Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Early Laments of 2019

Tofler and McLuhan brought us to the Future in our heads, before we could embody its experience. Naisbitt evaluated Megatrends, some of which came astoundingly true. One could well claim those views were biased in a US perspective. In India, terms like MN Srinivas' Sanskritization were more confined to intellectually charged academic environs. In the early 1990s when YD Phadke spoke of the criminalization of politics and politicization of criminals of Indian contexts, there was a more subterranean nexus in mass media of the day. That was what Sainath then identified in international media as the militarization of civil terms and the civilization of military words. The 'smart' bomb; the Daisy Cutter, and the semantic reduction of non-humanistic intent to a point of normalization. As would Chomsky term of imperfect democracies -manufacturing consent - in such nexus between war, commerce and the economy.


Today the blurring between news, content, entertainment and views makes for a cognitive challenge that even critical thinking training may find a challenge to help us with. Then an oversimplification of groups and identities leads to destructive stereotypes and loss of empathy with the human condition. There is a simultaneous opacity between civil liberties, ballots, and governments in power. Media hold up a pretense of forces of control when collision occurs between profiteering or greedy media and the covert government. Yet, those hungry for office will need to port images of chaos to lay claim to the office they adulate. So designer crimes, famine and economic warfare will have a share of time on news we pay for. Yes, we even pay for the decay of our state of affairs.

Beyond mediated images, the few who find solace in the human conditions are those who embrace the severity of the slide, and like a persistent desert shrub show up to offer life, as like the arteries in our bodies purifying blood. They, I would assume clamor no prime time, nor brook contempt, and walk their paths with footwear at most, while others claim to carpet the earth.




Even if more die on parched land that was once arable, than in flying coffins with wings, sorrow is also socialized in proportion to the financial estimate or loss of investment. The human race (if that were the term) has to come to terms with more existential questions. Is there an answer to Death? What is that phenomenon? What's Ethics got to do with the living? What's Courage got to do with Greatness? What's Reality got to do with Visioning?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Between 12s and 13s

I gladly accepted two invitations, one each for 12th and 13th January 2019. As you may have guessed both were to events in Bangalore. On 12th January, the Mother Tekhla auditorium on Brunton Road hosted a physicist Arthur Esienkraft from Boston, in India as the guest of the Azim Premji University. His talk was on the Light at the end of the Tunnel. Quite like Carl Sagan, who popularized science through his passion for astrophysics; Arthur took on the task of making the mystery behind light as a phenomenon accessible to citizens at large. 

By the end of his 60 minutes talk, he was not only sure he had primed his audience for their questions; he had also moved from the phenomenon to models and their predictive nature, looping the predictions all the way back to phenomena with the help of the fuzziness of quotations from Archimedes to Asimov.


If Archimedes said Eureka, it gives the science the character of having arrived at truth. Asimov preferred to be stumped on a phenomenal experience and face it with two words “That’s strange”. Between these polar opposites of concrete reality and works of science fiction, the premises of science spread from observation to the quest to explain relationship between objects in the real world.


So what did Arthur begin with? “Only 6 phyla of 21 known to humankind have eyes”. Now, that speaks to something that Nature or ecology represents in evolutionary terms. But it piques our conditioned perceptual anchors to vision and sight. And while our visual cortex are expected to be different from other species, to know that anamorphic art began contemporaneous with understanding of light traveling the shortest distance in a straight line.

When Roemer uncovered an inter-planetary observation in conjunction with earth’s opposition to Jupiter, by timing the eclipses of the Jupiter moon Io, Rømer estimated that light would take about 22 minutes to travel a distance equal to the diameter of Earth's orbit around the Sun. This would give light a velocity of about 220,000 kilometres per second, about 26% lower than the true value of 299,792 km/s

