BANGALORE: To succeed in these times of breakneck change, companies will often recruit a board of directors to help them make more effective decisions and lead them in the right direction during stormy times. By consulting men and women of wisdom these organizations reduce the number of mistakes they make, boost corporate effectiveness and increase their credibility in the marketplace.
One client of mine has a difficult approach to the concept of having a board of directors. A seasoned entrepreneur and a participant in one of the monthly life coaching programs I conduct across the country, this woman told me that during her periods of silent contemplation, she sits in a room with a pen and pad of paper and writes down a problem that she is facing. Sometimes it involves a difficulty in a relationship, sometimes it concerns a money issue or at other times a struggle that is more spiritual in nature.
Once in a state of deep relaxation, she then calls upon her personal board of directors to help her solve problems. The twist? The members of her board are no longer alive. In her imagination, she seeks the wise counsel of many of history’s greatest thinkers. When confronting a problem that requires a creative solution, she asks Leonardo da Vinci, “How might you deal with this?” On facing a challenge that requires her to have more courage, she asks aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, “What would you do in this situation?” And when the issue involves money, she asks the late billionaire Sam Walton, widely known for his common sense, “Sam, how would you handle this?” This technique has truly worked wonders for her, improved her creative thinking ability and kept her peaceful during turbulent times.
Who would you invite to sit on your imaginary board of directors? Here are some of the people I’d love to have on my council:
Ben Franklin for guidance on issues involving character
Albert Schweitzer to remind me of the importance of service to others
Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for leadership issues
Bruce Lee for advice on self - discipline
Marie Curie for questions relating to innovation
Viktor Frankl, famed holocaust survivor, for guidance about how to deal with adversity