Leaders must be crazy, right?

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi

If you look around in today’s world or even in history, you could easily conclude that pathological personality disorders are the basis for success as a respected leader. Of course, hardly any of these personalities have been officially diagnosed with the disease – this would be detrimental to their status. However, it has always caused much suffering. What would all these people answer to the most difficult of all questions: “Are you happy?”

Sure, many will argue that work is not there to make you happy. After all, you get money for it – quasi compensation for pain and suffering. But is that the case? Let me rephrase the question: “Are you at peace with yourself?”

We all know people who radiate a natural authority. We call that charisma. They fill the space with their presence and we automatically look up to them. Of course, you can also create this feeling through a reign of terror. Then everyone ducks out of fear of punishment. But does it make sense to surround oneself with people who duly nod at everything out of fear, and in the event of a crisis let us go to our doom in spite of knowing better?

The Japanese have a beautiful expression for someone who has charisma: He is in “Hara”. The Hara is the point two finger’s width below the navel. Translated, it is the “Sea of Intuition”. This point is not only our physical center of gravity but also the home of a narrow plexus of nerves – the abdominal brain. In the West, we also know this plexus – when something is rumbling in our stomach or we decide something by gut feeling.

If someone is in the Hara, then he is resting in himself. His energy does not buzz around somewhere in the body but lies ready to flow into all body parts from the rest basin. The samurai used this knowledge and cultivated it through ZEN meditation. This very puristic form of meditation aims at calming our inner snow globe. If you smile at meditation at this point, you can face it yourself. After all, the samurai were not at all wimps.

Charisma is trainable. I have also wondered for a long time whether a portion of madness is not a good driving force for professional success. And indeed, you can go down this path and let your inner demons chase you to the top.

But you can also take control and use the energy wasted in inner struggles positively in your career. Ultimately, this makes you happier and creates more sustainable value for everyone.

What about you?

Do you suffer from disturbed executives in your company?

Do you let demons chase you or do you already have taken control?

Are you satisfied with your work?

Have you ever tried ZEN?

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