Thereon, the evolution of physics itself seems like between the observation of ‘strange’ phenomena, and holding forth models that could predict them. There have been struggles between those who knew math and those who did not even receive formal education. It was news to me that Michael Faraday was a mere book binder who sketched visions of magnetism from reading and reflecting through titles he bound.  It took the math from Maxwell to find relevance to Faraday's concepts of magneto-electric fields. 
There seems at least three axes between electricity, magnetism and direction, for example that several people pursued between precept and observation. The dance between theorists and mathematicians as like Fresnel- Poisson (the Arago white spot), Faraday-Maxwell prompted at least one teacher of Physics to ask the speaker, if history of Physics were taught as an evolution of such ‘seeking’; would not the love for science among students be more wholesome? That’s when Arthur’s recipe of 7 Es sounded right – Engage, Elicit, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Extend.
Well, for one Arthur stressed that time and space are not what we perceive it to be. That reminded me of the recent assertion by behavioral economist Daniel Kanheman “It’s an empirical matter. It’s not amatter of thinking”. The progress of science rested more on how may we know that which we label as ‘strange’ today? Had it not been for Feynman who explained that the blue and orange wavelengths cancel each other out in a straight line, we would be at a loss to explain light’s travel.
A schoolgirl of standard 5 in the audience took her opportunity to ask as to why if light had no mass, would it not be able to travel through a black hole? Her prompt came from the mentions of the speaker, that light may not be as much a particle but a wave. I was instantly reminded of how Leonard Cohen weaved this mind bending phenomenon into his lyric “Show me the place”.

“The troubles came I saved what I could save
A thread of light, a particle, a wave

But there were chains, so I hastened to behave
There were chains, so I loved you like a slave
Show me the place where you want your slave to go
Show me the place I've forgotten I don't know
Show me the place where my head is bendin' low
Show me the place where you want your slave to go



My second invitation was to a memorial service on Sunday, January 13, 2019. It was an alumni gathering and remembrance of a man who delighted at a child’s wonder on seeing a light bulb come alive with electricity itself. That was primal joy for him in Chaibasa, Bihar. The man in remembrance was Rev. Richard (Dick) McHugh SJ, who after spirited initiation from Tony D'mello SJ at the Jesuits' Sadhana Institute, Lonavla, went on to study the NLP masters at work before he integrated Vipassana like mindfulness to sensory acuity of the human body. His book Mind with a Heart a touchstone of experientially decoded processes of neuro-linguistic programming, was his start-point of well deserved fame.  
Born in Scranton, PA on 11th March 1930, he passed away 27th June 2018 in Baltimore, USA. This memorial service was at the Ashirwad Jesuit Residence and retreat center off St Mark’s Road. The Rev. Stanislaus D’souza, SJ who conducted the Mass reminded us of his pastoral meaning of the day – the commemoration of John the Baptist ordaining Christ Jesus himself in the river Jordan. That reminded me of John the Baptist surviving on locusts and honey in the wild, and John the apostle. Dick McHugh would quote Richard Rohr of the movement in gender in each of us as between the deep masculine of the wild journeying and the deep feminine caress of the gospel – in keeping with being the message and the messenger too. Dick had much in him that he attributed to his spiritual master Tony D'mello. Might I add here that Tony D'mello was himself a prolific contributor to counseling and therapy. Another life gone swift and brightly. 
Dick was a rebel with a cause in the Jesuit Society himself. His adornment of the Lacoste style T-shirt as unmistakably characteristic chemise with a pajamas strewn from the Jesuit cassock was a strange ensemble. They bore an unlikely raiment for a spiritual grandeur within him. To reframe from experience the Biblical weight on “Love thy neighbor as Thyself” is an uncommon wisdom that priests and nuns would find as a pivot in self-awareness. The psychological significance of his take was – how could a person love another – without loving one’s own self? Even Osho said, that it may be logically possible, but psychologically impossible. To love another without making peace within one’s own self is a sign of poor self-awareness. And an incongruent other awareness often the consequence. That’s when dysfunctionality begins. Mind, body and emotional integrity in the self leads to larger ecological consciousness with others.

In my own sharing at the event, I emphasized that Dick’s life was a testimony to knowledge being an embodiment of this integration, as an inward journeying -a spiritual process in itself. In hindsight, and on return from the event, I recalled another expression that Dick often used.  “If anyone would ask, what’s the goal of awareness? Nothing”. Pithiness in his wit came through in what one of his oldest students in class had to say. Sr Maria recalled her class in 1977 asking Dick to close with a parting statement. “Chew what you eat” is what he said.

