If you think that everyone lives in the same reality, think again. You may not realise that there are multiple realities in the world.
There is the reality that exists as a common perception in the minds of numerous people and there is the reality that exists in every individual’s mind, based on their own circumstances and perspective.
We all live in our own realities – realities we have created for ourselves and which align with what we think we know to be true and right. That’s why politicians, business leaders and community leaders fail to hear what their people are telling them. They have unconsciously chosen to live in a reality of their own creation and which has no bearing on, or connection with, the reality in which the masses are living.
In order to address challenges and effect significant and lasting change for the better, our country’s leaders, our community leaders and our corporate leaders are therefore going to have to face not the reality in which they’re living, but the reality in which others are living, no matter how unpalatable it is. Only then will real and lasting change for the better start to take place.
If you want to be an effective leader, start asking yourself which reality you’re living in. Examine your views of the world and compare them with the views of others. Try not to see yours as “right” and the views of others as “wrong”. This simplistic view of life has caused untold misery for thousands of years as tribes and nations have sought to impose their lifestyle, their religion or their culture on others because they believed theirs were “right”. They may have been very sincere in what they were trying to achieve, but they were sincerely wrong.
People who have a deep and strong need to change other people to make them like themselves operate from a very deep and strong fear, regardless of what they think or say is the motive for what they are doing.
The reason I am making such a big fuss over different realities, is that one of the most fundamental functions of leadership is to take people to a better reality. As simple as that. So, if you’re in a leadership position, ask yourself what the current reality is and get very clear in your mind what the “better reality” you want to take people to looks like. That’s simply called vision.
A leader with vision will explain and share his vision of a better reality with those s/he is leading. Without a clear vision of a better reality, no movement will take place and the country, community or company will stay exactly where it is.
Ask yourself what vision of a better reality politicians and other leaders have shared. You can’t answer that? No surprise there – that’s because, at the moment, no leader has or has shared, a vision of a better reality. And why is that? Because they don’t have one. That’s why. It’s simple. If they had a vision of a better reality, they would be sharing it.
Sharing a vision does not involve criticising other political parties’ or people’s views and/or actions. It involves telling people of a better reality so that they start to see it as well. It stands to reason, if you don’t have a vision of a better reality, you will not be able to lead people anywhere, because you don’t have a better reality to move towards.
If you look at the current situation in South Africa, you will understand why no-one is leading anybody anywhere. No vision. No better reality.
What better reality should we be creating? It should be a reality in which those who have the power, the means, the intellectual and other resources and the compassion use what they can to create a reality which provides opportunity for our children to grow up in a safe and supportive society, for their parents to have employment so they can support their children financially, and for our economy to thrive so we can improve facilities, infrastructure and services for the benefit of all.
Isn’t that a better reality worth working towards?
Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.