Posts Tagged ‘Resilience engineering’

“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” It is a saying common when being audited in complex situations. How does it come about and what can be done?

The “how” usually comes about through time- and emotional distances disconnecting senior management and those doing the work. It becomes increasingly easy to over-simplify and lose touch with all the nuances associated with getting a job done.

There is another element to this as well. It has to do with expectations. Everyone has pressure from someone else. The Board has to deal with shareholders. The CEO has to deal with the Board…the SME (subject matter expert) has to deal with the PM. Part of those dealings includes projecting budgets. These budgets are typically used in determining bonuses, profit sharing, etc. Expectations are set.

Expectations can have a dark side. Let me explain. A piece of wisdom learned a long time ago is, “Plan without expectations.” In its simplest form this means putting together as good a plan as possible but also take risk management into consideration by thinking about what would be done if the expectations fail to be met. Doing this helps let go of investing entirely in the projections. It allows for options and also helps level set in terms of dealing with the unfairness of life should those expectations fail to be met.

Work As Imagined

“Work as imagined” refers to thinking things are simpler than they are. It is a simplistic approach arising from over-investment in the desired outcome. This “counting the chickens before the eggs have hatched” approach leads to blindness. The blindness is an unwillingness to consider just how challenging situations truly are and insist things are simple.

So what does this mean for an audit? It boils down to this. The more one invests in a given outcome to the exclusion of all else the greater the projection onto the team the situation is simple. By simple I mean how it is used in complexity theory, i.e., a rule-based system that is 100% predictable in terms of outcome. Consequently, any mistakes or failures have to do with not adhering to the rulebook. Individuals can be called out and dealt with accordingly.

Work As Performed

On complex projects the way work gets done is summed well in the catch phrase, “living on the edge of chaos.” “Work as performed,” means catch as catch can, trying to balance all the forces pushing on the project. It is anything but predictable! Those forces are gauged on a daily or even hourly basis and the team works to respond accordingly. There is a moving from rulebook to rulebook or a complete dropping of the rules with changing circumstances. Keep in mind, there are probably one or more stakeholders invested in each rulebook!

This brings us back to the opening statement, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” It gets down to a key distinction in resilient situations: anticipation vs. anticipatory awareness.

The Way Out

Anticipation is all about getting hung up on the projections, believing they are cast in stone. Anticipatory awareness is the freedom to flex with the situation, make necessary changes on the fly, and respond in a constructive manner to the changing forces. Expectations must frequently shift in complex environments. This doesn’t mean goals can’t be met. It does mean goals may have to be modified based on the realities present. It does not mean an acceptance of second-best. It means adaptability. This is summed up well in the statement, “Railroads might still be leading the Dow Jones if they had seen themselves in the transportation business rather than the train business.”

The solution to this is communications, communications grounded in an honest empathy for what everyone is going through in light of the realities present. In its simplest form it comprises a meeting of the minds between the business case and project plan. Imagine brown bag meetings where management presents the business model used to generate the context for the project. Imagine another brown bag session where the project manager presents the reality of the project. Go a step further and imagine each side listens to the other and modifies expectations accordingly. This is the key. It has to do with common ground, common ground serving as the basis for communications and realistic accountability, common ground that shifts with the risk terrain.

Substance abuse is a business reality. It is an uncomfortable subject, which deserves some mention. There are about 13 million active alcoholics in the United States who have powerful impact on 40 – 50 million other individuals as reported in  “Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems.” The number of drug addicts varies from 600,000 to millions. A substantial number in both cases are white-collar workers.

One thing that can contribute to substance abuse is inability to deal with the stress in complex situations, situations where a balance point must be found among all the disparate forces affecting the project. To make matters worse, the balance point can shift from day-to-day. The stress can just be too much for some individuals who turn to coping mechanisms trying to maintain performance.

Unfortunately, the associated issues can at times be swept under the carpet quite readily. Along with pressure to perform there can be a corresponding fear in the atmosphere suggesting staying in denial and coping will work fine and the focus can remain on producing. Lurking in the background are legal, human resource, and social consequences that can “put a stick in the gears” of the project or process and bring things to a halt.

A Breath of Fresh Air

This all can come to the surface when providing personal, individual feedback after profiling tests have been administered. There is so much focus on performance that a discussion about personal limits and how it feels to work in the given environment can catch a team member by surprise and they drop their guard. It provides a chance to breathe, to let go of the burden even if for just an hour or two.