For this life well lived, people traveled in from Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai too to celebrate his work with us. In the words of Dr Stephen Titus, Math professor, any transformation should have evidence for “What did you see? What did you hear? What did you feel? How does that make for observation of transformation?” Perhaps, we owe a debt to the evolutionary spirals of NLP too. Robert Dilts built on Bateson's work on levels of learning in systems. And Nora Bateson on her father's and grandfather's!


Perhaps, the evidence of clarity comes through most in Sr Cynthia Gonslaves, FMM and one of Dick McHugh's longest collaborators in NLP process work. "Dick had his flaws too, like any other human being. But he was genuinely uplifting and caring. His parting words after any major interaction would be 'All the Best'. " Leo Lobo revealed how he found nature's metaphor from the farms of his childhood near Mangalore come through in the work of Dick. We were all plants whose seeds were sown to be bright and healthy beings with a potency unique and nourishing to be part of our ecosystem. 

Unlike Eisenkraft’s light at the end of the tunnel, life’s always strange, and not merely when a scientist stumbles upon a dis-confirming pattern. Or a grammarian’s calling out of a violation of speech in language. Never mind that the mathematicians caught up with the visionaries in the physical and metaphysical worlds.

It’s indeed great to have been between twelves and thirteens this January than to be at sixes and sevens. 

What an interesting start to 2019. All the very best to you, dear reader.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Can we mask the elephant too?


Rangarajan, Mahesh had my admiration when he with exceptional calm would strive through disparate data and detail on politics around election news. His grip on constituency peculiarities morphed into the tenacious hold caste, community and suffrage had on India. His masterly poise had a problem as far as I was concerned decades ago. It would be difficult to discern whence he emerged and where he would disappear into. Last evening, seeing him in the flesh at Mother Tekla auditorium was a gift from the multi-faceted Giri of the Azim Premji University. Of course, the diligent contact Sudheesh Venkatesh, Chief People Officer of the Azim Premji Foundation has with fellow professionals helps make known the Public Lecture Series from the university in Bangalore.
Mahesh Rangarajan 


Mahesh had transformed into being a scholar of environmental history. Giri met him at a panel just weeks before in 2018 itself, when the intent to invite Mahesh became firm. Mahesh is now a consummate connector of dots, perhaps enjoying the possibilities of hope, rather than wallowing in the throes of despair on our environmental horizons. And that to me was the wonder with which I left the forum yesterday. As Dean of academic affairs for the Asoka University, his students are likely to extend beyond the rolls of the institution now. There are dots I found connecting for myself as a consequence of the stimulating flow of facts from Mahesh.  The levity with which Mahesh unfolded global ecological imprints across timelines, made me wonder if at some point, he was mere consumer of the more delightful datum in its form, than the activist conscience-keeper given the intensity, nay adverse severity of man’s relationship with nature. The talk was aptly labelled as “At Nature’s Edge – History and the Ecological Present”.

So, let me briefly state the points around the dots of my experience.

1.       Daniel Goleman in his book Ecological Intelligence (the less popular of his books on Intelligence), had mapped for us that only collectively could we reverse the damage we have inflicted on our environment. Our hardwired brains cannot quickly fathom how our olfactory senses, our visual perceptors and the like could have given us pre-historic advantages, but its only our neocortex that can engage with requisite reasoning to confront the challenges of our environment.

2.       Harari, Yuval, also a historian, presages the wheat crop as being more robust than the complex human in its inheritance of the planet. 
Yuval N Harari
Counter-intuitive and brilliant, his inductive reasoning into the future, as in books like Homo Deux can ring alarms on the reasoning we posses in our times. We are going to be socially challenged.

3.       Walter Mischel, who died last week had shown us through his marshmallow experiment, that those taken in by instant gratification are less likely to be resilient into purposeful futures.
Social Psychology is no pushover, and irrespective of cultural nuances, the capacity to collectively defer consumerist trends that threaten our environment needs to survive beyond the radical transparency required of an ecologically sensitive world.

