Right in front of our doorsteps and all over the media there are clear signs of crisis on our planet: Financial, economical, environmental, energy crisis, the crisis in the middle east, and an all around crisis of purpose. Despite this fact, everything still feels like it always was, doesn’t it? Everybody talks about the next impending crisis, and yet nobody does anything about it – because nobody knows how?
Do we just carry on as usual? Simply get used to it? Or be a part of change? In today’s business world, billions are being wasted on outdated, inefficient and obsolete management methods that don’t get to the actual core of the matter for the challenges we face on all levels. It is clear that we need to see more fundamental changes happening – ones that we all have a real longing for. To make this quantum leap in development, there is an urgent need to establish a new and holistic perspective in the realm of leadership. For this to become a reality, it requires that we, together for the whole, contribute our energy to the global cooperation of all systems and structures – humankind – including significant aspects of awareness, insight, empathy, and spirituality by which we will all be served. Such an approach will help us to answer questions about the issues we face regarding the sustainability of all life
During the past 10 years in Germany, while we were busily and successfully occupied getting our economy fit for the 21st century, there has been a seemingly subtle and almost imperceptible change going on in the background. The emergence of a completely new network of possibilities and potentials, through which a new level of consciousness has developed and takes advantage of the fact that some of us have not yet shown up on the radar. From our global, present point of view, which relates mostly to the Age of Enlightenment and Darwinism – we are operating on the most advanced software available thus far – “Competition 5.9″. And it worked – up until now.
Now the time has come when we desperately need a “software” update, allowing development to flow, so that we can experience the unfolding of potential in our society. Burnout is not the problem, the problem is that we have become blind to the obsolete state of old paradigms built into our systems, precisely because of, or in spite of the global success that the German economy is currently enjoying. But what happens when we get stuck at the release of “Competition 5.9.9”? Will the German economy itself then be the next victim of a burnout? More likely it will result in the mass destruction of inflated egos!
Illuminated hearts do not burn out. How else could visionaries like Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela lead their people to independence? How else could ordinary people accomplish amazing feats in their spare time – next to work- like running a marathon or creating ingenious inventions? People like you and I don’t find ourselves burnt out because of too much or too little work, but because of a loss of sense and orientation, powerlessness, manipulation or inflated egos. The latter we often confuse with passion in our hearts, because even though we may do the right thing – it is the motivation that counts.
One motivation that plays a role is hiding our fears of failure by feeding our own ego. Noble projects, tasks and actions are a wonderful justification for everything we do because we do it in the name of a great cause. But it can also be the case that we are motivated by recognition, to be seen – as an attempt to feed an unfulfilled desire for acknowledgement. Similarly, we are misled by our own convictions by the false belief that we are not good enough. We detach from ourselves, and demand more and more of ourselves everyday. More projects, even higher goals – we somehow strive to achieve more with less. Perhaps we have become blind to our own shortcomings, following the rat race, in which we only search for concrete results. But how much longer can we do this? And at what price? With what kind of stability?
We have reached the apex of a lopsided emphasis on output. Greed or more precisely, fear has led us here. The archetype of the corporate raider also lies within us all, otherwise this scenario would not have been possible. Finally, what we are experiencing amounts to modern slavery, because it only benefits very few, not the whole, and many of us fall prey to a burnout due to feelings of helplessness against this trend. The devastating effect of the consciousness “of the fittest” comes with a huge price: In Germany alone there has been well over 120 billion Euro spent each year in direct and indirect costs relating to business and the economy – equivalent to more than the entire operating profits of all the DAX 30 (Germany’s leading index) companies in Germany in 2011.
What is really devastating is that people who are in leadership roles, who are still running on competition consciousness 5.9, are deceived by their own belief that they are “winning” and not losing, because the facts on paper seem to look good. With this mindset we will remain blind to the paradigm change, which is revealing itself with ever-increasing speed. The last real visible evidence of the impact of this change was the Arab Spring. If we close our eyes to the potential of “Economy 7.0”, we will function entrepreneurially, politically and socially without reflection, thereby risking much more than our own burnout.
Wishing you ease, grace and joy for the upcomig week,
Stefan Götz from Munich, Germany