The information can be quite intimate creating a challenge as to how to proceed, e.g., admission of possible substance abuse problem. Violating confidences is unethical while holding information back relevant to the changes required can compromise the engagement.

What To Do?

As a consultant, a balance can be reached by telling the individual their confidence will be maintained as to particulars, encourage them to take care of themselves, and statements to the managers in charge will be limited to observable behaviors and whether or not they are within acceptable limits. Now, this can include the attitudes of others having to work with the person.

As a project manager or supervisor several options are available.  Stick only to observable behaviors:

  • Pay attention to changes in attitude, poor treatment of others, shirking responsibilities, inability to complete normal activities, constant blaming of others, absenteeism, etc.
  • See if there are any reported safety-related behaviors, e.g., erratic driving behaviors when on company time or using a company vehicle.
  • Contact Human Resources with any information about which you have concern.

Again, this is an uncomfortable topic but one a project manager can expect to run into at least once in a career. Situations requiring resilience engineering (socio-technical solutions) contain stressors that can aggravate existing problems within an individual. Staying levelheaded and dealing with the facts as they present themselves is critical.

Resilience Engineering #17: Getting Things Right!

by Gary Monti on October 11, 2011

Have you patted yourself and the team on the back lately for all you’ve done right? Go ahead, you deserve it. Look at it this way; it is an important part of resilience engineering (RE). “How so?” you might ask. Let’s go back to the roots of RE and look.

RE addresses the socio-technical aspects of a project, process, situation, etc. That means it looks at what goes right as much as what goes wrong. Both are assumed to arise from the same system. This is a departure from classic risk management, which looks to see what went wrong in an exception reporting approach. With RE the attitude is that people tend to get things right most of the time. The question asked is, “What can be done to extend that success?”

In other words, there is no special circumstance that creates failure. There is no special condition. Rather, failure emerges from the same system as success. Consequently, acknowledging success and looking at it closely is important in RE.

According to Hollnagel in “Resilience Engineering in Practice: A Guidebook”, p xxv

“There are no special ‘error producing’ processes that magically begin to work when an accident is about to happen…there are no fundamental differences between performances that lead to failures (and those) that lead to success…We are best served by understanding performance in general.”

This leads to an interesting approach which is rather Eastern, i.e., opening up without any judgment. Just see the success and failure weaving through the system as performance varies. Tune into the dynamic. See how minor variances can have a substantial impact on performance (butterfly effect). Pay attention to where the system successfully dampens potential errors and amplifies success. Look for the flip side as well where all hell can break loose for no apparent reason and great opportunities are allowed to slip by.

The important thing, getting back to the title of this blog, is realizing that one of the best ways to see errors is by understanding successful situations and seeing where they can go out of kilter. In human systems this is expressed well in a personality-profiling tool, The Strength Deployment Inventory, where a weakness is viewed as a strength taken too far.

When success is viewed in this perspective then kicking back, sipping a favorite beverage, and relishing the success are, indeed, important activities. Just remember there’s a gremlin lurking somewhere in the system and give him his due.

Resilience Engineering #16: Hammering out a Schedule

by Gary Monti on October 4, 2011

Nailing down a schedule is one of the biggest project challenges there is. Even when you get it right things can happen in the environment that destabilize scheduling efforts. In a previous blog, Resilience Engineering #12: Party Time, the FRAM (Functional Resonance Accident Model) model was introduced as a way to provide rich contextual information for task definition and establishing a link between tasks. The phrase, “hammering out a schedule,” aptly implies the effort it takes to get one’s project house in order and determine who will do what and when.

Presently I am working with a client who wants a scheduling system. Before that can be done there is a lot of political house cleaning needed, which is the current focus of work. The hook being used to get them to stop gossiping and put that time and energy into work is shown in the diagram below.

What we have here is a FRAM diagram. The goal is to show the dynamics at play and how they can be mapped out for a given situation. Each hexagon is a function. The attributes for each function are:

  • I (Input). Raw material or the output of a previous task needed to execute the activity.
  • O (Output). The measurable deliverable from the activity.
  • P (Preconditions). Environmental and contextual considerations which are needed for success to occur, e.g., “clear requirements,” is a precondition for “task generation” to be effective.
  • R (Resources). Classic project management resources, e.g., people, tools, etc.
  • T (Time). This can be either classic duration, e.g., two effort hours, or calendar time, e.g., one evening.
  • C (Control). The parameters for setting acceptance criteria as well as process requirements that insure an adequate job is done.