4.       Chindia Rising was a book that the master of management thinking Jagdish Sheth had brought on barely after another brilliant offering on human fallibilities. His book on the self-destructive habits of good companies contain tell-tale signs of hubris and compulsive gratifications that leaders in firms succumb to in the absence of sentient organization design.
Dr Jagdish Sheth
The Chindia Rising book outlined forward looking dangers to world economies, and how both China and India face a common challenge in the environment. Mahesh Rangarajan deftly passed a profundity in governance priorities when he asked the audience to indulge in proximate enquiry on the internet, regarding China’s engagement with the environment. He divulged the name of a book critically acclaimed the world over.

Don’t cry Tai Lake is the hint. The plot is contextualized with the tease of mystery and sombre realism. Excerpted from the Washington Post here “Don’t Cry, Tai Lake” begins when Zhao declines a vacation at the Wuxi Cadre Recreation Center, a luxury resort for senior party officials, and sends Chen in his place. The resort is not far from Shanghai and overlooks the huge, once gorgeous Tai Lake. Now the lake is ringed by factories and severely polluted by toxic wastes. That fact, denied by the party faithful and regretted by Chen and a few environmentalists, is the crux of the novel — and Tai Lake is the author’s symbol of the widespread pollution throughout China.”. Qiu Xiaolong the author lives in Missouri, USA. Wikipedia states of him ”All his books feature Chief Inspector Chen Cao, a poetry-quoting cop with integrity, and his sidekick Detective Yu. But the main concern in the books is modern China itself. Each book features quotes from ancient and modern poets, Confucius, insights into Chinese cuisine, architecture, history, politics, herbology and philosophy as well as criminal procedure”.


5.       The teleological view to change is also to trace the evolution of Purpose hierarchies that human beings held across historical context.
Earlier eras afforded more direct connect with nature. E.g. Royal tastes for species like the Elephant are typical of South and South East Asia, and thus its survival as a species is geographically peculiar. In China however, as Mahesh revealed, elephants were vanquished to make way for rice-fields, with the animal often eaten than reared. Purpose being embodied with intent, man’s relationship with nature is complexly intertwined with man’s reasoning of social organization. Oversimplified association with roles and entitlements may deter the cause of the planet itself. On the other hand, perceptive acuity and courageous leadership could redeem co-evolutionary existence. As how President Kennedy arrested his sway on his rocking chair to listen to Arthur Schlesinger on how nuclear weapons meant that every living being had rare elements in the body, including the President’s children playing on the White House lawns. Nuclear disarmament since then is a matter of conscience, save the purpose to which our species will collectively organize. Historically though, it is only colonization that took the tomato, the potato and such from one continent to another. Similarly trees not native to its host location can trace human agents. Bengaluru, for example, has also seen a change in the flora it hosts across centuries, thanks to human intervention.

6.       Agency and Intervention are often seen as opposite poles, when in fact, they need not be. Misplaced dialectics may imply that a synthesis between advocating for ecological sensitivity and intervening in the ecology is in the offing.
Van de Ven & Poole model depiction (1995)
While advocates of confrontational activism may argue for development over green determinism, advocates of green conservation may be seen as status quo pacifists or as obstructions to progress itself. Collective action between academics, citizen groups and government leadership require more complex coordination for sure. Whether we evolve hereon or not is as much in question as in a ‘when’ question, as much as in an ‘if’ question of if we choose to evolve at all.

All said and done, less than two hundred people graced the occasion, in Bangalore, despite advance communication and consistent reminding. Not an easy choice for many. Truth has fewer alternatives in this respect.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Brevity in OD could be a mirage

Recently Terrence Seamon invited us to a 10 words challenge. The content of the words was to state what OD does. 

My 10 words : Facilitating an organization's systemic outcomes by ethically applying behavioural sciences  : 

If words can capture the function of ODers - as above. 

Comments:

Engineering Solutions  / Solving problems - is like taking the technician's tools to the client. The conjurer in HR often confuses this layer for OD, because of the potential scale of impact. Metaphorically, when a barber uses raw razors and needle and thread on wounds - his methods are less effective than that of a surgeon's whose scalpels, sutures and disinfectants come from a different process; although, the barber believes that his task is equal to that of the surgeon. 

