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Selfleadership – About the principle of postponement and the stages
“Born into the world” as an executive? This means more than just becoming a leader. Coming into the world needs seven momentums, as Peter Sloterdijk describes in his little world poetics “Zur Sprache kommen, zur Welt kommen (Come into the world, come to speak)”: Birth, urgency, initiative, postponement, stage, passing on and release.
Birth and urgency
The first moment is the apriori of “birth”. To be a leader, you must first be selected and designated as a leader. Breaking away from an old bond and enter a new space. Birth is followed by the apriori of urgency. Leaders are appropriated by the economic principle and have to recognize necessities and urgencies. I have already written an article about urgency. [Womit soll ich bloß anfangen?].
Moments of initiative – the beginning
We can only escape the pressure of urgency by taking an initiative. We must start something, make a new beginning [Selfleadership needs a beginning]. [Selfleadership braucht einen Anfang]. This is also not a normal beginning, it is more the self-introduction. We call this self-leadership.
The fourth element is the postponement apriori. We can also call it the principle of postponement. I’d like to give you some thoughts on that. How is it that we often put off important things and put on the pile of side issue? In order to be important, things have to push themselves in such a way that they cannot wait. But we have already dealt with such tasks with the urgency apriori. What remains are the particularly difficult things that are too big to be done right away. We have no choice but to postpone them temporarily.
„Wir machen mit dem Nichternstmachen ernst und erheben den Aufschub zum Prinzip“ (We are serious about not making a start and make postponement a principle) (Sloterdijk, Seite 130).
This also makes the world of leadership a place of secondary initiatives. The urgent is done, and then the secondary matters are dealt with. We then act in the anterooms of importance. These side issues can be dealt with in all arts. We tend to spend our lives on the training grounds in order to escape the actual playing field. We have climbed a pampering elevator with this.
But our training on the sideshow stages only becomes really meaningful if we are also ready to move up to the main things. We have to enter a stage again and again, put ourselves on display and negotiate the really important things. This is about the big things! When we venture up on stage, we have to “step out and become visible”. In a way, we repeat the drama of birth again and again, according to Peter Sloterdijk.
„Kulturen sind also nicht nur soziale „Systeme“, in denen Entbindungen stattfinden, wo Dringlichkeiten verarbeitet, Initiativen ergriffen und Vorfelder eingerichtet werden. Sie sind vor allem bühnenbauende Systeme.“ (Cultures are therefore not only social “systems” in which births take place, where urgencies are processed, initiatives are taken and aprons are set up. They are above all stage-building systems) (Sloterdijk, Seite 133).
Everyday life in leadership
The everyday life of leadership becomes more important when we venture into the arena, expose ourselves to the important things and are born again and again. We can rest and relax in the adjoining rooms of the postponement, as well as train so that we make a good impression on the stage. So the essence of leadership work is the two inseparably connected things, the conscious “coming into the world – the initiative into the open world of leadership” and the “going on stage to negotiate the necessities”.
My tip for leaders
Make a conscious entry into the world of leadership. Enjoy the training on the secondary places as much as you can, as soon as you have done urgent things. Then make your daily leadership routine an exercise! But this training must be dedicated to one goal. The day will come when you will have to use your trained skills in the arena. Only then will leadership become an “adventure”.
Do you want to deal with yourself as a leader and take your development courageously into your own hands? My book (German language) will help you to follow the path of holistic development. Give yourself the chance to make the best of your potential.
Heinz Peter Wallner, Kurt Völkl, 2017, Fokus Self-Leadership. Gesunde und wirkungsvolle Selbstführung in Zeiten hoher Komplexität, Edition Summerhill.
Would you also like to go deeper in theory? I recommend: Peter Sloterdijk’s fireworks of thoughts „Zur Welt kommen – Zur Sprache kommen“, Frankfurter Vorlesungen, edition suhrkamp, Band 505, 12. Auflage, 2017. These thoughts have inspired and guided me in these lines. Peter Sloterdijks Gedankenfeuerwerk „Zur Welt kommen – Zur Sprache kommen“, Frankfurter Vorlesungen, edition suhrkamp, Band 505, 12. Auflage, 2017. Diese Gedanken haben mich bei diesen Zeilen inspiriert und angeleitet.
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This post is also available in: German