The focus with the client is on the variable “preconditions.” It is an eye-opening exercise when looked at from the perspective of where the organization needs to be in order to support execution of a task.

The short version of this is 4-5 months of organizational work is needed before credible scheduling of the first task can begin. This is a group of engineers, technicians, accountants, sales people, and management having to do the touchy-feely work needed to communicate clearly and simply with committed support and follow-up.

Instead of “Hammering Out A Schedule,” it might have been better to title this “Hammering Out A Company.” Just to get to where a single task can be scheduled with high reliability it will be performed adequately within time and budget constraints almost the entire company is being profiled psychologically. Why? They can’t talk. They are technical experts. They can yell, they can be passive aggressive, they can be fearful, they can be greedy but they are very unskilled at understanding each other and are afraid of being honest and trusting.

We are making progress. It is stressful. They are uncomfortable. They are looking at those dark places from which strange noises emanate (better know as bitching and gossiping) and deciding what to do. All this before a single task can be scheduled with confidence.

Hammering out a schedule is hard work but well worth the effort. They are starting to see the benefits of putting energies into getting things done as a team rather than pointing fingers.

The court is out as to whether or not success will occur. This work reaches all the way into the Board Room. If they make it, though, they’ll be able to schedule a task and rely on the forecast. They’ll be able to go home and say, “I DID something constructive today and it feels good.”

Resilience Engineering #15: Cutting Edge

by Gary Monti on September 27, 2011

“Cutting Edge” is a phrase that…well…cuts both ways. It has a great deal of relevance in applying resilience engineering (RE) in project management. One way to characterize resilient situations is, “Too complex, not enough resources, and no matter what I do someone will be disappointed.”  You and the team are “out there on the edge!” There is a big plus to this work, though.

There Is a Bright Side

Pima Chodron summarizes it in a quote from “When Things Fall Apart:”

When things fall apart and we are on the verge of we know not what, the test of each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize.

The “Bright Side” you might have been expecting was being able to work on cutting edge technologies, or enter new markets, etc. You would be correct. There’s something else though, something vital.


Managing a $30 million dollar project the opportunity was present to work with a really great project engineer, Claudio. We were a team. I knew the industrial process around which the plant was designed and worked the politics and he was masterful in keeping seven engineering subcontractors in order. The work was very demanding since the process was cutting edge and had dynamic risk a la RE.

When all was done we talked once a year to revisit the project and the difficulties that were overcome. You probably know the drill. The conversation takes you back to those moments where you just weren’t quite sure how things would go yet somehow you made it happen.

Claudio’s company ended up closing his regional office. He left consulting engineering and got a job with a pump manufacturer. Getting away from the pressure of consulting felt good at first but that feeling quickly melted. He missed that pressure. He gained weight. He lamented he was losing his edge. Why? If a problem wasn’t solved by Friday it just rolled over to Monday and he still got a paycheck. The sense of immediacy was gone. No more sitting on that cutting edge aware the project could flip either way.


Chodron also talks about the need for whatever we are doing to be slightly off center. Not so much that our work topples. Rather, just enough to reinforce the need to pay attention, to be fully present. This gets back to the challenge of situations where RE can benefit. Nothing is static, the entire project is moving, there’s no sitting still. Yet, you and the team have to come up with a way to keep the situation sufficiently stable so success can occur.

Even in these challenging economic times there just might be an opportunity to thrive. Again, Chodron sums it well in, “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”

This all fits with RE and complexity theory where the solution percolates up from the small things that are done everyday combining in a constructive way. It is a building up that just might take the team to a place they thought was impossible to reach. A place where they can look at each other in the midst of all the trouble and just have a beer or coffee and bask in knowing they are good.

Resilience Engineering #14: Company Scorecard

by Gary Monti on September 20, 2011

How big of a hit can your organization take? Can you prevent it? What resilience score would you give your organization? Ron Westrum gives some good criteria in Resilience Engineering: Concepts and Precepts.

