We live in an era with enormous uncertainties: people are over-anxious, fearful of making mistakes or an irreversible wrong decision. Many have submitted to authority because of our insane demand to be ‘over-safe’. But this means, quite simply, that most of us are, particularly in business, afraid to think independently, to think apart from what has been said by our CEO or senior management, usually because of the scary possibility of losing a job if we speak out.
The trouble is that these situations are cultivated with frequency – whether socially, culturally religiously and economically – luring people into excessive security because they are often overwhelmed with the situation, fearful of not being secure, and therefore choosing to be ‘followers’ to safeguard their possessions, their thinking and their power. They accept authority, ‘hook, line and sinker’, thereby creating the seeds, and watering and growing them, for dependence and loneliness.
This invariably leads to exploitation of man by man. To find out ‘what is’, we must feel secure and safe and inspired and at ease and have a serenity deep within ourselves that is not driven by authority or conditioning, but a real true peace. This clearly means we must be free of knowledge, thought, power and authority – literally allowing ourselves to be brave enough to risk feeling insecure and stand completely alone and seek to question, not just merely accepting.
We follow another’s authority and another’s experience, and then doubt it. We blame and criticise others and accept their authority instead of our own. All the while we neglect to examine our own craving for an authority who can direct our conduct. Once we comprehend such craving, we shall comprehend the significance of doubt.
The fact is that authority does not create organisational, social, religious, or cultural order. Authority engenders blind fellowship with little or no meaning, eventually leading to destruction and systematic misery. At the end of the day, it is what we are as individuals that create any relationship between ourselves and others; however, any conditioning leads to separation that is evil. Seeking new trendy methods invariably suggests the desire to attain higher results than others – that is what everyone seeks. Hence, we follow authority without realising it, because we are enticed by immediate satisfaction.
This means we promote ‘social escapism’ without actually minding if we don’t comprehend ourselves, our impulses, our instincts and our reactions, or even our entire way of thinking; rather, we pursue a system that guarantees us achievement and accumulation. We ignore our ignorance. Such pursuit of a social and organisational system is the eventual outcome of our expected desires for security, certainty, pleasure – which is not the result of truly comprehending ourselves.
Clarity, courage, compassion and consciousness are those virtues that are assumed to be bad for corporate business, as we no longer accept being a scapegoat, as we cultivate a true inner self-knowledge to increase our resistance. Authority creates the contrary – it diminishes resilience; it prevents comprehension of oneself; and in its very nature, it is the full awareness and ultimately destroyer of inner freedom and independence of thought, keeping us from being an authentic and inclusive leader. It is our own self-knowledge, alone, that creates creativeness and purposeful solutions.
So can we be free of authority? Can we allow ourselves to be challenged and to challenge others? And if so, will we be free of authority then?
There is no doubt that we face great changes. The question is this: do we have the courage to step into the unknown and deal with the unexpected? What may be the best future leadership for anticipating the unknown, keeping in balance and managing change?
Leadership is a choice – not a position. That is why the most effective leaders are actually better at guarding against the unknown and the unexpected when they acknowledge that such feelings do exist. Hence a leader who leverages diversity of thinking can be the disruptive force that breaks through common limiting factors in even the strongest organisation. True leaders don’t force or condition their teams by relying on authority or wielding power; they are balanced and produce ‘serotonin’, the magical component that makes one resilient without expecting anything in return, but rather cultivating a sense of belonging.
It is all about energy. They way we feel around certain people will tell us eventually whether this connection needs to be nourished or to be terminated. That is why potential customers in the near future will no longer connect with obsolete brands, unless their employees and teams do connect with the company profoundly.
When we are open, there is unending assistance. Things change when we start to be more courageous, conscious, compassionate and clearer with ourselves, when we are brave enough to ignore authority. It is only the weak and insecure who follow authority, believing that they belong to an exclusive circle. But it is really the opposite – authority makes us dependent, even though very few realise this. Be brave. Think for yourself.