The purpose of BTL is to build individuals, teams, and leaders who become ONE, distinct, and deeply connected. We will never achieve this aim even amongst ourselves. We will, simply, keep studying, learning, and applying. If you want to become one with any other human, remember the physics. Begin within. Build your CORE. Get comfortable with both the good and not so good as you discover your nature. Build your second nature. Keep building. Virtue is second nature, remember.

Next become a student of the specific human nature of the individual you are attempting to become one with. Read them like a good, rich book. Study them. Get a feel for how they make sense of the world and attempt to understand every aspect of them. Talk with them, be with them, and especially laugh and learn with them.

And, become a student of the general knowledge of human nature. Study the overall patterns of human behavior that transcend the individual idiosyncrasies of the one that is your object. Study human nature, especially the dark side we tend to ignore in some hope it will never hit us on the head. The ancients declared the dark side as the 7 Deadly Sins. You can find these by googling them if you don’t know them by heart.

Robert Green, in his book titled Mastery, believes in what he calls the 7 Deadly Realities about human nature. “Most of us,” Green begins, “have these negative qualities – Envy, Conformism, Rigidity, Self-obsessiveness, Laziness, Flightiness and Passive Aggression – in mild doses.” Here comes his big but. Don’t miss this. This could be huge. “But in a large group setting, there will inevitably be people who have one or more of these qualities to a high enough degree that they can become very destructive.” In other words, Green agrees with Friedman and my experience in this practice called BTL – sabotage is a part of human systems. I see this every week in some form or fashion. Today, I heard another client describe a saboteur in his system. Sad. This always grieves me even though I understand it is part of human nature and therefore part of every human system in work and life.  We are our own worst enemies singularly and collectively. Lead anything and you will have to face this fact. Your job, if you’re a leader, is to sniff out the saboteur before they blow something up.  Leader, remember, this is your job. Your job. So, our work on studying human nature leads us, inevitably, back to studying our own nature and seeing the need for more work within.

God, help me to keep working on me. God, help me become a master at staying the course when I smell something a little off. God, help me not look away, help me do what needs to be done, help me do so with humility, and help me not lose heart. God, help me remember it is a great privilege and sobering responsibility to be a trusted advisor. Good…

2 thoughts on “Sabotage…

  1. Toto, this is a good reminder of yet another reason WHY and HOW we practice with teams.

    According to Gallup’s team engagement percentages, 17% of a typical team is actively DISengaged, meaning they have some chip on their shoulder and may be trying to drive the bus off the cliff.

    BTL practice is designed to train the leader and the team to really listen, tuning in like an animal being stalked, and how to speak C-lear, C-oncise & D-irect with R-espect. Saboteurs, like terrorists, operate mainly outside the normal channels in the darkness under the radar. BTL practice creates a culture for strengthening what Friedman calls the “immune system” of a team. When your immune system is healthy, viruses/saboteurs/terrorists are confronted and polarized not just by the brain of the system but by the whole body working together to preserve its ONEness.

    BTL practice helps prevent saboteurs by giving all team members who choose to come to practice a voice to speak, ask questions and be heard. BTL practice teaches the repair skills for dealing with tweaked justice threads head-on, not around the water cooler. And BTL practice gives every team member who chooses to participate the 3 things they yearn for most in the workplace – their name to be known, meaningful work to do, and feedback on their performance.

    BTL practice can sometimes flip the strong will of a saboteur from being a negative influence to being one of the strongest committed. Flipping houses nets a fraction of the profit of flipping just one saboteur – the cost savings alone are enough to fund multiple YEARS of BTL team practice!!!

    Great reminder of yet one more reason for those willing to build why “Together We Improve.”

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