What Hunter Gatherers – ‘The First Affluent – Society’ Can Teach Us About Surviving a Changing World Order!

Ray Dalio the famous investor said it’s a good idea to look back into history to understand and predict the future. It’s an insightful talk (I’ll leave a link in the comments) in which Ray outlines the various changes to world orders that happen around every 250 years (not 500 as I say in the video) and if we want to stop the downfall of the west as China increases it’s power & influence, then we’d better be nice to each other and not spend as much as we earn!

I think whilst his analysis is excellent and solutions useful, it doesn’t take into account the evolutionary aspect of why the human race is heading towards an ecological collapse. It’s dominance hierarchy.

It seems that as soon as founders, entrepreneurs & managers get positions of status, wealth & power, then they switch-on their ‘Inner Chump’.

Your inner chump is competitive and controlling, harmful to the ecosystem, because it is driven by unconscious bias, motivated by fear & greed and paradigm blind and suffers inertia to change.

The hunter gatherers it appears, have the answer. They don’t stand for greedy indivduals because they understand the damage it does. Damage that’s all too plain to see in our leaders. Have a watch:

Using friendly competition to boost performance in your business…

Competition is seen as a natural part of life and work. There is always a creation stage when an idea must compete for its place in the world. You have to compete for a new job. The entrepreneurial stage in business is when the start-up must prove it’s worth and activity is primarily about winning customers without which the product or service will not survive.

But not everybody enjoys competition whilst some people thrive on it. Leaders have to be careful that when they frame competition that it doesn’t create anxiety and negative impacts on people’s wellbeing.

Competition increases psychological and physiological activation and exercised correctly leads to creativity and supportive behaviours. Done incorrectly, competition leads to cheating and sabotage as we’ve witnessed by banks leading to long term pain for the organisation, employees and clients.

Competition needs to lead to happiness not humiliation if you want to get positive outcomes.

Here are some key points to consider.

Compete originates from the Latin Competere meaning to strive together to achieve a common purpose. Chances are that competition was a key driver of human progress along with the peak performance flow states that competition can engender. It is important to remember that humans collaborated their way to the top of the evolutionary tree, probably in friendly competition.

Constraints

Introduce constraints and be clear about boundaries and ethical values that you are all agreed to upholding. Research has shown that saying the Lord’s Prayer before a competition decreased the cheating that took place by a group of students in a test when the answers were easily obtainable.

Open to Feedback

As a leader encourage the right behaviours and attitude by modelling them such as being open to feedback. Also, introduce the concept of ‘After Action Reviews’ so that the focus is on improving the behaviours and processes not just achieving the results. Keep it non-threatening and friendly.

Mutual accountability

Measure team results more than individual results so that the team members are mutually accountable to each other not a manager. Peer pressure is more effective than dominant pressure. We feel more compelled to help our own people more than a person who is not ‘one of us’.

Purpose vs Material

Make competition success about improvement and personal growth, don’t design rewards purely based on money or status. If you introduce monetary and status rewards then it can lead to jealousy and resentment. Peer-to-peer recognition is useful as we do enjoy basking in the limelight sometimes, even the quieter team members.

Excellence

Regularly emphasise that the aim of competition is to encourage the pursuit of team excellence. If an individual achieves great results, that process should be modelled and shared with the other team members.

Team Building

Brain storming sessions, quizzes around work, shared social experiences are all excellent ways to bring people together and build esprit de corps.

Egalitarian

In military special forces units, hierarchy is shunned and people are recognised for their indivdual expertise. They’re not encouraged to be clones but have individual skills. If you promote egalitarianism and appreciation of individual strengths in your organisation, then it will encourage creative teamwork but harnessing that creativity is a skill.

Collective intelligence from a diverse group is just as effective as having a lone genius- and there aren’t many lone geniuses around- so work on boosting team engagement.

With everything that has happened this year and how that will impact us all going forward, when would now be a good time to make facilitating effective meetings, decision-making and learning to use collaboration tools for effective communication and coaching, a core competency in your business?

Interested in learning more? Mission Power meeting Facilitation Online Course

What Traits Make a Good Leader

Whilst being interviewed I was asked what traits make a good leader. It reminded of an exercise I do on the Mercenary to Missionary Leadership retreats.

Making Decisions Effectively & Why Politics is Pointless

See below the video for a PDF download with some notes to help you understand this material. Download the notes then listen to the video as this would probably be the best way to understand the content.

New to all this self videoing so b with me while I learn the skills! 🙂

 

PDF Making Effective Decisions

Leading in Challenging Times

In the third in our series of weekly webinars, we spoke to special guest Martin Murphy, ex-special forces soldier and founder of Elite Leadership, on how to lead your team through a crisis.

