orbit a core central theme that guides your actions throughout?

Being able to identify what is really important and to then be able to stay focused and act responsibly and intelligently creates in oneself a birthplace for new intelligence that hones and sharpens the instincts; making it possible for us to intuitively feel our way through life and become open to fantastic new insights and new forms of creativity and innovation.

Ask emerging leaders what is really important to them. Listen to their answer and observe their body language.  If they really mean it and what they say is well founded, it has to be a personal matter to them and to their personal honour as individuals. That says that they are prepared and able to respond with agility to the calling of the moment and let the needs lead rather than being fixed in dogma.

What degree of clarity do you carry about what is really important?

The practice of leaders is to translate fundamental insights and core principles into daily actions, translating what is being touched upon here into the worlds of applied leadership as is relevant to any given territory and situation.

5 May 2010
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World Copyright © David Gommé

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