You are bound by a set of incorrect assumptions that you probably won’t believe that you use.
You can free yourself from this bind by using a set of assumptions that happen to be true.
You learned all sorts of false assumptions at school.
The education system was designed to meet the needs of production and until today, it socializes the ideas and behaviors useful for the industrial model. Many may say that we’ve moved onto and entered the Information Age or the like, but we’re really still rooted in the legacy industrial model.
The legacy industrial model and its assumptions create most, if not all of today’s organizational and societal problems.
By inadvertently using these assumptions, without even realizing it, you contribute to creating a variety of results that neither you or anybody else wants.
You’ll recognize many of these in your daily life:
- People are machines or cogs in a wheel
- People are motivated externally by power, prestige and money
- Human capital and natural resources are commodities
- Logic is the only sophisticated, reliable human capacity
- More is better
- Scarcity mentality — we must compete for a fixed pie
- Shareholder primacy at all cost
- Morality doesn’t matter
- Efficiency is the highest value
None of these assumptions are true. Yet they lead every one of your thoughts, feelings and actions, as they sit in the subconscious mind. Even if you consciously think that you treat people like people, unless you uproot the base assumption that people are cogs in a wheel, you’ll play tug of war with your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind always wins.
Very few people have consciously questioned their assumptions, especially those rooted in the industrial model.
The Current Results
You live the results of the legacy industrial model every day of your life.
You wake up and probably think, “I’m late. I have to hurry.” If you’re not efficient, who are you, right? Are you “valuable to the organization” if you don’t show it through visible achievements?
At lunch, you gobble something up at a quick meeting or at your desk and probably think, “I don’t have time for a break and even if I do, others might wonder how I had so much time to take for lunch and will question if I’m working hard enough.” In every second of your life, you have to prove to the “system” that you’re worth being and remaining hired, right?
Throughout the day, you see conflict, silos, back-stabbing, gossip, unfair promotions, unfair layoffs, double messages from people in position power, posturing, talent and customer churn, low engagement, fear of failure, fear of being fired, fear of consequences. And that’s on a good day. Bad days are like fire-fighting races to solve fires created because people didn’t communicate with each other, because they fear being judged, criticized, blamed, laid off, fired and the like.
At dinner, you (hopefully) eat with your family and if not, you likely eat doing something else like worrying, working, reading, watching TV and the like.
Little time for fun, creativity, relaxation, rejuvenation, living life.
You might not be convinced, so test your own use of assumptions. If you answer “yes” to any of these, you’re inadvertently using the false assumptions and have a great opportunity to break yourself free:
- Have you every gotten angry at someone at work for being late on his/her work deliverable without asking him/her (or caring) about the obstacles?
- Have you ever gone to work when sick, pushing yourself regardless of what your body was telling you?
- Have you ever accepted doing something that your boss asked you to do, even when it was against your values and/or better judgement?
- Have you ever taken a leadership role for a task that you thought was not worth doing, but assumed you’d get rewarded?
- Have you ever tried a logical approach to solving conflict and when it didn’t work, tried harder?
- Have you bought into the idea that “shareholders are king” and done things within a company that hurt people (employees, customers) or Mother Nature?
These assumptions actually bind you.
If you want to get free, you change them.
You might wonder if you can still function successfully in the legacy industrial model if you’re using new assumptions and the answer is YES.
Very well, in fact.
Want to Be Free?
Change your leadership capacity by changing your assumptions.
Want to be resilient?
Want to be adaptable in various contexts and get things done?
Want great relationship with others to create fun and sustainable outcomes?
Become a human-centric leader. This model is based on the correct assumptions that are incorrect in the industrial model:
- People are conscious beings
- People are motivated internally by basic human needs (love, significance, certainty, variety, growth, contribution, hope)
- Human capital and natural resources are irreplaceable
- Logic, emotions, intuition are all sophisticated, reliable human capacities
- Enough is enough
- Abundance mentality — we can create what we need when we realize we don’t need an endless amount
- Stakeholder primacy, where no one has to lose
- Morality matters
- Humanity is the highest value
With these assumptions, everything you think, feel and do will be different. You don’t need any experts or gurus to tell you what to do, because you’ll do what’s natural (as a human!) and notice the results you get.
If you notice a colleague or staff member who hasn’t completed his work on time, instead of criticizing, blaming or escalating, you go to him to understand his obstacles and collaborate to get things done.
If you notice that you’re sick, you take care of yourself and then go to work when you’re feeling well and resourceful.
If you know that your organization is inefficient, you create relationships to deal with that inflexibility and nurture those relationships without using a “hierarchy” or “position power” card.
If you notice conflict between people, talk to them about how their thoughts, feelings and behavior either undermine or support a positive outcome. Emotions are effective tools to understand what is happening and then move onto other things.
If you notice yourself reacting because you’re scared of a consequence, you question your own assumptions and then replace them with better ones.
The New Results
A humane way to interact with people to effectively create outcomes that everyone wants in a sustainable, win-win way.
People are motivated by the fun and positive challenge of projects. Everyone is treated with respect. Things get done, problems get solved, people make a living by doing good.
Try treating yourself and others using human-centric assumptions and see what you get. You’ll be impressed.
[Image from Freepik]