The heartful strategist – part 2
In part 1 of the Heartful Strategist, RAVI VENKATESAN introduced the following framework to map how our consciousness manifests into strategies that have consequences and interact with our ecosystem. In this second article, we will explore three cases of strategic choices that illustrate this framework.
Let us take three cases of strategic choices made by leaders:
The first one is a strategic choice made by Pope Benedict XVI. He resigned in 2013, becoming the first pope in modern times to do so. The last pope who resigned on his own initiative was Celestine V in 1294. Many things were surprising about his decision. He gave up one of the most powerful positions available to humanity. He resigned knowing that he would likely be succeeded by Pope Francis, a man who had views opposed to his own in many areas. He resigned knowing that the church would go through significant reforms and transformation. His choice had significant positive consequences for a large portion of the world’s population.
The second one is a strategic choice made by Henry Ford. In 1914 Ford decided to more than double the basic wage for workers. This decision was unprecedented and shocking. The trend in capitalist America had been the rich getting richer, and the lot of workers staying the same. Ford also reduced the price of his Model T car from $800 to $350, so that many of his workers could afford a car.
Ford said, “We believe in making 20,000 men prosperous and contented rather than follow the plan of making a few slave drivers in our establishment millionaires.”
His decision had significant positive consequences for many, and also made him a billionaire.
The third decision is a strategic choice made by Captain Hernan Cortes. He landed in Vera Cruz in 1519 to begin a conquest and his first order was to his crew to burn their own ships. Two years later he conquered the Aztec empire. His decision was not just surprising, it was one that took significant courage.
These were all big decisions, courageous decisions, decisions that had significant consequences for a large number of people, consequences that led to outcomes that impacted history, outcomes that changed ecosystems forever. What were the levels of consciousness that allowed these men to make these decisions? Were they the same as the average person? They all achieved significant outcomes, but they were driven by different motivations, and operated with different levels of consciousness.
Pope Benedict’s choice was most noble, it reflected sacrifice, altruism and courage. The level of consciousness to make such a choice takes a lot of refinement.
Henry Ford was after all a businessman, and no doubt he sought ways to grow his wealth. However, he made a choice that combined his interests with the interest of his workers and ended up making car ownership in America affordable for common people, thereby changing his ecosystem forever.
Hernan Cortes was motivated by conquest. His consciousness was at a different level. His decision forced his troops to do or die in their battles. The consequences were again significant.
These examples illustrate the relationship between the consciousness level of one individual and how it flows out in terms of strategic choice, that leads to consequences, that lead to outcomes, that can change a whole ecosystem. In subsequent articles we will explore how a Heartful Strategist can work on refining their consciousness level to make strategic choices that not only benefit them, but also deliver the best possible benefits to the broadest possible set of inter-related ecosystems.
Article by RAVI VENKATESAN
March 23, 2020
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