As we walked along the Mercer Slough, this CEO described to me his hunger for competition. “Sometimes it seems like I can’t control myself.” Hearing his feelings took me back to a time in my own life when an impulsive need to compete had me “caged”.
While he was talking about competing he was also saying, “Being so competitive no longer serves my purpose and I’m wondering why I can’t stop?”
In recent months, I’ve enjoyed the wonder of digital photography, especially the ability to collect images, select and process the best, and end with a digital record of the experience that inspired me, which brings me to my point.
In the world of digital photography, the term “raw” describes when an image most represents what the camera sensors captured. In one sense, it might be the most pure version, a kind of baseline image.
Adobe Photoshop introduced a technique called layering that allows software to stack layers of artificial modifications onto a raw image – ultimately transforming it into something much different from the original.
Like all of us, CEOs and managers have “layers” in their lives. In response to parents, teachers, coaches and others who earnestly shaped us into what they wanted us to be, we took upon ourselves layers we thought would earn their respect and favor or help us avoid their disapproval and disappointment.
The most effective leaders are aware of their layers and the limiting impact they have on life. Left in isolation, this CEO would remain in a self-imposed “cage” that steers him away from flourishing. This is where practice comes in!
This CEO has a unique leadership “practice field” where he enjoys a team of CEOs that help him learn to flourish. I have the privilege of facilitating his practice field and seeing his life transformed from his leadership, to his workforce and family. When leaders start practicing with peers growth happens!
When each person in a company can focus on utilizing and developing their raw talents (doing more of what they naturally do best, more profitably), the company flourishes, as do they and their families. However, when a leader has an attachment to something that limits them, they unconsciously fill the space where other people could flourish.
When this happens, we act out of scarcity and those around us sense it. By limiting the space where others can flourish, we add layers of armor that isolate us from reality and from our own special gifts.
The space between us is rich with possibilities when we each honor it by accepting our own limits and unique gifts. Are you aware of opportunities for others to do more of what they do best and more profitably, while you do less? Or, do you unconsciously fill this space with an identity built on false layers? All of us do this to some degree.
In this hypercompetitive commercial world, the only thing that can’t be copied is how well you learn, adjust and flourish and you can’t do this in isolation.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Jim@peer-place.com