Thursday, April 5, 2007

Corporate Cruelty

Corporate Cruelty

The best engineer might make the worst manager. The best manager might make the worst engineer. The best sales person may be the last person on earth you’d hire for the sales managers job. The best doctor doesn’t run the hospital. Management is a job. A set of skills vastly different to any other. To be good at it is a gift, but not everyone is born to manage, all day every day.

Wrong people in wrong jobs causes domestic breakdowns, social violence, office politics and personal health breakdown. Business’s that demand high levels of management skill from their best technical or creative people are demanding blood out of a stone and should be held accountable for it.

The best sales person might ask to become a sales manager, because for them, this is their only path to leadership. They might look at the company hierarchy and see that the only way forward is either up or out. So, like most, they choose up. But management is different to sales and no matter how many training programs or MBA’s a person gets, there are certain people who are just not suited to the task.

Personnel consultants have no idea. Don’t rely on a staffing agency to be able to determine the sustainable managerial qualities of a person. They are as vulnerable to the smoke and mirrors game of endorsements, testimonials and references as you.

The key here is to understand the differences between your expectations of how a job will be done, the individuals expectations of how they would do the job, the needs of the job and the leadership required to support a team. Four factors and even then, the story is not finished. What if, the technical skill, the experience and the capacity of the individual you are considering for a job are perfect? Is that it?

If you trained an elephant to jump through a hoop, would you expect the elephant to do it all day, and last the distance. Cruelty to animals is prevented by law. Cruelty to humans is endorsed by business. Wrong people in wrong jobs, is as cruel to the individual as any other breach of human rights. We are just not sophisticated enough to see it yet.

Self management means knowing your constitution. Built for speed? Build to lead? Built to create? Built to Engineer. Built to manage. Management is, without doubt a career, and doing it well demands a series of capacities that are particular to a certain group of people.

To get around this we must divide management up into its component parts.


All people can do all of these elements. All people cannot do all of these elements for long periods of time. So, some management jobs are 99% planning and 1% the rest. Or some management jobs are 99% leadership, communication and motivation and 1% the rest.

So, instead of dividing jobs into generic categories like “Sales Manager” you are far better off to divide jobs into percentages of the above categories. Then, you know the sustainable strength you need from a person.

A high coaching percentage will eliminate fire and air people. A high visioning percentage will eliminate earth people. The key here is to understand that everyone can do every task. The only real question is sustainability. For how long can a person do a certain element of the management role?

Cruelty to animals is banned. Cruelty to humans is not. Putting people in the wrong job, affects their health, family, relationship, happiness and ultimately their spiritual core. Both employee and employer need to be conscious of the pitfalls of “I can do anything: mindsets.

Live with Spirit


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Making a REAL contribution to the world at Work.

Making a REAL contribution to the world at Work.

Compassion in the Workplace. Real or Stupid?

An email arrives filled with malice. Deliveries not met, promises broken, accusations of incompetence. What to do? The options are limitless. Religious zealots will argue for their righteousness and recruit others to agree. Uninspired individuals don’t care what anyone thinks. Angry people send a tit for tat back by drumming up a “you did it worse than me” insecure people will show the email to others to recruit emotional pity. The options go on.

What does nature guide us to do?

First we must avoid projections of being stereotyped. A tree is a tree, a rock a rock, and we must begin by acknowledging that no two people are going to feel totally the same about an abusive email. We all have varying degrees of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether in our constitution and this determines our feelings under threat. So, to feel angry, sad, defensive, hurt, reactive, frustrated is genuine and totally human.

Second, we must not act on those feelings. If our real intent is to bring our intrinsic values to the world, then any spontaneous action that comes from those feelings must be seen as corrupt. Reaction causes a ripple to become a tsunami, a problem to become a drama, a moment of unconsciousness to become a life long grudge. The buck stops with you. STOP. Don’t share it, respond to it, act on it, talk about it. Just cut yourself some space to own your feelings without infecting the whole office with your stuff. Accept that your reactions are just your stuff. Don’t get on your high horse and recruit everyone into rescue, resentment or proving you are right. This is causing the world to go downhill. Stop. The Buck stops here.

Third. Have some compassion. Compassion means: put yourself in their shoes. They might, like I do today, have the flu, and so their anger or accusation might be just their own life. Have compassion, maybe they feel that they are right and therefore, feel that every word they say is right. All war on earth is caused by religious righteousness. Two rights do not make a wrong. They just magnify a mosquito bite into the second world war, the war in Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Africa. STOP. Be wrong, have compassion, simply put yourself in their shoes and see that from where they sit, they might feel right in what they say.

Forth. The more you justify yourself, the greater the lie. The person who tells you how clever they are is lying the most. The person who pretends to be so happy around you is lying the most. Really. That happy go lucky person you will you could emulate in the office, has a shitty home life. That’s what they are so happy to be at work. Don’t swap places, get envious of others. Everybody is just like you.. So, relax. This person who wrote the email is no better or worse than you. They are just on their own reaction to something good that happened somewhere else. Trust Nature. Nobody is going to beat them up more than they do to themselves. Trust nature. Don’t feel like you have to be GOD. Let them experience their own morality within them. If you just don’t react, nature will bring them back to love.

