Hidden Resources

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.

Releasing what?

Limiting assumptions.


5 thoughts on “Hidden Resources

  1. Ricardo B.

    Yes, I think with all the trampling that occurs as a result of people’s general insensitivity to other people, there is a strong compulsion to be defensive in a setting where improvements are looking to be made because you are having to take a hard look at yourself and you have to open up. To treat other people with respect and dignity sets the right atmosphere for this to happen, to really bring out the best in people because there is no other agenda but the desire to be the best that you can be. It sets the right atmosphere period, for anything less you are denying your own worth as a human being as well as that of others.
    Then come the skills. Listening, paying close attention to everything a person says, acknowledging their position and their own authority – you know, basic courtesy really. Like I said, there’s alot of trampling that goes on, especially with the vulnerable and defenseless like children, and excessive guarding will naturally follow, tainting the personality.
    However, even all that can be undone. Respect is love’s offspring, and bringing greater decency into the world is an act that speaks to the truth of who we really are and has great healing potential. For something to have lasting value, it must be forged in the fires of truth, and the elements of deep respectfulness are the hallmark signs here. Here, things can be forgiven, things can be absorbed and changed for the better if needed. All good things can come where dignity is held high.


  2. Doug

    Sounds like your company is finding the secrets to success. I’d love to hear more about this subject. This is the book I’d buy! Thanks for writing about it.


  3. Vincent

    We rely on assumptions all the time as a framework for our present and planned actions. Usually there is at least some aspect of them that is accurate, but regardless of the degree of reality there, experience and insight should combine to contribute to broader and more accurate models as we move along. This is true of both individuals and organizations, and often the transition from less accurate to more accurate assumptions can be painful and awkward.

    I like your emphasis on the softening influence of respect, because it is the hard and sharp-edged quality of opinion that engenders conflict and makes transition overly difficult. If those involved remain too invested in an assumption, there is going to be hurt and damage eventually. Gracious, evolving change works best when there is oil in the system!


  4. MMc

    Respect in the work place is an unbelievable leaven. Many work relationships are merely tolerated possibly because of a lack of common interests, generational differences, etc.which can be limiting assumptions. But respect flies above all that, its cohesive atmosphere provides the space for the intrinsic brilliance in people to shine and fun happens. Not a contrived fun usually at someones expense but the free fun that happens where people create together. I find respect is a common trait I look for in my friends and close relationships it enhances every interaction. Wonderful post.


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