Threats and Timeframe

An important issue revolves around the time horizon surrounding the threat and when the organization responds to it. There are 3 categories to consider:

  • Foresight is the ability to prevent something bad from happening to the organization.
  • Coping is the ability to prevent something bad that has happened from getting worse.
  • Recovery is the ability to recover from something bad once it has happened.


Foresight has two components. The first is profiting from lessons learned and dealing with threatening situations in a constructive way through avoidance (elimination of the threat) or mitigation (dampening the probability or impact of a risk) strategies. This is what could be considered standard risk management.

The second is more interesting. It has to do with weak signal analysis. This comprises sensitivity to emerging trends within the environment and taking steps early to fend off the threat or to be prepared to deal with it successfully should it turn into a problem.

The problem with weak signal analysis is the findings may not integrate with cultural norms and be dismissed out of hand as being incorrect, over-reactive, or signs of being a crackpot. The use of radar at Pearl Harbor in 1941 is a good example. Accurate information was generated regarding the incoming Japanese attack. Use of it would have allowed for better preparation for the attack. The problem was advanced technologies such as radar weren’t part of the military culture and were considered “out there” so the information was ignored and the opportunity to prepare for the attack was missed.

Do you do any weak signal analysis to see what trends might be developing? How familiar is your organization with the competitive environment? If you do get that information what is done with it? Is it converted into something actionable?


Coping can comprise two approaches. The first is familiar to most of us. It is toughness in terms of being able to absorb, say, a no-cost change order. This is what would be called “robust” in previous blogs. There is a second intriguing aspect to coping, which can promote long-term survivability. It is the ability to redesign/restructure the organization right in the middle of the trouble. There is an everyday word for this – flexibility.

The trend to switch from being a computer company that provides services to a service company that uses computers is a very good example of coping.


How is the recovery from a seriously damaging event handled? Is the focus on the principles that best serve the market niche the organization is in or is there a search for the guilty and punishment of the innocent? Apple is probably the best example of recovery. It has gone from about 2% market share in personal computers to being the second biggest company listed on Wall Street beaten out only be ExxonMobil.

So the questions are, “What would your organization’s score be when it comes to foresight, coping and recovery? What would you do to improve them?”

Resilience Engineering #13: Tap Dancing on Ball Bearings

by Gary Monti on September 13, 2011

Moving quickly and accurately in an ever-changing environment is a key business skill in today’s environment. Success insures the competition will be coming at you even harder possibly using the tips, tricks, tools, and techniques you’ve created and mastered. Let’s look at what it takes to survive.

The Dynamic vs. The Product

To work in the environment described above resilience is needed. Resilience is about the dynamic, about how a system responds to shifts in the environment, rather than just focusing on the product or a specific component in the system. I tell clients and students the following:

“Working in a resilient manner is like tap dancing on ball bearings.”

Staying with ball bearings but shifting the frame of reference, look at the illustration. If the project falls into the trough, a dramatic, irreversible change can occur. This is the terrain of complex systems.

What To Do?

Managing projects in such situations is as much an art as a science.  A risk management perspective can help an organization gauge its survivability by assessing the three types of responses possible in changing situations.

  • Passive acceptance. The change that occurs can simply be allowed to play out.  This is acceptable when we have a good sense of the ripple effect and feel it will dampen out or have a low impact. An example from a previous blog goes like this: 10 animals are charging you. You have 4 bullets in your gun. Which do you shoot? Well, if one is the rabbit Thumper from “Bambi” passive acceptance will probably work. With passive acceptance we take the risk of doing nothing until AFTER the threat has turned into a problem. What if Thumper has rabies and bites?
  • Active acceptance. This is one of the most popular responses. For example, a tiger team is formed to find out why the installation is failing at several sites. This is fixing the problem when in the thick of things. With active acceptance something is done DURING the time the threat is turning into a problem.
  • Mitigation. “Thinking ahead and executing a strategy” would be the watch-phrase for mitigation. It comprises doing something BEFORE the threat is actualized and turns into a problem. Hiring extra staff that has field experience and including them during the planning phase so as to get their expertise into the design before the installation is a good example of mitigation. The team can double-dip on this one because the extra staff will also be available during active acceptance. This balancing act is dynamic. There is nothing static about it.

There is no setting-and-forgetting.


