Gurdjieff’s father, Yiannis Georgiades: Copyright The J.G. Bennett Foundation
Your fellow board members, shareholders, and some employees want you to drive and achieve results. Yet, at the same time, you are to do this without ever getting angry and upsetting those around you.
It is a paradox. At least, it seemed that way to me.
Anger is fast moving and vital. It flushes your system with energy at important moments. It does not like performance issues or systems that slow it down. It is a part of getting things done.
So, when someone lets you down, what do you do?
Believing authenticity to be a valuable component of a good working relationship, one of my earlier solutions was to resort to a spontaneous expression of anger.
In some ways it worked.
Mine was a search for authenticity. A sense that connecting in the moment would lead to a more productive, intimate, and creative relationship.
But there were some expensive mistakes - mistakes repeated many times over many years until social isolation set in.
You lose friends.
Utilising anger spontaneously, on a continuous basis, was beyond me - and it’s best not to confuse the freshness of anger with reactive and repetitive mental explosions.
Unfortunately, I did confuse the two.
A growing social isolation set in so it was time to find another way or forever regret. After all, the initial pursuit was about intimacy, creativity and authenticity - not loneliness - so something was wrong.
To cut a long story short, my coach suggested a technique used by George Gurdjieff (below) and his father before him.
Legend has it that Gurdjieff senior offered the technique to his son just before passing. If ever he (Gurdjieff - picture above) felt moved to anger - in relation to another person - he was to walk away for 24 hours. Walk away for 24 hours.
Whatever you then decide, act upon it.
This simple technique has helped to change the quality of my working life. Now, I do it the Gurdjieff way and wait 24 hours.
Sometimes it takes a bit longer for the wheels to stop spinning, and for the illusions to dissolve. But eventually they do. Clarity returns.
Then I take action.
So, if anger is within your gift - and it threatens to bite you as it did me - consider the advice from Gurdjieff’s father. Whatever you do, walk away. Wait for clarity. Take action after 24 hours.
You will be eternally grateful.