Saturday, December 1, 2012

To Be or Not To Be

Paradoxical Principles of Organizational Life (from the handout given by Professor Smith in Leadership class)

1. To produce change, preserve the status quo
2. To  increase autonomy, augment dependency
3. To create unity, emphasize diversity
4. To empower self, strengthen other
5. To gain control, relinquish command
6. To change other, alter self
7. To birth the new, kill the old
8. To see clearly, look at nothing
9. To lead effectively, follow diligently
10. To become “a part of”, grow “apart from”
11. To overcome hopelessness, give up hope
12. To generate possibilities, set limits
13. To facilitate growth, cut back
14. To build authority, authorize others
15. To foster trust, risk losing all
16. To be whole, embrace regression
17. To know self, encounter other
18. To develop coherence, hold onto chaos
19. To receive feedback, reveal self
20. To establish commitment, express non commitment
21. To accept the unimaginable, reject the possible
22. To reserve what is, reinforce novelty
23. To move on, plant roots
24. To accentuate individuality, heighten belonging
25. To acquire wisdom, affirm ignorance

To Be or not To Be is the question, To Be and not To Be is the answer.
by Kenwyn K. Smith, 1990

Professor Smith emphasizes in class to make vulnerability our greatest strength. It might sound a little illogical, but wait: are we not talking about paradoxes? And to think about it, is it not something which is true in all the situations? We are the best friends with people who know our weaknesses and not the ones who know our strengths. This is why we call the best of our friends as chaddi-baddis. They are so close to us that we share everything with them: even our underpants.

I have had many friends through different phases of my life, be it different schools, college, jobs and random friendships. But the ones who I have stuck on to are the ones who I could share my feelings with. They are the ones who know what the situations are where I behave like a dumb ass  They know exactly what my fears are and what makes me anxious.

This is the reason we are so close to our parents, our siblings, and our family members. They know us so closely that they can write essays on our weaknesses.

Now when I reflect, I think that if I would have exposed my vulnerability to everyone I know. Probability everyone would have been such a great friend. The world would have been absolutely fantastic with all the love and warmth. :)