Think of how the hiring of extra experienced field staff affects the dynamic of the entire project. Let’s look at what the word “experienced” means regarding all stakeholders and team members, not just the field staff.  It means having people well-versed and seasoned in the four capabilities of resilience:

  • Knowing what has happened
  • Knowing what to look for
  • Knowing what to expect
  • Knowing what to do

In working with clients I’ve found that focusing on these four capabilities up, down, and across the organization and developing a harmonized, orchestrated corporate sensitivity to risk management increases the ability to do the tap dancing and deliver the product. It is this esprit de corps that helps insure the success.

Resilience Engineering #12: Party Time!

by Gary Monti on August 29, 2011

“Party responsibly.” Beer commercials come to mind when reading that phrase. Let’s nudge it a bit and maybe drop the alcohol to show practical application of FRAM, the Functional Resonance Accident Model, initially introduced in blog #7 of this series. Why? In complex situations FRAM helps explain what happens much better than any linear model. Also, it has some added benefits we’ll see in a minute.

Specifically, an example from my RE workshop will be addressed. It has to do with a child trying to get permission to go to a party. This permission is predicated on homework being completed adequately by 5 PM for parental review (see figure below).

What we have here is a FRAM diagram. The goal is to show the dynamics at play and how they can be mapped out for a given situation. Each hexagon is a function. The attributes for each function are:

  • I (Input). Raw material needed to execute the activity, e.g., actual math problems that must be performed for “do homework.”
  • O (Output). The measurable deliverable from the activity.
  • P (Preconditions). Environmental and contextual considerations needed for success to occur, e.g., “work in class,” is a precondition for “study” to be effective.
  • R (Resources). Classic project management resources, e.g., bringing “books/work home” so that study can be facilitated.
  • T (Time). This can be either classic duration, e.g., two effort hours, or calendar time, e.g., one evening.
  • C (Control). The parameters for setting acceptance criteria as well as process requirements that insure an adequate job is done, e.g., all math problems must be performed correctly.

The first thing you might say is, “Couldn’t this simply be done as a network diagram?” It could but a lot would be missing. Specifically:

  • Flexibility. The big plus of this approach over network diagramming is freedom from left-to-right-to-show-the-passage-of-time. It lays out the dynamic and allows for brainstorming in terms of being able to add function points without worrying about chronology. Once the dynamic is completely expressed then a traditional schedule can be made.
  • Heads-up Display. Notice how all the elements associated with a function are provided in one spot. This allows a faster, more intuitive approach to assessing a situation, e.g., there’s no changing of “views” to see important information. This having to flip back and forth can fragment one’s thinking potentially causing the overview to be lost.
  • Impact of Functional Resonance (variance). With this model one can see the effect that changing multiple variables can have on the process, which, in turn, can impact the project.

For example, take the function “Dad Reviews.” This can have variance (functional resonance). If Dad has had a long day at work, is tired, and would like to just sit for a while then “Dad’s Principles,” which is the control mechanism for the review, could resonate from when Dad had more energy and was thinking about how important preparing for college is.

Another example is bringing “books/work home.” There is a great deal of nuance with this function. It is a direct input and resource for “study” providing the material covered in class. It also is an input and resource for “do homework.” This is very rich information-wise. I helps explain the broad frustration parents feel when their child says, “I’m sorry I forgot my books (look of disgust)! It’s no big deal. I’ll call my friend for the problems.” It was trying to make something linear (and less significant) which actually is indicative of something larger in the entire process of learning.

Compounding effects can be illuminated. Look at the 5 PM deadline for submitting the work for Dad’s review. If class was cut so that “work in class” was nullified what impact could that have on making the 5 PM deadline. It could lower the probability of the homework being done on time so the failure to get to the party might have already been determined earlier in the day. Then again, combined with Dad being tired, the cutting class can be compounded and the child gets to leave and essentially “Party Irresponsibly.” See how this works?

FRAM gives a nice picture of the dynamics of a situation. It helps tell the story. In complex situations this is extremely critical because success and failure emerge from the dynamic interplay between the variables rather than residing in any one part.

Breaking the grip of a robust approach in complex situations can be done but it is challenging. This past week validation occurred while working with a Fortune 500 company.

Troubled Projects

We spent the week working on how to turn around troubled projects by assessing the degree of trouble and determining what to do to turn things around.

Using an approach independent of any one individual or personality, i.e., principle-based, they were shown how quickly an assessment can be done by looking for misapplication or complete absence of key principles, e.g., the nine areas of project management espoused by PMI. A strong emphasis was placed on earned value and its importance in forecasting the completion of a project along with the importance of risk management as the ability to do earned value decreases. This was repeatedly challenged and a very interesting discussion evolved over the week.

