Nov 12

A View from Saint Tropez

Stephan Polomski
Stephan Polomski is director human resources, coach and trainer

Last month the annual sailing (not sales!) meeting took place in the bay of Staint Tropez on the French coast. In company of good friends I spent some time there just enjoying the beauty of impressions our five senses got there. Residing on a hill I took a relaxed glance of harbor and bay, bluish in the haze and stuffed with white triangles of all sizes, kinds and shades floating nameless and self-directed on the reflecting surface of the Mediterranean: a visible metaphor of resonance, of mute interaction, of balance and mutual attentiveness and understanding, of care; a concert in blue and white without conductor, in commitment to the rules of sailing and to the joint pleasure of sailing just for the sake of sailing.

And sitting there, remote on the hill, and watching, the thought crossed my mind, how easy life can be, when systems are in balance, when rules are clear and when the cause is a joint one and when even the environment like weather and wind is supporting conditions made for joy and happiness. The old utopia emerged in my mind, that systems are leading themselves realizing a basic democracy where not only every vote but every voice, every action counts and is heard or seen; where everybody is autonomously and regardful reflecting in awareness of his own responsibility for the whole if his present action is fitting the own and the joint cause.

A world of maturity, a world of resonance in which every member of the group may take the lead when it is appropriate and necessary, on the basis of his individual ability and competence. Life like a piece of music, improvised every second, by players and singers who had exercised a lot in order to freely and convinced give way to another voice, to hand over responsibility, knowing, when it is time to take the lead and when to be lead; letting space for everyone so that individual potential may develop and encouraging others to also live their potential, to take the chance for happiness.

If everybody does so, live might become a concert of happiness, happiness of the moment because the experiences we are shaping and sharing are good ones and happiness for future because our experience is directed towards a purpose which occurs meaningful, and may it be to sail just for the sake of enjoying it, may it be to live just for the sake of enjoying it. And which purpose is more sublime than the one which forgot to be purpose, thus being unconditional, just flow, just happiness.

And my thoughts were wandering further or – to stay in the metaphor – sailing beyond. And then I understood that modern communication, the internet, is working along very similar principles and rules. The internet is a system seeking continuously balance and redefining itself all the time. This blog here is one tone of a melody in a never ending symphony. Communicating means giving an impulse to the whole system of participants, it means – by doing so – altering in one detail the whole.

Leadership is about contact and communication. Whenever I communicate, I decide, which impulse I am giving into the system, may be already anticipating how the system or parts of the system may react to it, redefining the new balance after my impulse. I choose whether I take the lead or move it over to somebody else, through my way of communication and my awareness, which of the two possibilities is appropriate.

And no matter which of the two possibilities I choose I try to communicate in a way which takes care for the whole and for myself – anticipating the consequences, the social ones, the ecological ones, the economical ones, the emotional ones. By doing so, I take care for happiness, of my own and of others. I take care for that feeling of floating, light and powerful like a sail in the wind, the wind which often brings change; the change which comes with the establishment of a new balance until the next impulse.

“Balancing myself means balancing the whole.”

Balancing myself means balancing the whole. It means keeping the resonance of triangles floating over the surface where there is no path except the one I define in my mind perceiving the other boats. The boat always stood for the individual life. The sea always has been a metaphor for life in general, meaning creation.

When I returned to my company in the beginning one month ago, this image gave me some inner lead. I kept it in mind.

In the evening, that day on the Cote d´Azur, two balloons came back from their trip, flying high above sails and lights and going with the flow of the wind and still finding their harbor for the night. Boat or balloon, manager or leader, the sense of being hold during by something during the passage, something which is bigger than own decision, this sense is the same.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009 at 15:29 and is filed under Human Resources, Leadership. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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