Stop and imagine for a moment that there may possibly be a naturally unfolding, emerging awareness, which is currently influencing commercial, business interactions, but also influencing more general social and political interactions in a subtle, pervasive manner. The primal issue, then, is about not inventing or promoting, but rather perceiving and accepting.
It may be commonly acknowledged that rapid availability of information, potential for personal mobility, and the real impact of interdependency are all increasing at an unprecedented pace.
Still, the human equation has intrinsic capabilities for adaptability, adjustment and accommodation, if these may be permitted to play. Answers might be available, as long as one can question properly and maintain open intensions.
In 2008, Bill Clinton pronounced a deceptively simple statement about leadership, during a political rally in Florida a few weeks before the last presidential election. According to Bill Clinton there are four things to look for in leadership. Leadership requires a philosophy; it requires policies and procedures; it requires decision-making; and it requires the ability to follow through with what is to be done. Obviously not everyone would agree with Bill Clinton on everything, but he is in a good position to say something about leadership.
The declaration escaped the immediate, critical attention of commentators, pundits, and the media, although it can be understood to resonate meaningfully in a subtle, even stealthy manner.
When specifically, do you recall hearing a prominent, national figure announcing a need for philosophy? Philosophy is probably most often regarded as something that fuzzy haired, old professors do in stuffy classrooms, and a normal, busy, working person has no time for such matters. Such a pronouncement made on a widely-seen, public platform is unusual and striking, if a moment of reconnaissance and consideration is permitted.
Philosophical reflection, in a certain context, may permit condensation or concentration of otherwise scattered facts and details into consolidated principles. Such principles can act to relieve or screen disparate bits of perception in an orderly, orchestrated fashion. As such, an evolution or progress of possibility is implied.
Leadership requires a philosophy; it requires policies; it requires decision-making; and it requires the ability to follow through with what is to be done.
A compelling, forward looking approach is now possible, based on concepts emerging in the field of Depth Psychology. Those same four leadership qualities may be associated with the basic capabilities of human personality or temperament, as described in the Myers-Briggs Type system: intuition, feeling, thinking and sensation, now commonly used by some universities and corporations to assess individual habits and preferences. It can be argued that physical perceptions and physical consequences are basically sensation concerns. Logical associations and technical directions are thinking concerns. Immediate social and market consequences are feeling concerns, according to the special psychological parlance. Finally, high-level vision and direction are intuition concerns. Of course, similar notions have appeared historically in many cultures for a long time. However, knowing that is just a beginning.
The evolving insights of Depth Psychology can be actively applied further to see, to correlate and to order these different considerations, all together. Philosophy can be associated with intuition, and also with the traditional virtue of prudence. Policy can be associated with thinking, and also with the virtue of justice. Decision-making, with respect to social acceptance, can be associated with feeling, and also with the virtue of temperance. The ability to follow through to desirable results can be finally associated with sensation, and also with the virtue of strength or fortitude. The related psychological discipline has been referred to as “Individuation.” The schematics of the process can be logically extended for gaining an understanding of collective enterprises also.
A particularly evocative expansion of personal type consciousness can be seen in the writing of a prominent contemporary psychologist, John Beebe, M.D., as a proposed theoretical model of human inner consciousness. Over several decades, he has been professionally considering distinctive expressions of personality. He has been writing concise and accessible articles on topics such as business teamwork, popular entertainment, and the dynamics of sporting events. A whole-function or eight function-attitude model of the mind implies a comprehensive, unified awareness of the personal self in relation to others and involves broader, ethical relatedness as well.
Business institutions are composite reflections of those people who comprise them. Empowering readily available guidance can begin to happen when the need and the means is taken seriously by those with the stature to make a difference.
John Beebe has based his notions on the earlier concepts of C.G. Jung. By now, many people have been exposed to popular expansions of Jung’s psychology through incidences like the “Star Wars” films. Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi can be recognized as personifications of universal, mythological archetypes. George Lucas acknowledged the influence of Joseph Campbell as an important source for his inspiration.
The full-scope psychological model incorporates the four recognized capabilities of sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition, and it also incorporates the two familiar attitude orientations of introversion and extraversion. But instead of featuring only a few personal aspects, the more advanced model indicates a manner in which all of the various factors can be integrated together cohesively. The model consolidates observations from many established psychological sources.
Valid non-rational comprehensions can be meaningful and deliberate. The notion of intuition is frequently used in a demeaning way to imply reckless, ill-considered, or prejudicial opinions. The more careful, psychological definition may refer to a special kind of subtle, knowing and deliberate conviction, rather than raw individual instinct. Truthful intuition and premonition require suitable respectfulness.
Similarly, non-rational perceptions related to sensation can offer an avenue for becoming aware of physical and sensible manifestations of a bad business narrative or willful collective negligence. Even attentiveness to fine detail of sight, sound, smell and physical impression can yield meaningful and impactful responsiveness, sometimes with unexpected implications.
Appropriate acceptance of legitimate non-rational kinds of knowledge forms a necessary part of a full-scope of performance. A potentially inherent cohesion of characteristically non-rational and rational factors deserves proper consideration within organizational and institutional environments.
I was fully versed in design practice and also in Depth Psychology when I arrived at a prominent business school to undertake an MBA degree, some years ago. I was interested in real estate finance, although the business school curriculum emphasized corporate finance and business management. Studying business strategy for one course, I produced a term paper analyzing trends and directions affecting real estate. I wrote about a logical long-term tendency toward increased use of investment securitization in relation to providing funding for residential mortgages for middle and lower-middle housing markets in the United States. This primary tendency was countered by an aspiration toward perceived advancement in life style, while economic policy might undermine the ability to have and keep real income needed to maintain such desire. Real income pressures could limit middle-class prosperity and strengthen polarization toward lower and upper-income segments. The conclusion suggested that real estate securitization would proceed, but certain cautions would be advisable. I received an indifferent grade response from the professor, who said he didn’t really understand or agree with what I had written.
As I write this note some years later, the United States has recently fallen into the worst economic turmoil since the great depression. The financial collapse has been caused by excessive sub-prime and non-conforming real estate mortgage production and by credit derivative third-party guarantees beyond supportable levels. Somehow my personal intuition permitted a foresight about emerging circumstances, which few other people would have accepted at the time some years ago, when I first imagined such trends to be important.
Disposition of a personal economy of psychological energy is a natural kind of personal management prerogative. So the notion can be extended to the disposition of resources in larger types of settings.
Proper appreciation for visual, non-verbal and non-linear awareness is one aspect of whole function or eight-function-attitude comprehensive utilization of the full capacity of the mind. Openness for the process of psychological discovery would contribute toward an increasing conviction about rightness with respect to interconnected and interdependent global conditions.