A huge, challenging project surfaced having to do with integrating a recent acquisition. The argument made against earned value went something like this (sing along if you know the words), “The situation is dynamic and moving quickly. Making a schedule will take too long. Let’s simply use a top-down approach and dictate end dates along with resource- and time constraints. It’s worked in the past, it should work now.”

Gathering Information, Change, and Grieving

A surprising drop in the resistance to moving from this top-down approach occurred when we moved into human dynamics. It had to do with information gathering and belief systems.

An essential part of quickly and accurately assessing a situation is making sure the right context is used for structuring a picture of the situation. In troubled situations if the right context is missing people feel unsure, pull back, and resist participating. The trouble increases. Empathy in terms of getting the context right is extremely critical.

The hanging on to the old method dropped and the “Aha!” occurred when showing the forms of resistance using a graphic adaption of the grieving cycle from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s seminal book, “On Death and Dying.”

A director in the PMO saw, and admitted to all present, that denial has been used with this acquisition. What was stated went something like this:

“I’ve been hanging on to the old methods (robustness) and been stuck at denial. It just won’t work. We have to shift to resilience. This includes educating leaders in the company.”

With this statement, an appreciative silence filled the room. You could have knocked me over with a feather! By shifting to resilience the odds of success for integration started increasing immediately.

Ironically, earned value is currently unachievable because the situation is truly complex. This means solutions will emerge from the bottom-up.

Earned value CAN be used but only after new project and process structures emerge (resilience) that permit getting their arms around the situation.

To repeat from the previous blog, this reads easy but does hard. However, it IS possible!

Resilience Engineering #10: Success When in the Grip

by Gary Monti on August 16, 2011

Ever just want to pinch someone’s head off? What about just giving up the ghost and running away? Last week’s blog talked about seizing the opportunity when working with a difficult person or situation and using it as an opportunity to become more resilient. Here I’d like to pay respects to the associated difficulty. This is one of those activities that reads easy but does hard.

Robustness has several apparent advantages:

  • One is already prepared to move ahead with defined strengths;
  • Weaknesses can be avoided so there is no distraction;
  • A sharp focus can be established.

Curiouser and Curiouser

If we peal back the surface layer of robustness we just might see a psychological rabbit’s hole that shows a reality stranger and more convoluted than the one on the surface. Like Alice going through the Looking Glass, let’s tumble in and take a look!

Those weaknesses mentioned before, what if I told you they are the puppet masters? They are not just any puppet masters but ones that flip between rage and being totally lost. What if I also told you they come out when it appears one can least afford it?

This is the downfall of robustness. It tries to protect itself when things start falling apart (become complex) and the urge to control takes over. It can lead to aggression brought on by a fear of being in the grip of an even greater, paralyzing fear believing doom will result if robustness is abandoned.

This phrase, “In the grip,” is commonly used in Jungian psychology. The associated dynamic is fascinating. If unwilling to look at one’s weaknesses and change accordingly then a toxic coupling occurs. This unwillingness combines with the aforementioned fear of doom. It creates a bizarre feeling of being quite practical, adult, a good business person, etc., when going on the attack. Paradoxically, the attacking hastens the collapse.

The thing to keep in mind is only through addressing weaknesses in complex situations is one able to become resilient. The over-exercising of strengths is part of what led to this situation. Doing more of the same is counterproductive. Our strengths now become our weaknesses.

Are you following the saga of Murdoch and the News Corporation? Ever work with someone technically competent but unable to delegate? What happens when that person gets a job bigger than themselves?

Is a Weakness Evil?

Now we circle back to the last blog. These complex situations are where the opportunities exist. They give us a chance to see where we can become more of ourselves and pull out of the shadows the parts that have been banished years ago and put them to work. The puppet masters (weaknesses) we try to bury are parts of our psyche reacting to being in prison and denied for so long. They rebel and will continue to do so with increasing intensity and frequency until they are heard.

This leads to another paradox. Bringing these traits to the surface and actively working with them makes us not just stronger but more resilient! The reward is immeasurable. One becomes a bit more whole increasing the ability to lead and thrive and deal with more complex situations. Simultaneously, the opportunity to be happy and spontaneous appears.