Quite alike Artificial Intelligence, there are lot of artificial deterrents in this current age of interruptions to pursue meaningful intellect. While people are equally in search the need for ambition to quench the inner desire for satisfaction amidst the artificialities, there seems a great need for a framework to help guide our energies into a meaningful purpose of focused achievements. This is more pronounced post COVID.
During one of my recent sessions with people from a large organisation with high hunger to achieve results, I was curious to understand what they considered as some of the most important factors to achieve their ambitions; and almost all of them answered, but keeping themselves and their efforts as the only means to achieve their ambitions! But is that the true nature of gains and successes, that it can be found without the need for anything or anyone else? Absolutely not! Even for our humble meals, we need the plants to serve us with their leaves and fruits. Similarly, we need the Trust and Collaboration of others to help us with our ambitional purposes of living.
It is the understanding of this framework that has bought clarity to many about their misplaced biases; the need to equally fulfill others’ ambitions is what makes trade and negotiations, relationships and partnerships, work and engagement at the personal and organizational levels succeed.
Well, what hence is the role of Discipline at the center? Discipline is the bridge between ambition and accomplishment; it is the quality we add to our pursuit, of results. Without the focus of discipline across the three key areas of time, direction and the quantity or metrics, it is just another dream, an unfulfilled goal, or an interruption in the path of desires.
Some may now ponder about the difference between trust and collaboration. Aren’t they the same? The answer lies in the semantics of these terms in their truest sense. Trust is the cornerstone of defining the benefactor and beneficiary in a relationship, be it at work or negotiations. Collaboration is the act of helping one beyond the need for trust. There are lot of examples, but nothing can perhaps explain it as succinctly as the collaboration of a parent with their children. A parent silently collaborates with their children in helping them achieve their ambitions; they do so because they trust the child’s ability and find purpose in trusting their own kind. Collaborators may not share aligned ambitions, but trust requires both parties to have ambitions fulfilled to engage in trustworthiness. While a parent may not trust the child to keep away from the appeal of junk food but collaborates in their need for nibbling away by organising healthy snacks beyond the three full meals. As a leader, one needs to trust teams to avoid micro-management or overarching boundaries by collaborating with them through learning and influencing practices to ensure that time, direction and metrics are in control. Collaboration adds knowledge, trust builds confidence. And ambitions become plausible.
Does this mean that success can be achieved by just practicing it? The answer is an absolute yes! Put it across your present processes or apply it to understand the ambition of the customer, and you will find answers using the central tenet of discipline. When a current practice isn’t yielding results and revenue, it is this framework which can align direction, bring in the importance of metrics and data and the importance of using the most precious resource of time like a sage to win over past failures. This is what good coaching can offer to the world in the age of interrupted AI tools and techniques.