Donal, you and the team did great work this week!
Susan Basterfield

Hi Susan — the most important elements from my perspective are the first three.

Motivation: this comes from our mind, which is the root of everything. “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, or a hell of heaven” [Milton, Paradise Lost]. (Kate — please note, re your current sojourn in Miami Beach!). The most important quality in any leader is to come to know their own mind, and to tame it. Roosevelt said: “the only thing we have to fear is fear is itself”. Buddha took this further: “All fear and anxiety come from an untamed mind”. So we learn to know and tame our mind. In self-managed organisations, which are intended to reflect democratic principles at their best, everybody takes personal responsibility for being in charge of their own mind.

Keeping it real: the world is constantly changing (impermanent), with everything interconnected and interdependent. People accept this, but only to some extent (i.e., they won’t argue that they won’t live forever, or that they don’t sometimes see cause and effect at work). However they largely grasp at things as being permanent and the notion that they can act independently (their behaviours suggest that they do not see themselves as the architects of their own destiny, so are not concerned about cause and effect). ‘If you want to understand your past actions, look at your current situation. If you want to know your future, look at your current actions’.

Other good reminders about impermanence:

from the Catholic tradition: “Memento Mori” (remember death).

“Tomorrow or the next life; you never know which one comes first” (Tibetan phrase).

Loving what we do: we’re all supposed to ‘love’ what we do and to be ‘passionate’ about it. I’d like to see people have a better understanding of what love really is, and to act more with ‘com-passion’ than ‘passion’.

“If it looks like wisdom, but is not loving, it is not wise.

If it feels like love, but is not wise, it is not love.”

For several reasons, I ended up presenting on my own. It would have been richer if Richard, Fred and Lucia had been able to make it, but unfortunately that was not possible. Richard had good points under the themes of Communication, Caring and working as a Team; Fred had good insight into giving feedback; Lucia had good insights on working with diversity in the workplace … to name just a few of the points on which they could have contributed.


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