Fifth and final. Make them feel heard. What does that mean? It means take their email to pieces line by line and find the problems they are expressing. Like this. “I got your email earlier today. Thank you. I think these are the points you are making. – you feel we promised delivery on 1/1/07 but didn’t deliver until 2/1/07. You feel we promised that we’d do this …but didn’t. Is this what you are saying? Can you confirm that I got your message clearly please.

I know this last point sounds corny, but you can’t believe how much trouble can be avoided if you repeat back to people what you think they are upset about. I think you will find 90% of the time, you are wrong about what is pissing them off. Be conscious to repeat things back under the clear umbrella of “let me get what you are saying” or “I just want to understand the problem, is this it” and make sure you repeat back to that person what you think is upsetting them.


Compassion does not mean taking people’s anger onboard or denying your feelings. Compassion means the buck stops with you. You have a great power if you know how to catch a red hot potato and not get your hands burned. Think about it. If someone throws a ball to you, really hard, do you just hold your hand up to stop it, or do you cushion the catch by moving your hand back and slowing the ball down a bit?

Finally, please remember, nobody can do to you more than you do to yourself. Anger that comes up, sadness, disappointment – it is inside of you already. The only thing another person can do is to bring it out. Don’t blame them, thank them. Better a bad neighbour than a dirty tenant. (better out than in)

Live with Spirit – take the power back – try compassion. It works.

Chris Walker

Too much work? Not enough Time?

Too much on? Overworked? There’s a better way
It’s 4.00am. I’m sitting with my morning coffee, writing my daily article. It rained last night, Sydney has been washed. The pain of last weeks disaster under the Harbour Bridge has given way to new news of disasters in the Solomon Islands. Sydney Harbour perfectly still. The water is like a mirror, boats, light reflections, its like a painting. The only sound are the sirens from ambulances, police cars chasing troubles. But even these sounds on a day like today are remote, almost invisible.

I muse in the mornings. Each day my prayers for the world float out into the ether. I never see them again. Words and thoughts just wafting out into a world so beautiful, so complex. I know every though finds a place, lands in a heart, sooths a wound, heals a sorrow. I am re assured, by my studies rather than faith, that my thoughts have merit, even if my ego can’t be gratified as a witness.

I feel so blessed to have a window through which I can see life with such an untainted perspective. I visit offices where everything is so real, serious, life threatening. If a lion were to be released in those places, it would make no difference, people are already so in panic. Their ego defends them, and attacks to sustain itself.

My greatest blessing comes through friendships. I have a friend who has stood by me in business through thick and thin helping me and sharing my vision of change at the heart of all this. I have a brother who has funded my dreams of homes for children abandoned in the streets of Kathmandu and left to starve amidst the tourists and Gore-Tex.

Today, I looked out the window while the world slept and watched the moon. It is the water of our lives. It causes tides, and menstrual cycles, and emotions and stock market crashes and fills our hospitals with mental breakdowns when it’s full. We, in our mind driven lives forget the moon. We listen to the guru talk about self mastery and think we are the master, and therefore accuse others of deliberate unconsciousness, but we are wrong in this. The moon pushes and pulls us, and we must not fight her. We must learn to play with her. This is the human heart.

Mind can control a car, but can never dream the true future. Mind can marry the right wife, but can never hold her for long. Mind can tell the world what is right, but can never cause it without war and punishment. Mind can find a cure, but can never heal.

Technology is caused by mind, but it’s function is not to cause itself. Technology is here to allow us to think with our heart. If we can subcontract worry to a machine, if we can automate the repetitive, if we can mechanize the distractions, we can live from our heart. We can care.

What hollow life we might build without technology. Our heart might stop without a new valve, we might spend all day adding numbers instead of milli seconds, we might lose another baby without the resuscitation now mobile in an ambulance. We are given freedom because technology can replace the animal nature, the manual task, the brain is no longer, king.

Are you taking advantage of this gift? Are you looking for ways to automate the repetitive, to mechanize the laborious, to refine the process, to reduce the cost? This is your chance to appreciate your opportunity. Working on the business not in it. To think – how can I do this better, in less time, with more sophistication, with more time spent on the heart of things and less in the mechanics. This is the future of leadership.

Hard work is bad management

Hard work is not the answer to demand. Sophistication in the process is. Consider how you can double your workload. Think then about what clumsy process is causing you to resist the idea. Do you still type on a keyboard? Are your presentations always one off, and therefore reinventing the wheel every time you build a car? Are people in your office doing what they are not good at?

Consider this. Culture in an office means – the unwritten rules. A sales office operates under certain rules because sales people face certain challenges with technology, emotion and motivation. A customer service office has the same issues but a totally different set of rules. If you put a cow in a cage with a tiger, what would happen? If you put designers in a room with marketers, what would happen? The resultant chaos might be a part of your idea of good healthy process. I’d be more inclined to consider a healthy process rather than cause human suffering for a mechanical result.

