The Perfect Storm: Thoughts on Interpersonal Leadership

What helped me to become one of the financial services industry’s top proposition architects for over a decade (2000 to 2012) was Stephen R. Covey’s HABIT 4: WIN-WIN published in 1989.

Win-win is a leadership theory about human interaction, there are six interaction paradigms; namely, win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose, win, win-win, and no deal.

Win-win is the ultimate goal for the interpersonal leader, the best of all of the paradigms. By focusing on achieving win-win rather than just hoping for a win for yourself, you are seeking benefits for everyone, not just yourself. It is the balance point of self-focus and others-focus. Ego and non-ego. Yin and yan.

The theory goes that, when looking for a solution to a problem, looking for the win-win solution is always your best option, that way, every party will be satisfied and happy with the outcome. In business, every stakeholder will be satisfied.

The philosophy is, life isn’t a competition, it’s a collaboration.

Interpersonal leadership requires the fundamental habit of thinking win-win. By focusing on mutual benefits, you need to be self-aware and well-practiced at considering others.

Some might say, you also need to be courageous and speak up, because a lot of the time you will find yourself dealing with someone who is more aligned with the win-loss habit (self-enhancing).

You also find yourself dealing with someone who is more aligned to loss-win (overly altruistic/ self-transcending).

In both of these situations, you have to push your win-win attitude and it may not be easy.

Financial Services

The problem in financial services is that it is the least trusted of all industries. And ‘trust’, what matters least to bankers, matters most to their customers.

Bankers are more aligned with the win-loss habit. More often than not, all stakeholders other than the bankers, lose. Bank customers lose.

I pushed my win-win attitude in the banks. The bankers pushed me out in 2012.

Since then, I have continued to campaign as a volunteer for win-win in financial services. For example, as the founding leader of the market integrity team of the transparency taskforce. The change will take several decades, I am told on good authority.

I have also run my small and independent win-win business. The trouble is, it wasn’t easy, the customers firmly believe the lies of the banks. They fear change. And, my business as a result has largely been a no-deal one! But then two years ago … when writing my book … I discovered 7 more habits!

Natural Cycle from Creation to Manifestation

Then I discovered the Seven Hermetic Principles: The Principle of Mentalism, The Principle of Correspondence, The Principle of Vibration, The Principle of Polarity, The Principle of Rhythm, The Principle of Cause and Effect, The Principle of Gender.

Win. Loss. Are mental.

To Win we must think Win. To lose we must think loss.

The truth is Win. Loss. Never rests.

Where there is a Win. There is a Loss.

We Win. We lose. In a rhythm. Like a pendulum.

Win causes loss. Loss causes win.

In every win there’s a loss and in every loss there’s a win.

From this I created the Natural Cycle from Creation to Manifestation: Think win. Believe win. Feel win. Act win. (repeat) Think win. …

Believe win, is the idea you have or problem you seek to solve. Start here.

Feel win is considering the lose-win scenario. Consider others.

Act win is bringing the idea into being.

Think win is considering the win-lose scenario. Consider self.

Repeat in this order, the productive cycle. This takes us to a win-win scenario. Thinking of others first before we think of self.

In reverse order the cycle is exhaustive and takes us to a lose-lose scenario. Thinking of ourselves first before we think of others.

If we miss a step, the cycle is destructive and takes us to the no deal scenario.

Applying it to Financial Services

The idea is to manifest Trust.

Think of the customer. What do they want? For example, charge fairly.

Do that.

Make it work for you. Pay yourself a fair wage.

Repeat.

The Perfect Storm

The problem is a confluence of weather conditions combined to form a killer storm. Global wealth turmoil in stock market volatility. Global health turmoil in covid-19 pandemic.

Think of the customer. Health, wealth fears – coping strategies and reassurance.

Provide it.

Make it work for you.

The fundamental truth is, we must first be self-transcending and then we must be self-enhancing.

Repeat. Evolve.

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