What if Collaboration is the Answer?

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When I last visited London recently, I had a chance to visit an exposition on Pink Floyd at the V&A museum which was quite a treat as I have loved Pink Floyd for many decades. While visiting the museum, I heard a song called “Welcome to the machine” and it reminded me of the program we all get when we go to school.

When we are really young, we spend most of our time playing and having fun. There is a day care where I work and it is always a great pleasure for me to see these 2–3 years old play and have fun together. When we start school, we are taught to be serious and we all get a program. We get society’s program that teaches us about competition, that we live in a dog eat dog world and that we need to fight to get our fair share of the pie, that to get, we must take from others. 

As I observe the ever more violent natural disasters, I think to myself: this is where extreme competition has led us. The never ending focus on competition and on being the best in business while destroying the competition has led to many companies having a short sighted focus on profits, neglecting the long term focus on sustainability. With leaders often sacrificing the well being of those they lead and those they serve to satisfy the shareholders. 

I spoke to Gina Hayden recently, the author of the book: Becoming a Conscious Leader, and she shared that Tom Chi, the Founder of Google Glass makes his decisions considering the impact for 1000 years. This is quite a contrast to many business leaders who primarily focus on the next quarter in order to maximize the financial results for the company they work for and to maximize the rewards for themselves. I have been there myself before I became a conscious leader and I have worked very long hours to meet the committed numbers at quarter end, like my life depended on it.

What if the movie The Matrix was not a fiction movie but a documentary? What if it was now time to take the red pill, as the character Neo does in the movie, and for all of us to finally wake up to the illusion we have been living in. The illusion that the world is all about competition and the illusion of separation.

What if we all had a sudden rise in our consciousness and realized that we are all connected? That we are 7.4 billion humans living on a tiny planet that we all share. What if we realized that what we do to others, we do to ourselves? What if we realized that the only way to not only survive but thrive as a species was to let go of competition and embrace collaboration, just like all other species on earth do.

Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades. This means that corporations must embrace the benefits of working with one another. — Simon Mainwaring

What if we let go of this belief that more is always better. What if we focused on getting enough to fulfill our needs, not more? And used the rest to help others.

As we raise our consciousness and become Conscious Leaders, I believe it is time to consider a different way of being a leader by embracing a more holistic view of leadership whereby leaders aim to have a positive impact on others and society and not just to make profits. A new view of leadership where leaders understand that profits are a result of doing many other things right and not an aim in itself. That their leadership legacy will be measured on the positive impact they had on those they led and their community.

In our work as catalysts for the transformation of leaders and organizations and the rise of consciousness in business, Jeanne Rahilly, my business partner at the International Centre for Conscious Leadership and I fully embrace collaboration with other like minded leaders around the world who are committed to the same mission. Every week, we meet some extraordinary human beings who are willing to help us in our mission and us in theirs. Life is so much easier when people lead with their heart and willingly collaborate.

We all played a part in creating the major societal problems that we face today, together we can co-create solutions to solve them and ensure that humanity can thrive for a long time.

Together, we can co-create a promising future for the next generations.