The world of FAST is FANTASTIC. Why? Because the faster you can do what the brain needs to do, the longer you can spend doing what a human is meant to do. Feel, intuit, love, and create. These things, machines can never do.

Do more in less time.

Make this your motto in the office. And instead of filling the “more time available” with low end fillers, take the time, to feel, intuit, love and create. This is the high end of the pecking order. This is the difference between sustainable success and short term victory overcoming dilemma.

Finally, look around you and beware of the person whose self worth is invested in helping you overcome dilemmas. Sometimes your “right hand man” (could be a woman of course) is actually drumming up problems to fix so that they stay “valuable”. A soft fleshy individual, or a fire eating male, might cause dilemma in an office or home in order to create a sense of purpose. Unable to concentrate, or enjoy their own company, they are like a fire fighter who, in the absence of a fire, has to cause one. Such is the realm of many failed or visionless entrepreneurs. They mistake fire fighting, with mountain climbing. Heartless consequences come from solving dilemma, (unless that’s your job). Instead, refresh, refine, re invent – change the process – automate and let people do, what people do best and get rid of the rest.

Have a heart. Live and work with Spirit

Chris Walker

Monday, April 2, 2007

Stress Management

The signs of stress are: excess alcohol consumption (daily), frustration, lost sense of humour, sensitive to loud noises, uncertainty, wanting to get away from people, anxiety, unusually tearful, sleeplessness.

The best remedy.

Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart and bend forward, breathing through your nose. Keep bending forward. Now waddle over to a wall and lean you bent back against that wall. Your feet should be about 1 meter from the wall. Keep leaning in until your back bends further. Your legs might begin to shake a bit as the hamstrings stretch.

Lean in further. Now the top of your head should be tucked under between your legs. Now you are in a perfect position to open your eyes and look up. You’ll see a little hole there (if you are naked) and this is where your head has been residing for the last period of your life, and that is why you are stressed.

Observe the tiny orifice and, if you have one, take a photo of this so that next time you get stressed you can remember the cause. You gave your power away, and put your head up your arse. This, Yoga position is called ignorance, and no mater how much you argue that it is justified, it’s not. Eventually, with time you’ll agree with me, even if you don’t right now.

So, in order to rearrange your anatomy so that your head is above your tail, it might be wise to consider life from a different viewpoint. Good thinking is the opposite to stress. Now, please consider the difference between healthy intensity, which feels a little stressed and therefore pressured, and the really dumb alternative of self destruction at the hands of stress.


1/ Don’t avoid stressful situations, instead go toward them with the mindset of how can I see this differently? To evolve means to take a situation you can’t handle and learn to handle it. Most people try to change the situation. In other words change they world instead of change their mind and that is plain dumb.

2/ Be wrong allot. 99% of stress comes from trying to be right. You can be right half the time. And the other half you are negative right. (wrong) so, just accept you are going to blow it sometimes. Get over it really, even blowing it isn’t so bad if you have a sense of perspective about things.

3/ Prioritise. You know in most people’s lives the squeaky wheel gets the most oil. So, the insignificant ant can even distract an airline pilot by biting her on the tooshie. I work with people who lead major companies. They have no meeting timers so time fills meetings, they have no “guard on the door” so when people get bored they interrupt, and they have no agenda for the day that sets up a priority. It’s fire fighting from dawn till dusk. Unevolved management is no excuse.

4/ Get real. Yes, real expectations mean that you can welcome chaos with the same warmth that you offer to order. Real expectations are so important in life. If you want a relationship and you don’t want challenges and ego shattering comments from your partner, buy a dog.

5/ Exercise. Your nervous system transports information from one end of your body to the next. If it is weak from lack of exercise, well it isn’t going to take much to cook it.

6/ Stop pointing the finger. I speak to stressed out people who say “I just have too much on” or “I’m in a tight spot” or “you’d be stressed too if you had my job” Poor baby, poor, poor baby. Does mummy not show you how to manage your life. Victims are the most stressed because they blame everything and as a consequence – disempower themselves. Goodness me, it’s like dealing with children. Smell the roses. Change the process.

7/ Deal with the cause and not the affect. Think about the standard life. Go to work, get stressed, exercise to recover, eat to feel better, watch TV to escape it and hope their relationship survives it. Quantum leaps in the quality of life come when the motive for exercise, eating, watching TV and having a relationship are not based on recovering from stress. Deal with the source. Find out what thinking is causing you to end up with your head in the wrong orifice and change it. You can’t change yourself, but you can change the way you think.

Hope you enjoyed our little frolic in the park. Whether you are getting a divorce, going through illness, swallowing the weight of your business, putting on kilos, confused about your love life or grieving the passing of someone or something important, stress does not help. Stress makes it worse. Psychology doesn’t help, psychology makes it worse. We need to go to nature, find a true perspective on life, and then, rather than stress, we can really experience the emotion, witness it, appreciate it, and then get back to doing and being what we love.

Live with Spirit

Chris Walker