Posts Tagged ‘Myth’

Tired of doing things you regret? Wonder why the behaviors continue even though they sabotage your position? Vacillate from submission to aggression when making business deals? Want to stop all this and just stay on your unique path? Wonder where the Hell that path is? Well this is where myth comes into play. Let’s see what you can do.

Specifically, in this blog we’ll circle back onto the first in this series and expand on the purpose of myth as well as set the stage for the next series of blogs dealing with personality and traits. Sounds like we’re going a long way from improving business performance. Bear with me – we’ll get there.

Three Levels of Truth

Some background is needed. There are three levels of truth:

  • The Unspeakable
  • Principles
  • Rules

The Unspeakable refers to the wonder of the universe and being a part of it. It fills your being and is so overwhelming words fail. Yet that is where we have the deepest most meaningful experiences. Think of that feeling you get after riveting an audience with a presentation that covers something much bigger than you – a presentation the preparation of which you disappeared into and then became the instrument through which the presentation was channeled. How would you describe that feeling? Words usually fail. That’s an example of the Unspeakable and participating in it.

Principles are needed because unless you are a hermit there’s the need to express the Unspeakable so you can communicate and make life richer through community. It’s an endeavor that is incomplete, flawed, and frustrating but one that relentlessly pushes from inside to do it anyway.

Principles are essentially a dim yet powerful reflection of the Unspeakable.  Music and poetry exist in this space as well. If you’d like a more engaging expression of this spend $0.99 at iTunes and get a copy of Billy Joel’s River of Dreams and click on this link to see the lyrics.

The Rules comprise the lowest level of truth and derive from Principles. While even further from the Unspeakable rules, when done right, reflect it sufficiently to conduct daily business. Think of a contract. There’s no such thing as a perfect, iron-clad contract because if there were one, it would trap the Unspeakable in a verbal box. The trick, though, is to create the best set of rules you can to support spending more time connected to the Unspeakable in the business community.

Symbols and Cymbals

Back to mythology. In the first blog of this series I talked about needing a personal mythology in order to make sense of life, especially major transitions. There’s another important function of myth – the reconnection with and discovery of what is rich, powerful, and beautiful within you. So, myth works both from the outside in and the inside out simultaneously.

That inward journey can be quite challenging. It’s the realm of symbols. The words “symbol” and “cymbal” have the same root, the Greek “sumballein” which means “to throw together.” Nothing nice and neat about it! Think of those crazy dreams that feel so real. But that is where the richness comes into play.

In business, Excel, Powerpoint, Word, etc., are typically tools for being analytical and precise. In other words, generating the rules. And as stated before those rules only get their meaning by being a reflection of the Principles which reflect the Unspeakable. (This argument refutes the idea this mythology stuff is a waste because it seems so soft or fuzzy and far removed from the Rules.) If this fails to occur rules are a trap. Run!

By going into your shadows and reclaiming the pieces of yourself that parents, teachers, society, bosses, etc., said were useless or detrimental a reunification and integration occurs which – voila – reestablish your connection with the Unspeakable. (See Nietzsche’s Camel, Lion, and Baby in the Mythology blog #5.) Then you can trust that your Rules are, indeed, a reflection of the Unspeakable. When you clang your personal cymbal there will be a joy right along with the professionalism that adds to life!

If you are trying to find your cymbal and want to make some noisy music send me an e-mail at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com.

Gary Monti PMI presentation croppedThrough his firm, Center for Managing Change, Gary Monti has over 30 years experience providing change- and project management services internationally. He works at the nexus between strategy, business case, project-, process-, and people management. Service modalities include consulting, teaching, mentoring, and speaking. Credentials include PMP number 14 (Project Management Institute®), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, and accreditation in the Cynefin methodology. Gary can be reached at gwmonti@mac.com or through Twitter at @garymonti
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We left off in the last blog with the tribe being very practical and safely bringing the sun back from the eclipse through ritual drumming.  The Chief, Shaman, and members of the village saw the need for executing the ritual – cause and effect. The idea of not drumming is so terrifying simply talking about it could have serious repercussions. The Chief could land very hard on anyone foolish enough to talk about modifying, let alone abandoning, the ritual.

This brings us to the third purpose of myth – social order – or more simply, sociology. As seen with the village sociology can tie very closely to the second purpose of myth, cosmology. This co-mingling can lead to a very thorny issue, i.e., the use of power. Before looking at power directly some background is needed.

Dirt and Mothers

The phrase “human being” has its roots in the Latin word “humus” meaning “rich earth.” It’s all about establishing roots, being accepted and nurtured, and eventually striking out on our own. It’s the Circle of Life. This reality is reflected in earth-based religions by the primary god Mother Earth. (Father Sky is the other primary god but we’ll save him for a later blog.) How the world moves (cosmology) and the rules for being in it (sociology) are intertwined and taught from the moment of birth. The weave can be so tight they appear as one. It is good for stability but can create an obstacle for change. Vision can be clouded. Let’s see how that can affect business.

Obi Wan, Darth, and Case Studies

Imagine during the eclipse the Chief turns to a village and says, “The drumming is not enough, you must sacrifice all you have so the sun returns!” How much pressure does the villager feel? Are the situation and feelings any different than when a boss (being practical) tells a subordinate to unquestioningly produce more? Like the Chief the boss can consolidate his investment in power by keeping the social directive (sacrifice and productivity) tightly bound to the cosmology (business processes and goals).

The boss could also work like the brave Chief who separates the two and does the equivalent of allowing Newtonian mechanics to be embraced. Doing this, though, could put his power base at risk. He could lose his grip and no longer be the keeper of the rules of the universe. It would no longer be His cause or His effect. And while like the villagers employees would be free to expand their lives the boss has to find another reason for the employees to respect and follow him. A more entertaining version of all this can be found in the Star Wars saga with the struggle between Obi Wan and Darth. With the best of intentions Darth believed life is a case study. Cause and effect could be audited and projected into the future and the social structure controlled. Obi Wan was much wiser. He saw that there are guiding principles and a (business) leader earns the trust and following of others. In other words, in a changing situation power is let loose and the leader leans into the situation and lets a new social order arise as the cosmology changes.

Helping Clients Change

If you are having difficulty with your light saber or simply need to address the challenge of change send me an e-mail at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com

Gary Monti PMI presentation croppedThrough his firm, Center for Managing Change, Gary Monti has over 30 years experience providing change- and project management services internationally. He works at the nexus between strategy, business case, project-, process-, and people management. Service modalities include consulting, teaching, mentoring, and speaking. Credentials include PMP number 14 (Project Management Institute®), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, and accreditation in the Cynefin methodology. Gary can be reached at gwmonti@mac.com or through Twitter at @garymonti
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