Passionate people often have great lessons to teach. I met two men from another country. Both had careers in their Marine Corps. They loved their time in the Marines. They told me that few people appreciate it, but in the military, you are often reborn. You face death and you see others die so you can live. You see the value of purpose, and of transcending self, and of living in high collaboration during uncertainty and conflict. You witness the process of “everything coming together.” If you reflect on it, you begin to understand “the power of love.” You discover the link between love and learning in a purposive community.
The two men are now partners in a consulting firm, and they are passionate. The firm has a growing, global clientele. The nature of their partnership was revealed when one pointed to the other and said, “I would die for him because I love him, love changes relationships and increases capacities.”
They were anxious to tell me about how they work with organizations. “We believe every individual is unique and valuable. We help the people find their path, we shine a light on love, and everything starts to come together. The people discover what love can do.”
Given the emphasis on love, the next point was interesting. “We do not use the word love because it would scare the clients, but that is what we do, we shine a light on them so they can discover love.”
They have created an analytic and measurement framework that puts emphasis on personality, culture, and learning. This logical system gives them legitimacy and helps them gain entry.
The emphasis, however, is on human process. While they focus on effectiveness, they avoid problem solving, which is the justification for the existence of most conventional consulting firms. They also minimize instruction. Instead, they use experiential learning. “Instructing them does not work, the people must make discoveries. When they do, life and work is enriched. There is an increased sense of meaning and effectiveness.”
They use their measurement system to show that the business results are tangible, and this is pleasing to their clients. Interestingly, even after a successful intervention, the clients often fail to understand why the success occurred. They still lack the ability to understand the dynamics of the “coming together.” One of the partners told me of a CEO who contacted them after weeks of reflection and said, “I finally understand what you did.”
They told me that making deep personal and collective change is a spiritual process, it involves discovery or an expansion of consciousness. “You have to help people move from head, to heart, to guts.”
With a sense of awe, one of them said, “It is amazing, you can instantly move people to a level of understanding they have never experienced, in a first interview you can ask the right questions and listen deeply, and before your eyes you watch them make discoveries. In an exercise, you can watch the group come together as never before.”
In every positive passage I include four questions for reflection. This passage is so packed with value, I include a longer list.
- Rebirth is a personal transformation involving the transcendence of ego, why does military service sometimes lead to rebirth?
- Why is rebirth often associated with an increased sense of higher purpose?
- What is love?
- Why is love a word unmentionable in business?
- Why is conventional consulting tied to problem solving?
- How is the quality of relationships linked to the capacity to solve problems?
- How much emphasis does the conventional, managerial mind put on relational quality?
- What does “coming together” have to do with collaborative learning and performance?
- What is path finding?
- What does it mean to be aware of the process of coming together?
- What happens when one can see the dynamic whole?
- How is it possible that individuals and groups can quickly go to new levels of consciousness?
- What does it mean to move from head to heart, to guts?
- In organizations, how much activity is driven by the head, by the heart, and by the gut?
- What is moral power and what does it have to do with transformational leadership?
- Spirituality is often defined in terms of ego transcendence, expanding consciousness, unity, and animation.
- What does spirituality have to do with organizational performance?
- How is it possible that after a transformation, the people still do not understand what happened?
- Why does it take deep reflection to understand the coming together of the dynamic whole?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?