Applying Sciences requires that the consultant knows the difference between the roles below AND knowing that either role below can be called for through OD's phases, and at times simultaneously

scientist, - observer, recorder, experimenter, designer, theorist, philosopher - truth seeker
laboratory assistant - materials handler (models as apparatus), tool calibrator (survey operationalization / qualitative content analysis), - truth tester
engineer - setting up materials efficiently for full system effectiveness, specifying criteria for functionality - ensures fitness for use in society - truth evangelist
user - the employee / participant in change, for whom efforts of the above are above ordinary life at work - truth valuer

That's why when theory is not advanced to qualify OD, we fall short of its promise. Science not only implies method of enquiry, but also its evidencing.

My takeaway from Terry's challenge? - Simplicity does not compensate for complexity, nor satiate curiosity. Economy and effectiveness can work at cross purposes. 

PS : My apologies to the bald and balding - whose use for barbers has receded with years, and prayers for your good health - so that you don't suffer a surgeon's scare

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Vipassana in 10 minutes

In the era of e-learning, hand held gadgets were still gaining their edge in display and memory. The Blackberry was the equivalent of the underground bestseller then. Ranjan Acharya, my boss was aghast when vendors were pushing for content on platforms such as the handheld to address Leadership Development. For him, the blur between convenience and essential learning was a corruptible blind spot for the learning function. In characteristic wit, he asked us “So, would you get Transformational Leadership in 5 minutes, just because you have a Blackberry?”


In 2017, the visual design experience has reduced substance to mere labels on handheld devices. So, even if you are the cover of the book, the market models for data on handhelds has conditioned you to short attention spans. You can afford longer attentiveness however. E.g. Someone like the Chief Minister of an Indian State can still opt for and will attend a 10 days Vipassana Retreat.

The corresponding map on social media now features caricatures, apparently trying to explain away laborious text in visual graphics. So, the trumped-up logic is the power of the visual. Sure; but is there one living example of Transformational Leadership from the latest Daniel Pink like animation?
So today, we have lampoon like artists among L&D professionals who provide stylized caricatures and flow diagram connectors to provide alibis for requisite depth in learning and development constructs. They are enthused by Television Rating Points (TRPS) forms of adulation, or at the very least by frequent boosts to their hedonistic intents. Their patience to watch, observe or commit to see a learner transform, would be as thin or meagre as the intervals between their deprived pleasures of virtual media posts.

The mirage of outcomes is then obfuscated by the next variant stimulus online, depriving the learner of essential transformations. Then like the proverbial opiate, the senses are invited to bursts of non-sustainable energies. Sensibility itself becomes the casualty. Reductionist symbolism, has its value nonetheless. It provides means of quick attention, requiring minimal effort. The shadow of such labourless pursuit of human development then raises its ugly head. The toxic manager, the petulant new employee and the dysfunctional team are ubiquitous. They are less featured on new media though. I am pretty sure you know what light to expect on contemporary media, instead.



The individual, team and organization has thus new manifestations of systems that maintain their behaviours. Their thresholds of perception are provoked by instant stimuli, although what they need are wholesome transformations. The medium and the message are awfully at odds. The penury of clarity in calling this out is stark among L&D professionals. So employees suffer ennui, and organizations shy from real and yet non-discussable truths.

In their anxiety to seem arrived on new platforms, L&D professionals have frittered away their raison d’etre in organizations to technology aided platforms. Disembodied from critical phenomena, they’re unable to influence their host paradigms, or to specify relevant outcomes in the new interactions between the numbed corporate citizen and the commerce of learning content.
Like the economy of nations, led by social media hungry leaders, the exasperation in seeing disappearing effect burgeons in organizational decline. That’s not the picture that you were presented with on the pushed content of the animation, was it? So, what would you look for and how would you go about it, if you’ve realized it is time to get out of your mind and come to your senses? May sensibility prevail!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Health is a wonderful feeling - NLP affirmations

Masterful NLP is not hypnosis per se. Yet, the oceanic feeling could engulf one in the kinaesthetic state. My observer said I was in a trance like state, needing effort to get out of it.

