Stop and Reflect

Posted by Steve C on August 13, 2010 under The Blog | Be the First to Comment

I was recently at a leadership conference which included a variety of keynote speakers, one of whom was the well-known author, Marshall Goldsmith. Marshall shared with us that he is a Buddhist and more specifically one who follows the philosophy or discipline (my words) of Be Happy Now. I am unfamiliar with Buddhism, but thought I understood Marshall to say, that the term Buddhist is not very telling by itself until you know which philosophy or school of thought (my words again) the individual is living. But I digress.

Inspiring speakers have a way of moving their audiences and when he offered up the advice of Be Happy Now, there were a number who were indeed inspired. After his talk I overheard several talking as if they had finally found the secret of life.

Now, my intuition tells me there is much more to a philosophy like this, than three simple words. I have no idea what this really means to Marshall, but my guess is he has spent years deeply reflecting on its true meaning and importance to him.

But it was quite interesting to see the reaction of many in the audience. It was as if, “this must be right because Marshall said it was. My problems are now gone and now I can get on with life.”

Here is the Nobox implication of my story. The box often says don’t question, especially profound statements made by experts. Be a sheep, say “baa” and lumber along with the flock. But leaders say, wait a minute, let me think about that. (Kind of like Marshall has been doing.) And they consider a variety of options and ultimately decide on what they believe is best, whether it is a life philosophy or engaging in a new process. They do not just mindlessly follow, as if in a hypnotic trance.

Don’t ever be afraid to stop and reflect. Don’t ever renege from making a courageous decision to break away from the pack when it is called for.

By the way if you are wondering if Marshall was trying to sell his philosophy or religion, you would be wrong. He was not. He was disclosing some fascinating and sometimes personal things about himself and his lessons learned over the years. Ironically, much of what I took from his talk was to think for yourself and work on your own issues. (He is a very successful coach, after all). My guess is he would appreciate those, who a few days later, are still pondering his words.

Steve

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