“What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
My management and sales team and I invested an hour of increasingly precious time discussing the limiting assumptions that were preventing our company, Energetix Corporation, from becoming the best place to work in America. We looked at the fact that limiting assumptions prevent the full expression of that which you are capable in any given moment and considered the idea that great companies don’t just happen, they are constructed deliberately, carefully and over time.
I was impressed by the honesty and willingness to be vulnerable of my team, and I must say that good people who devote themselves to continuous self-improvement are the perfect starting point for anyone interested in building a great company. We have taken great care to attract and hire people who are not just looking for jobs, but for a career, who are not looking to keep their heads low and follow established norms, but to innovate, refine, and lead, no matter what their position within the organization.
Many excellent points came out, though one in particular caught my fancy, namely, that limiting assumptions can at times be difficult to identify (as they often masquerade as sound beliefs), although they typically are the root cause of the unrelieved tension in your life. They are the proverbial wrinkle in the carpet, those areas in your belief system that disrupt an otherwise smooth flow of consciousness.
We have found in our organization that great advantage can be had when every team member operates first and foremost on a basis of deep respect for everyone else in the office. Sure we all have our quirks and flat spots, but when respect is put first, those areas of potential friction are put into perspective. More importantly, the atmosphere generated amongst a group of people who commit themselves to an underlying pattern of respect provides an uncommonly safe environment in which creativity can be expressed without judgment, where egos can be checked at the door, where personal defenses can be relaxed and where walls can come down between individuals and departments.
Respect is a powerful solvent. It dissolves even the most hardened of hearts if given sufficient time. And when hearts soften, limiting assumptions naturally rise to the surface in relation to the pressures of daily work and living. They may be well hidden at first, but as the heart and mind relax, they begin to stand out and it actually becomes quite easy to deal with them when they do.
Every time a limiting assumption is released the energy and resources that were trapped beneath it are immediately freed up. I believe that the majority of what is known as scarcity is caused by limiting assumptions rather than by an actual, factual shortage of resources in relation to the challenges we face from day to day. There are hidden resources available everywhere.
Finally, I believe that ingenuity is not the product of trying harder, but of releasing more deeply.