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“Uploading” enables shaping the future

The term “Uploading” originally comes from Otto Scharmer and his Theory U. “Uploading” describes the conducive attitude and suitable behaviour of each individual in order to shape their own circumstances and future. With an understanding of “Open Mind”, “Open Heart” and “Open Will”, people act consciously and autonomously. He sees himself as a proactive and constructive co-creator of a community. It makes a meaningful, value-creating and sustainable contribution to organizations and society. The meaning of “Uploading” can be understood as an individual creating his or her own substantial contribution and bringing it into the system. The individual thinks, feels and acts on its own and makes this output available to others. Based on its own free will and for the good of themselves and others. That is courageous. This is how the future is co-created.

“No, like this” and “Wow, so” seem en vogue today

Uploading” thus stands in contrast to “downloading”, which is also described by Otto Scharmer. It is about the ongoing reproduction of information already available. Regardless of whether this information is evaluated positively or critically. “No, like this” and “Wow, so” are two sides of the same coin. They express the individual’s actions, which are more owed to the swarm. One joins a trend or a group and follows this view. This has little to do with a reflected individual view and design. Rather, one remains true to oneself and one’s mindset, reinforcing it again and again.

As soon as an individual, a group or an organization shows its edge, i.e. its own point of view, the feedback is not long in coming. Towards the one extreme as well as the other. If the Positioning meets the zeitgeist, it can lead to countless likes and a quantum leap in followers in no time at all. Conversely, countless platforms invite you to give room to your own displeasure, which can quickly grow into shitstorms and hate triads. The more populist the tone, the better. Sometimes the content is no longer important. What this overshooting behaviour does to us as society is another completely different subject.

Co-creation begins by leading yourself

Admittedly, in our world today, every day a whole series of themes become visible that give cause to marvel or to shake one’s head. At the same time, one could be distracted or standardized every minute. Push notifications, Alexa, messenger services, social media and many more try their best to win over our attention. It is a huge challenge to resist.

The daily dynamics, the exponentially developing flood of information and the much-mentioned digital transformation challenge us beyond measure. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things or to form one’s own picture. We are increasingly reaching our limits. It seems tempting to join “like-minded people”, to have a pre-selection of information made, to follow the chosen swarm. And thus, to put one’s own thinking, feeling and acting back.

But how much of a human being does then remain? Is this still worthy of human beings? Or is it more like being a machine?

If we want to keep being human (s), it is advisable to become stronger and more conscious to become a co-creator again. And to shape our own future proactively. Use your own potential and create added value. To express oneself, in coordination with the expression of others.

Otto Scharmers supports “Uploading”.
With the aim of “Presencing”, i.e. to “be present” as a human being and to help co-creating.

First of all, this means to lead oneself.
To do so, the following first steps are recommended:

  • Check your own “downloading” status and make a conscious decision to change
  • Consciously “switch off” disturbances and create more time to be mindful with yourself
  • Consciously form one’s own opinion and use a variety of sources of information for this purpose
  • Give space to personal intuition and learn to listen to it

To do so, techniques for the development of mindfulness (such as mindfulness-based stress reduction) can be a great support.

 

Leadership suffering? A recent coaching case with an experienced executive motivated us to present this case. Suffering is a term that has been coined by this coachee. The more intensively he got into working with himself, the more this topic gained in depth. For him. And probably not only for him.

How contemporary is “suffering”?

Suffering and leadership – is it at all opportune to use such a term today? A double yes is the answer.
On the one hand, it speaks for the fact that Goethe already showed us in “The Sorrows of Young Werther”, that the one who loves, suffers in the end. To associate leadership with love is a beautiful and thoroughly contemporary thought.
On the other hand, after many years under the primacy of “positive thinking” and the consequent reinterpretation of every attitude and statement into a “respectful formulation”, we are slowly allowing ourselves to name limiting thoughts and feelings again. This can be interpreted as a contribution to authenticity and to being human. And then there is a place for suffering. Above all, for those who come from a socialization where tolerating, accepting and bearing were still among the common virtues. And there are of course quite a few of them.

Managers are human

How could it happen that the coachee, trained at the best leadership schools in the world according to the latest leadership theories, came into contact with his own suffering? He probably does not belong to the category of ignorant managers, who are only able to see themselves, immune to change and not interested in their environment at all. It’s rather the opposite, he loves his job, taking people along, inspiring and at the same challenging and encouraging them.

Suffering slowly crept in over the years. At first rather unnoticed, which was also owed to the ideas of “positive thinking”. Then repressed and negated, probably due to personal socialization. At some point, sadness could no longer be repressed because one’s own values and self-efficacy were no longer sufficiently expressed. And the rage about how he was trapped in a role, again and again trying to adapt in all possible directions.

The employee satisfaction survey came along, where several requirement hat to be satisfied. Therefore, it was always better to be friendly, to never criticize or demand too much of anyone. It is best to practice indifference and distance. On the other hand, there was the pressure in terms of the numbers that had to be proven. If necessary, why not invest yet another night shift. Not to forget the employees, who felt that they received too little attention, but were increasingly quick to express their frustration loudly and quite often without the self-imposed appreciation. Personal needs were overlooked and had to be held back – social contacts, culture or simply fun in life became increasingly rare. Just ticking things of, ticking, ticking, ticking. And at some point, it didn’t work any longer, even with the negation, and he became aware of his “suffering”.

Is suffering really necessary?

It was obvious to take up this question in a suitable coaching context. And that like a sting into a wasp’s nest. No, of course not, the mind will say. Yes, the heart will respond, of course. It’s all about something. About one’s own values. Reliability, responsibility, love for the tasks and the people around him. Caring about the success of the company, the team and the individual. Self-efficacy and pride.
The basic assumption: Perseverance, tolerance and acceptance are the toll. The belief: If I only exert myself enough, I can manage it in the end. With the two of them pretty much inevitably leading to “suffering”. The head understood that, too.

From suffering to meaning

The recognition of what had worked so far over all the years while deforming the personality without even being perceived was a like a (healing) shock. And the trigger for one’s own transformation. At the beginning, there was the confrontation with the “suffering of leadership”, its roots and reasons in the here and now. At this point, the coachee found the methods of mindfulness and focused attention particularly helpful. Through this way he was able to find a better access towards himself again. Some everyday situations were reassessed and will certainly be dealt with differently in the future.

However, the found working on his own purpose to be particularly effective. He focused on his individual WHY (Simon Sinek) within his role. He named the meaning of his actions for the first time and subsequently redefined leadership for himself. For himself and in his team, he now relies heavily on self-management. He consistently hands over responsibility to his team. One example that has helped him a lot was working with the “Delegations Poker” of Management 3.0. The exciting effect is that he now has noticeably more time for himself, and without any additional effort of his own a significantly higher satisfaction among the people in his team.

In any case, the suffering has found an end and is now replaced by what one calls the “Purpose of Leadership”.