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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Art Of Self Analysis For Leaders





The most common problem that we face is the failure to control our mind and as a result of this, lack of concentration. Leaders need to analyse their mind and should have a control over their mind. They need to understand the fact that the great leaders know what they do and what will be the outcome of their actions. To add up to this, I wish to bring an ancient book to your notice, "The Mind and Its Education" from the author George Herbert Betts. An excerpt from the book is given below,

LACK OF CONCENTRATION.--There are two chief types of inattention whose danger threatens every person. _First_, we may be thinking about the right things, but not thinking _hard_ enough. We lack mental pressure. Outside thoughts which have no relation to the subject in hand may not trouble us much, but we do not attack our problem with vim. The current in our stream of consciousness is moving too slowly. We do not gather up all our mental forces and mass them on the subject before us in a way that means victory. Our thoughts may be sufficiently focused, but they fail to "set fire." It is like focusing the sun's rays while an eclipse is on. They lack energy. They will not kindle the paper after they have passed through the lens. This kind of attention means mental dawdling. It means inefficiency. For the individual it means defeat in life's battles; for the nation it means mediocrity and stagnation.

A college professor said to his faithful but poorly prepared class, "Judging from your worn and tired appearance, young people, you are putting in twice too many hours on study." At this commendation the class brightened up visibly. "But," he continued, "judging from your preparation, you do not study quite half hard enough." Happy is the student who, starting in on his lesson rested and fresh, can study with such concentration that an hour of steady application will leave him mentally exhausted and limp. That is one hour of triumph for him, no matter what else he may have accomplished or failed to accomplish during the time. He can afford an occasional pause for rest, for difficulties will melt rapidly away before him. He possesses one key to successful achievement.

Here, in this book he beautifully describes what is mind and the relation between mind and the actions we do in our day to day life and he explains us how introspection helps us to understand our mind to some extent. Every leader who wants to lead their team better by understanding his people has to learn a lot from this book. Once you are able to assess the minds of your people, it is easy for you to coach them with leadership qualities and motivate accordingly. He also talks about mental wandering which we experience in our day to day life. This is an excellent source of knowledge for people who give presentations and leadership sessions. The points given in this book will help you motivate your team and keep their attention on your topic. Here is an excerpt about mental wandering,

MENTAL WANDERING.--_Second_, we may have good mental power and be able to think hard and efficiently on any one point, but lack the power to think in a straight line. Every stray thought that comes along is a "will-o'-the-wisp" to lead us away from the subject in hand and into lines of thought not relating to it. Who has not started in to think on some problem, and, after a few moments, been surprised to find himself miles away from the topic upon which he started! Or who has not read down a page and, turning to the next, found that he did not know a word on the preceding page, his thoughts having wandered away, his eyes only going through the process of reading! Instead of sticking to the _a_, _b_, _c_, _d_, etc., of our topic and relating them all up to A, thereby reaching a solution of the problem, we often jump at once to _x_, _y_, _z_, and find ourselves far afield with all possibility of a solution gone. We may have brilliant thoughts about _x_, _y_, _z_, but they are not related to anything in particular, and so they pass from us and are gone--lost in oblivion because they are not attached to something permanent.

For people who love science, here is that meaty part for you. He also talks about the relation between brain and mind. This is very much useful for people who provide counselling for teenagers and mentaly disabled patients to relate the brain and the actions they do. The author relates mind and brain as below,

INTERACTION OF MIND AND BRAIN.--How, then, come these two widely different facts, mind and brain, to be so related in our speech? Why are the terms so commonly interchanged?--It is because mind and brain are so vitally related in their processes and so inseparably connected in their work. No movement of our thought, no bit of sensation, no memory, no feeling, no act of decision but is accompanied by its own particular activity in the cells of the brain.

It is this that the psychologist has in mind when he says, _no psychosis without its corresponding neurosis_. So far as our present existence is concerned, then, no mind ever works except through some brain, and a brain without a mind becomes but a mass of dead matter, so much clay. Mind and brain are perfectly adapted to each other. Nor is this mere accident. For through the ages of man's past history each has grown up and developed into its present state of efficiency by working in conjunction with the other. Each has helped form the other and determine its qualities. Not only is this true for the race in its evolution, but for every individual as he passes from infancy to maturity.

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