Some of the top takeaways included:

1. Good leaders look after the people first
2. Don’t stare at the fire, look for opportunities
3. Top behaviours of effective leaders: emotional intelligence; learning agility; humility; courage
4. How they lead: engage with their teams; align them around common objectives and goals; evolve if things change; practice radically open communication
5. Leaders often cannot escape the storm so they must be able to create peace and tranquillity within the storm to allow them to think clearly and make great decisions. The SOAR model is a way to slow down the reactive thinking process and induce a creative interlude in which higher order thinking is possible:
a. Suspend snap decision making
b. Observe the problem
c. Allow wisdom to percolate up
d. then Respond quickly
6. Promote positive behaviours by adopting a HERO mindset. So be: Helpful; Effective; Resilient; and Optimistic.

There were many more top tips he had to share which can can watch in this video.

 

Personal Leadership Through Challenging Times

An online talk in response to the Corona virus about leading ourselves through challenging times with downloadable resources here:

PDF Leading Yourself Through Challenging Times

PDF 3 Leadership Principles

PDF Making Decisions Effectively

The Delusion of VU (From VUCA) is Over!

I came across a discussion on twitter which alluded to the fact that the world was becoming more complex. This discussion was based on the ideas of General Stanley McChrystal, author of ‘Team of Teams, New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World’.

McChrystal wrote:

“Efficiency remains important, but the ability to adapt to complexity and continual change has become an imperative.”

I remember feeling irked about this statement and the reason for this response, (apart from having man-flu at the time) is that people are acting as if VUCA (the US military term to represent volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) is a new phenomenon. That’s not correct, the world has always been subject to volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Ask poor people.

Read more: Here

Great Leaders are Learning to Paradigm Shift

“The biggest paradigm shifts happening right now are ironically the increasing awareness of the existence of paradigms…”

Paradigms are a worldview shared amongst a group of people so they can experience group identity
and achieve a common purpose. Our world is governed by them very much like seas influence the
life of a fish.

Examples of paradigms include the idea of countries, money, religion.

They are a set of beliefs, values and stories which enable collaboration with greater numbers of people and even with people living different locations. It is our ability to use paradigms that enabled us  to climb to the top of the species hierarchy.

One monkey left on a deserted island might survive more ably than one person might (unless he’s Bear Grylls). But if you put one hundred people on the island, then they would organise themselves more effectively than the monkeys.
But there are a few problems with paradigms….  Read More

From Mercenaries to Missionaries

A favourite quote of mine is Buckminster Fuller’s, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” I’ve been looking for a way to implement this philosophy into my work.

I spent some time with overseas intelligence officers last year, teaching leadership. For amusement I used the opportunity to subversively challenge their worldview under the guise of improving decision-making skills. By challenging them to argue for their enemies’ viewpoint, it soon became apparent that both sides had ideas worthy of consideration. People are complex beings. Ultimately though, the officers realised that after leaving the course, they would hit the paradigm inertia present within consolidated organisations and governments and have to continue working on the assumptions they held before.

So, upon my return I wrote a book called ‘From Mercenaries to Missionaries’. It’s a fusion of

Blank bookcover with clipping path

experience, observations and research whose purpose is to help business owners evolve into leaders who can unleash more of the purpose, passion and potential of the teams in growing businesses. Within society entrepreneurial people are creating wealth by selling products and services. To be successful they have to compete for their place in the Universe and bringing a product to the marketplace often requires a Herculean effort.  I realised by working with business owners, that once they achieve a certain measure of success, they can be persuaded to challenge the present paradigm, much like I did with the intelligence officers.

Businesses usually follow the ‘growth for growth sake’ mentality. This leads to growing teams of people who become less engaged, trading their time for money, constantly in need of a pay rise to maintain the levels of dopamine they get from opening their payslips. It’s the mercenary approach.  It becomes soulless and frustrating working in mercenary organisations as people become widgetized to remove uncertainty. But I help leaders harness the complexity and creativity within the team, not hide from it.

To challenge this paradigm in larger, consolidated organisations, is possible but it meets more paradigm inertia. So, this book helps founders and entrepreneurs develop high performing, intra-dependent teams who can make ecological decision which don’t sink the ship. This then allows the entrepreneur the freedom to solve other more meaningful problems and they can be guided to help their communities thrive too. I would say:

‘Inspirational leadership is ordinary people doing extraordinary things in a constantly shifting world. Leading themselves and, by example, others into a better world for everyone. A world which is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and a personally fulfilling place to live and work’.

Until we change the way we operate in society, I’m on a mission to challenge the entrepreneurial lifecycle helping them become purpose focussed instead of purely profit driven. By unlocking more of the potential of the team’s collective intelligence, organisations can become platforms for developing a new world which makes the old world obsolete.

Martin Murphy

Available on Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/ELITETEAMCONCEPT

 

Leadership Coaching for The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Anticipating and planning for a world which not even the experts know will look like yet, will bring fresh challenges – probably daily – for leaders, teams and the coaches who support them.

Here is a white paper on a new model of coaching suited to Modern Day Leadership Coaching. It’s aimed at leaders and coaches wanting to leverage more potential and unlock the opportunities within the chaos of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Download here.