We were at our scheduled practice session between master practitioners today. To expect such from a verbal, vocal exercise was not imagined. After all, it was affirmations. That it was to be about affirmations for Health did mean much to those seasoned in years amongst us.

One among us is a masterful Yoga teacher. He came to Yoga after learning NLP. 3 of us were mindful Vipasana practitioners. So, the observations were sharp, subtle and tuned in.

From a Yogic understanding, the affirmative sequence got us through the anamaya into the pranayama in the first phase. Then the manomaya in the mid-phase. We seemed to have grazed through the vigyanamaya layer just enough to get a glimpse of the blissful outer sheath of anandamaya. These sheaths are referred to as koshas.

It is nearly facile to slip into unexamined inference of this yoga school of thought. It is also a done thing to attribute the success of people like Carl Jung, and Integral School proponents, to the heritage India has in this respect. And yet, since language can distance us just as geography does, shamanic traditions of Latin America or that of Siberian archetypes like Dersu-Uzala, are seldom on our minds in Anglican or Sanskrit lands.

This is where the methods that integrate mind, body and emotions that NLP has is potent. Masterful practitioners like Dick McHugh also learnt from epitomes of human mastery such as Virginia Satir., Milton Erickson, and others like them. It is one thing to listen to audio-tracks of people like Louise Hay, and quite the trance to be guided by real fellow practitioners. While my observer described that part of me which was on his eyes, what was in me was energy rekindling parts o my unattended body, that left me floating in weightless state free from afflictions.


Getting into that core state through affirmations then is a wonderful gift to have. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Some Paradoxes within interpersonal Dimensions

