Living the Destiny of Your Group or Organization (Part II)
A group's spiritual destiny emerges when the group begins the journey of the evolution
of its soul.
Throughout my personal and professional life, I have studied, experienced, and written about destiny, whether it was personal destiny or that of groups, organizations, the country, or the world. In the Part I of this blog article, I wrote about one's personal destiny. In this article, Part II on destiny, I share some of what I have discovered about the destinies of groups and organizations. Part III will address the destiny of the United States and the planet.
In Part I, I defined destiny as an unrealized potential within us that persists in its yearning to be fulfilled. I also noted that we have two destinies, personal and spiritual. The same is true for groups and organizations. (Note: "Groups" includes organizations in this article.)
Groups, like individuals, use their free will – a gift from the Divine – to determine their purpose, attitudes, structures, and activities, and to choose whether or not to manifest the group's personal destiny. Using their collective free will – the joined wills of group members – they engage in constructive or destructive actions within their own group and/or towards other groups.
The group's spiritual destiny emerges when the group begins the journey of the evolution of its soul. When the group's personal destiny joins its spiritual destiny, the heart of each group member is aligned with the Group Soul. When this alignment occurs, the group has one destiny, not two. Every group or organization has a destiny to discover, whether the group is conscious of it or not. Individuals are drawn to a certain group because they have similar destinies and are in a similar stage of soul development.
There is one overarching destiny of all groups: to discover what it means to be a group and to remember that the world is sacred. A group is truly blessed if it can eventually and authentically say, "We are living and fulfilling our highest potential. We have said yes to our destiny."
A group need not be famous or successful in worldly terms to claim a destiny. Destiny is not about competing or comparing ourselves to others. A group's destiny may be to be a family, a small business, a department in a large corporation, an academic department of a university, a civic office (such as a fire or police station), and so forth. Alternatively, a group's destiny may be an example of courage, patience, unconditional love, inner strength, or wisdom that emerged during a time of failure, misconduct, loss, or illegal behavior.
Group destiny emerges through synchronicity. Synchronicity, or the flow of unexpected events, is a signal that a group's destiny is unfolding. Synchronistic events guide the leader and group, alerting them to the next step needed in their destiny journey. Synchronicity events occur at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reason. Many groups feel overwhelmed by problems and demands coming at them at lightening speed. If they wish to notice and benefit from the flow of synchronistic events, groups must slow down. The more the group slows down and awaits synchronistic events to show the way, the easier it will be for the group to notice when steps of its destiny emerge.
Groups typically experience challenges in attracting the right environment to live out their destiny. A group may have an outline of the story of its destiny, but there are different ways this destiny can be lived out. For example, because a group is not isolated, its destiny story can be shaped by the choices of others, such as group members' families, the group's larger community, as well as local, national, and international events, including the results of elections and the choices of civic and world leaders, governments, countries, and so on. In addition, individual group members, using their free will, make choices that can enhance, shift, or impede a group's destiny journey.
I have observed that leaders and groups tend to expect their destiny to be quickly and easily revealed and even fulfilled. They therefore do not take time to educate themselves about how to work together towards fulfilling their destiny. Destiny does not happen instantly. It emerges step by step over time. Therefore, a wise motto for a group to remember is: It takes time to save time – it takes time for a group to be born well and to stay well. When we take time to be born well and stay well, we save time because less time and effort are needed to solve problems and conflicts. Unresolved problems become embedded and resistant to change. Said in another way, we save time if we listen to the whispers before the problems become screams.
I have selected what I consider to be four essential processes that support the emergence of a group's destiny: shared vision, holographic systems thinking, shared decision making, and soul lessons of leaders and groups. When groups decide to engage wholeheartedly in these processes, they are welcoming the emergence of their group destiny. These processes, among others, are described in depth in my book, The Clarion Call: Leadership and Group Life in the Aquarian Era.
1. SHARED VISION. Individuals have a personal vision; groups have a shared vision. Many group leaders and members do not understand how a shared vision evolves and reveals itself over time. The initial shared vision of a group is simply where the group starts. A group needs to know where it is in its relationship to attaining its shared vision and where the group has yet to go. Usually, as a group comes close to attaining its current shared vision, there is lag of energy or a loss of focus, an absence of enthusiasm, and increased interpersonal conflicts, indicating that it is time for the leader and group to review and reset the shared vision. When a group has a shared vision, a group member's question, "What is mine to do?" matches the group's question, "What is ours to do?"
2. HOLOGRAPHIC SYSTEMS THINKING. In a holographic model, the shared vision, mission, and philosophy of the organization is expressed in all parts of the organization, from phone calls and emails, to the work of the cleaning staff, individual departments and programs, administrative staff – all the way to the executive director, president, or CEO. In this way, the growth and wellbeing of group members, as well as of the group as a whole, are supported. KEY in a holographic model is for each group member engaged in any activity of the group to ALWAYS ask the question: "Who else in the group or organization needs to know this in order to carry out his or her responsibilities?" The failure to ask this question, as many know, results in the development of significant conflict among members of the group. [To learn more holographic organizations, see my article on The Clarion Way website HERE.]
3. SHARED DECISION MAKING. When a group focuses on what really matters, a shared decision will emerge. This approach invites every perspective of an issue to be heard. Assuring that the decision reflects the group's shared vision, mission, and philosophy is a critical part of shared decision making. Shared decision making is not the same as consensus. When a group uses consensus, some members may not totally agree, but they can live with the opinion that others espouse. With shared decision making, a synthesis of group member's individual perspectives organically emerges and all groups members eventually agree to the same decision, one that conveys what really matters and reflects saying and doing the right thing in the right way for the right reason at the right time.
4. SOUL LESSONS OF LEADERS AND GROUPS. Leaders and group members recognize and manifest their group's destiny journey by practicing five soul lessons. I describe the soul lessons of both leaders and groups in depth in two of The Soul of Service Trilogy books: The Awakened Leader and The Clarion Call. The soul lessons of leaders are vision, right relations, analysis, synthesis, and to stand alone. The soul lessons of groups are shared vision, greater good, right relations, service, and standing strong in group consciousness. [To learn more about the soul lessons of leaders and the soul lessons of groups, see my articles on The Clarion Way website HERE and HERE.]
We are all citizens of the Earth and thus are blessed with precious lives. I can think of no topic that is as important in today's world as that of joining together to fulfill the destiny of our group or organization. Such a destiny is a clarion call from the heart: it must be heeded if we are to truly live life – as individuals and groups – completely and well.
As you may recall from reading Part I of this article, practicing group communication guidelines is essential if you wish to create emotional safety in your groups.
If you would like a copy of the Institute's Communication Guidelines to assist you in determining relevant guidelines in your own group, email me HERE with an explanation of how you feel guidelines might be helpful specifically to your group.