#Lead for Good
Mohamad Cholid, Practicing Certified Executive and Leadership Coach
“And you see the mountains, reckoned them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds.” — QS An-Naml :88.
Perspective matters. The above quote from the Quran serves as a reminder of the limitations in our understanding of the world. Not just Islam, other religions have also taught us the imperfection of the human perspective.
We may agree that humankind is God’s “unfinished project”. We need to work on the rest ourselves for building bridges, managing the economy, creating transportation system, constructing places of worship and hospitals, improving ourselves as a person, as a leader, and so on.
It points out that God is democratic. He gives human beings the ability to make choices in acting as “co-creators” in this world and in improving upon themselves, thinking creatively, and being open in seeking new perspectives in any endeavour to contribute positive impacts to the world.
Most of us encounter one big challenge, which is the tendency to let themselves become captives in their own mind and fall prey to limiting beliefs, imagined barriers that are shaped by their personal biases. They would then use this as their basis of perspective in their effort to understand the world.
The symptom of minds that are trapped by ideologies, political tendencies, and personal biases can now also be found among supposed intellectual communities, heads of business and non-profit organizations, as well as many public figures. It reminds us of the image drawn by The Captive Mind, a book of essays by Czeslaw Milosz (1911 – 2004), Nobel Laureate in Literature 1980.
What would we become as human beings, with our limited perspectives — only able to “see the mountains, reckoned them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds” — if we were to let ourselves get trapped continuously within our limiting beliefs?
The most likely is we would become prisoners of our own assumptions and errors of judgement.
These symptoms can be found among (supposed) leaders in business and non-profit institutions, and even within government agencies. They have been using their authority to reject new ideas that do not align with their ego. New perspectives turn them into frightening shadows, an intimidating issue.
They make decisions based on their own closed-off minds. New alternatives or perspectives that could raise the quality of work within their institutions would often be seen as a threat to stability. Probably they worry basically because they are too scared to look at today’s reality.
We may ask, what kind of leadership behavior are they developing that might go against the will of the Creator, who has given us the freedom to find new ways and better perspectives in interacting with life’s dynamics?