10/08/2010 12:52 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Leadership Insights: Eliminate Endless Circular Arguments

Some leaders spend much of their time arguing and persuading their teams of the right direction, and others radiate a humble confidence that attracts people. What is the difference? How do you become a leader who attracts rather than persuades? To achieve this level of leadership, you have to understand the nature of the world you are living within.

Polarity Is the Base of All Form
We live in the part of the universe philosophers and scientists call "Form." Form, or matter, is based on polarity between two things. Like the inner language of a computer, there are two settings, and when combined in different configurations, they create an infinite number of configurations. Starting with one/zero, complex systems can be created. The same is true in life. With language we define parts of the whole with words: positive/negative, black/white, right/wrong, day/night. We cannot see black without white, or white without black. All the colors of the rainbow are based on a deep diversity of contrast and comparison. Without it we could not see a beautiful sunset. Nothing would exist in form without this contrast and the infinite diversity that comes out of the basic polarity.

This polarity effects our actions and is the base for our thought. All thought is based on comparison. When you say this is good, it is opposed to bad. Even saying you are neutral is opposed to having an opinion. It is hard to escape the comparison that comes from the basic structure of our world.

The Harder You Push a Point of View the More Resistance You Face
In politics or leadership the stronger you state an opinion the more of the opposite option seems to appear, which, at the extreme, can turn into wars. Our country seems divided into Right and Left and the conflict has us in a deadlock. Likewise a leader who holds a strong view is going to naturally create the opposite. How many meetings have you been in that devolved into arguments? At some point in time a leader has to settle the argument. That leader can use position power or some other form of fear to settle the argument, but often resentment continues in the corporate culture.

Escaping this by having no option or being passive is not the solution. Just as nothing gets done with endless arguments, nothing gets done using passive, or passive aggressive behaviors. The flow of cause and effect moves on with or without you. So what is the solution? How do we live within form and escape the trap of comparison?

The Answer is In The Formless Intelligence
The opposite of form is called "The Formless," which is hard to imagine, but here is my attempt. Many philosophers, scientists and even religious leaders say that form is an expression of intelligence within the formless. You could call it God, as many have, or "The Great Intelligence" as Ralph Waldo Emerson did. The Native Americans called it "The Great Spirit." If this unimaginable intelligence in the formless is continuously expressing its intelligence in form, the leader who is consciously connected to this intelligence shines and has a high level of attraction.

The leader whose consciousness is focused on the two poles of form will create resistance, because polarity is the nature of form. The leader who pushes for a strong point of view will create the opposite in equal force. The more a leader's consciousness is focused on thought, rather than the flow of the "Great Spirit" the more narrow their consciousness becomes. The more lost they become in polarity.

Conscious Collaboration With "The Life Force"
The leader who is consciously connected to this intelligence, without saying anything is attractive. They radiate an energy that is the source of creation, and as they realize what is happening a sense of gratitude and humility fills them. There is a sparkle in their eyes and a sense of peace. Every moment and person seems precious to them.

A leader who learns to consciously channel this Life Force becomes a co-creator with what the Taoist's called "The Flow of Heaven." Polarity has much less effect on them, and people follow them naturally. With connection to this Universal Flow, the deeper flows of creation become apparent to them. As new forms emerge from the formless intelligence they notice, and can direct their business to ride the waves of creation early in emergence. The leaders who do this seem to create magic. They seem blessed, and they are.

The question for my readers is: How do you dance with the flow of this intelligence?