Sunday, January 22, 2017

Acknowledging Your Own Behavior in

Becoming a Stronger Leader

We all know the stories of how life used to be when we were younger. Even better remember the tales your parents, grandparents told you over and over about how life used to be easier, safer back in the good old days? You could leave the door open and nobody would take anything from your house? It is safe to say the world has changed so much. That sense of security found in the community and groups our grandparents talk about has been overshadowed by the focus on individual achievement. It seems we experience more pressure, more speed, and more complexity and consequently more fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of things we can control and extreme fear from those we can’t.  “Not being good enough”, or not fitting into our collective peer groups, or being able to compete on all levels in today’s very competitive and complex societies all fuel this anxiety.  Our personal behavioral issues are not the only thing we have to worry about.  We also have to react to events that we can’t control yet affect us somehow none the less.  Dealing with terrorist or other types of criminal behaviors or even our psychotic neighbors adds to that angst. The reasons behind these fears are an interesting point of research.  To me, what is even more interesting is the idea that we can overcome this fear by controlling it.  While we can’t control every situation, many of which are outside our realm of personal influence, we can control how we react to each situation, whether from an innate moral perspective or a learned one.

People have a profound need to feel safe.  It’s a basic human instinct.  In order to do that, people need to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones by any means possible. Unfortunately, due to the increased focus on individual talents and lack of group cohesiveness an individual must most often “fend for themselves”.  This means an individual must deploy mental and physical strategies.  Since most of us aren’t big enough to just “pound some sense into” the other guy, we must rely on our mental abilities to defuse or de-escalate the situation before it becomes physical. 

What if the alienation of society and the “stand alone” approach is exactly why we got here in the first place?  Remember the stories about the good old days?

We at BLACK believe that the key lies in returning the stability of the community through individual effort.  By bringing this aggravated anxiety level to a more acceptable one within the individual, society can function as it should.  At BLACK we not only look at the community in general, but also within a company or a team of people.  Our way of working focuses on the individual’s improvement. Being aware of your own strengths and having confidence in using them in your own environment benefits the society as a whole.

Companies, groups and teams of people manifest the same characteristics as individuals and therefore, experience the exact same problems, albeit on a different scale. Results driven, “the bottom line” and ICT are the key words within which any (major) organization operates these days.  Even though people are considered the most important asset, in general, we seem to misplace the personal touch due to the pressures of results minded actions.  We get so lost in the management process that we lose sight of the individual’s contribution toward the whole.  This process of managing people as just another asset in the company inventory doesn’t allow for the organization to achieve its true potential.  The days of sound management are over, and the move from efficiency to productivity is starting. To achieve productivity, organizations must have effective leaders.  Leaders can only guide an organization to achieve greatness, if they recognize and acknowledge their own weaknesses and strengths.  A long-term self-actualization process is needed.  With the world’s increasing population and the burden of more complex societies the need for leadership will become paramount.  While the focus will be on efficient and effective system management, it will only be achieve through the transformation from sound management to truly effective and inclusive leadership.  In the future, leaders will play a greater part in every organization and will be essential to all organizational structures – both, private and public, large and small. 

Through our B.L.A.C.K. methodology we provide leaders the skills they need for organizational success by inspiring them to acknowledge their own personal behavior traits.  By doing so, they gain confidence in their abilities to motivate team members “toward greater things”.                                        

Within our vision of training, we firmly believe that we can achieve these goals by changing the way individuals and groups reacted to situations.  We have no illusion in thinking we can  banish criminality, threats or unwanted behavior as a whole, but we believe we can be a factor in creating more self-awareness by acknowledging how we all contribute to the feeling of fear, environmental pressure and loss of control.  All authority figures will play a huge part in this vision. After all he or she must lead by example and create a feeling of a calm and safe environment. Community members, whether within an organization or a neighborhood, must have a sense of confidence in their leaders because of their ability to create “safe environments”.  Only then can we degrade fear and go from “standing-alone” to “standing together”.  In the last year we have seen an escalation in the appalling interaction between private and public authorities and the societies they govern. There is no need to point fingers as to who is to blame, but perhaps we can all take a good look at ourselves and make the decision to do better by being better.

To quote a great leader, President Thomas Jefferson:

“ Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by Individuals. It is very much the Interest of the good to force the unworthy into their due Share of Contributions to the Public Support, otherwise the burthen on them will become oppressive indeed.”


BLACK is a Dutch company specialized in leadership training.  It is run by (former) armed forces with a high success rate. For further information we kindly refer to our website

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