Polarities or paradoxes require us to manage both sides of the opposing pole in a phenomenon, but not as compromise, nor as compensation for the non-preferred pole. Like between managing rewards of individuals and the team as a whole in organizations; or between routine and change. The term balance in such cases, can lead to a conception of an ideal, that in essence may not be ideal. That is to say, that what is in concept need not be the content of the phenomenon of balance. While some people are naturally learning, and evolving across both poles in a paradox, others resist tendencies to accept their opposing poles. Such resistance varies by degree and extent across people, and across situations. Mastery over both poles neutralises the role of situations to some extent. Mastery is assumed as balancing by those who perceive it only intellectually. Once one achieves mastery over both poles, balance follows as a natural poise, than an effort to be pursued or a trick waiting as charismatic magic beneath the treachery of flipper tendencies. It is mastery that requires effort, on either pole.
The more you resist, the more it persists. The more you accept, the more you transform.
– Fritz Perls
Notes on the Interpersonal Self
The initiation of the interpersonal self can be said to be culminated in the realm of opinions. The interpersonal self contains impressions and expressions both, and as such traverses the scope of one’s personal identity; as also the maintenance of the self in highly subjective worlds. The more you seek others’ views, the more you are obliged to opine. Similarly, the more you are asked for your views, the more the other person is obliged to be open to your expression. This is a reciprocity that is at the heart of influence in human interactions.
The more you opine with certainty, the more you have embodied your truth from the impressions you have of your world. The more you open yourself to others’ views, the more you are willing to be influenced to the truths they express from their worlds. Frankness need not be certainty either. It’s about  getting matters off one’s chest without reserving interpersonal distance from the other being communicated to. Diplomacy arises from your acknowledgement of space the other person has in his/her relationship with you. Stepping in (frankness) and stepping out (tact/diplomacy) of interaction presence are marks of versatility in mutual interpersonal spaces.
Confidence in having your needs and wants met without aggressive demand mark expressions of assertiveness. Its converse is that submissive undertones mark pessimistic demeanour or lack of confidence in asking for what one wants.  At times, lurking beneath one’s improvement tendencies, is an unspoken belief of not being enough, as in an unhealthy self-esteem. At other times, the signals one leaks in disproportionate space given to others, also encourages others to take one for granted, and enjoy freedoms in excess of it’s usefulness in situations. That’s when one’s influence slacks, and respect for one’s vision weakens in interpersonal realms.
Inner poise notwithstanding, assertiveness is void without an expression that others can witness in their experience. Assertiveness itself is anchored in subjective truths. It’s premised in the belief that one has about the social world being capable of serving one’s inner needs.
Authenticity
A common understanding to authenticity is about truth being evident through a living expressing entity. There are some very related attributes that may clarify adjacencies and essentials of the term. There are at least two polar opposites that when seen in combination, gives us different conceptions of the authenticity experience. The spread below would finely texture the authenticity experience at the very least.
1.      Intensity – Intensity is the discharge of passion, that gets conveyed, as if one’s life depended on the force of communication. If not laced with light-hearted freedom from the passion, one runs the risk of being viewed as a deadpan inflexible person, like a bull on charge with it’s horn.
2.      Levity – Levity is the surrender of the self in humour, sometimes even at one’s own expense, in order to perk up the mood in a situation. While levity marks an ease with one’s own self, one runs the risk of being considered trivial, if humour and cheer is unconscionable in particular contexts; where solemnity may be the expected norm.  That’s when one can feel like a flower budding still-born.
Dignity lies at the intersection between intensity and levity. It is a reputational lever of an engaged leader.
3.      Positivity – The attitude of being positive about the future, regardless of situations, can end up in unbridled passion for one’s cause. While this may bear similarity with optimism, positivity is also about encouraging healthy emotionality in the other. It is more a citizen of the interpersonal space, than optimism is.  Unbridled passion meets its limitations due to poor sense of reality.
4.      Curiosity – Curiosity too is an attitude, that is made manifest in enquiring behaviours. This attitude signals a desire to learn and be apprised in the moment, regardless of past learning. While an enquirer’s naivete can be the cost of one’s reputation in a learned group, being curious for curiosity sake is an anxious paranoia.
Authenticity is the phenomenon of persisting with curiosity with a positive outlook, yet; being flexible enough to be light-hearted in mistakes, and solemn enough when bearing upon tragedy in human situations.
5.      Vulnerability – The advent of vulnerability is a reckoning with one’s irrational fears. In interpersonal space, fears of upsetting others or being upset oneself; fears of engendering necessary conflict or being involved in a conflict oneself; are central to one’s vulnerability. In some cultures it is about dealing with the aspect of shame; whereas in others it is about dealing with guilt.
6.      Courage As is now the more popular notion, the root word ‘coeur’ in French is the basis of courage. The heart is the seat of embrace with the unknown. Courage flowing from the human heart may at times appear like a leap of faith from known constraints. Personal transformation rarely occurs without such courage. It is after all the willingness to let oneself go of the past in a zone of unknown.
Fidelity to Emotions
As above, the doorway to leadership presence is through emotional breakthroughs. One may very well ask, is not authenticity a mark of leadership? Like when a leader is vulnerable enough to cry in public? It may however be argued that, leaders are more valued for their emotional connect with their people, than with the rolling of tears in public view per se. In some cultural contexts, gender based expectations of sadness are very sharply categorized. Consider however, that a leader’s anchorage is in consistency as in one’s stated constancy of purpose - than with overt emotional extremism.  Respect for the leader goes up, when measured and calibrated response from the leader engages follower’s hearts, without habitually having to choke on a handkerchief or a paper-tissue. The lack of suffering with one’s followers is also easily discerned by others, and therefore to nullify emotional expression would be a blindness of the mind. In a manner of speaking emotions that do not hurt you should at the very least guide your intelligence in interactions. Emotions that hurt in the moment, take a while to accept, understand and appreciate, before one attempts one’s related transformations. These include overtly positive self-appraisals, that are later discovered as painfully owned delusions of one’s self-image.
Emotionality of leaders is a privileged conversation, in that one does not expect the office boy, the janitor or a helpdesk supervisor to be derailed on the job for being emotionally incongruent. They are not as often assessed for their emotional fluency as leaders are. The privilege is mocked on by those whose thresholds for transformation are not aroused in the interpersonal realm. For those initiated in this emotionally intelligent space, the privilege has almost acquired the status of reciprocal responsibility. The leadership process is neither for the faint-hearted; nor for the emotionally blind. It is a decision in giving of the self to a Purpose larger than oneself.