Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Confidence and Character, a book review:

Confidence : How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End

"If you read carefully, she warns that turnarounds aren't easy. "Try not to lose twice in a row," she warns. If you conclude there's no point in trying to win, there's trouble ahead. Signs of a losing streak include weak accountability, deteriorating relationships and disappearing initiative. "The only good thing about losing is that it sounds an alarm bell," she concludes.

"Once you realize you're on a losing streak, Kanter emphasizes, you need to build, not retreat. Stay calm, she says. Dig deeper. Work harder. Seek support, even when you feel like hiding. And most important, remember you can't "jump the processes." Use small steps to achieve big goals. Everybody wants a quick fix and that's a surefire recipe for disaster.

"As a career consultant, I am often asked how to break individual losing streaks. Typically a client says something like, "I lost my job, got sick, had family crises, and had to move. And now I'm defeated." Or clients lose one job after another, fueled by discouragement.

"Kanter's book has to be translated to reach individuals. Her message seems to be, "Someone has to take charge." In one moving example, a family rallied behind a teenager who was failing math. They bought him nice clothes to communicate, "You're worth it." The stigma of hiring a tutor was defused by making the tutor a member of "Team Robert." In another example, a woman's public humiliation was defused by her husband's strong encouragement. So if you lack an insightful manager or empathetic relatives, you may have to draw your own plan."

Interesting insight into the requirements in crisis.

Human instinct is trained mostly to shrink from support, diffuse accountability, slow down and diminish intitiatives. But the frequently useful response may be in fact to seek more support than you think you need (because it is common to underestimate in it since it has been natural to have a tribal support system for most of human history), seek more accountability (in the sense of recording systems as well as caring people to report to) and more initiative, choice, action, intention and reflection on the whole process, not less.

In other words, a more intelligent and vigorous response is required to show greater love and kindness to the self. More gentleness and reflection is required also to buffer this vigorous approach. All in all, this book provides interesting insights to this process on an organisational level.


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