Societal Restrictions Never Change the Truths

In today’s workforce, a high percentage of people have been forced to work from home or not work at all.  At the same time our elementary schools and day care facilities are closed creating a more demanding situation for those workers with young children.  Six months ago, we would have never thought this work-from-home model’s success possible.  Still, many companies have been able to maintain a close to normal revenue stream with little if any terminations of staff due to productivity issues. A few of these companies are now considering maintaining this work structure into the future.  Without a doubt, some companies will conceive that this “new normal” as better than before and it might be for some workers.  What the company leaders might not be considering is that without the society-imposed restrictions, this company-wide model would not have been considered and for good reasons. 

As individuals, our society has always affected us; just without us realizing it.  Even the ultra-successful among us believe that their limits are solely personal but they really are not.  This has never been more evident than today.  Without a doubt, when it comes to temporary change due to outside forces, the American people will always believe that the sky is the limit.  We have a remarkable “can do spirit”.  At least, as long as everyone has to operate under the same parameters.  We are an adapting people but temporarily acclimating our professional life to societal restraints imposed upon everyone may not be a good long-term business model.  Especially, when it comes to the need for balancing all three of our personas; our professional, personal and spiritual lives.  We have to take into consideration that all decisions have consequences; some of which do not show up until years later.  As a society, any “new normal” must positively affect all three areas of human life and do so for a lifetime.  Behavioral science clearly teaches us that behavioral change manifested from being forced to do anything, is not the same as changes occurring from a personal choice.  This three to six month “behavioral change experiment” being caused by the pandemic will not provide adequate data to warrant replacing centuries of workplace design and management.  It will however, reveal more possibilities for integrated changes into the future.   

In order for long-term positive change to be predicted the study would depend heavily on the value of the truths.  A caveat to any short-term problem is that the truth can be difficult to discern.  In an effort to weed out the falsehoods in the solution process, one only needs to turn to history and the ever-present Natural Laws of our planet.  Natural laws are the eternal truths not effected by temporary abnormalities.  They never change so they are always dependable.  They never lie so they can always be relied upon in every situation.  We have already covered one, our three personas.

Under the most routine of conditions, when confronting challenging issues; humans naturally try to make positive changes in their life.  Even when doing so, when our normal practices are interrupted by an unforeseen event, we all struggle with change because we are creatures of habit.  This is no different for business leaders or the rank and file.  Our routines take hold of our life because of another natural law; The Law of Action.  This law says that we only do things for three reasons; to increase pleasure, avoid pain or for the love of another. This truth controls every decision we make.  Whenever we find an area in our life that needs to be changed the Law of Action automatically comes into play as well.  We used this law to form our previous habits so we have to use this same law to form the new and, in this case, required changes.  When this disruption moves on and our life rhythms return, some of the less disciplined people will begin to fail in a work from home environment.  Not because they are bad people but because they need the structure of direct supervision to guide their actions.  People can be forced to do anything for short periods of time but given increased choices the above law will guide their decisions.  This shutdown worked because society used the law; the love for our neighbors as the compelling reason.  The law worked the way it always does.  Think of this law as the “why” behind the “what” I want to change.

There is another law whose power cannot be reduced or ignored when changes want to be made permanent.  The Law of Positive Change creates the blueprint for successful change.  This truth lays out three requirements needed to affect any changes we seek.  First, we must have a burning desire to act.  A burning desire to change; to reach the pleasure, avoid the pain or the need to protect the ones we love.  Second, the willingness to apply daily effort.  Again, as during this pandemic, no choices are given and for a short period of time, the effort required can work but once options return, other pleasures will compete for the efforts required to change.  All change requires constant repetitious actions which will become the foundation of the new habit.  When people have an abundance of choice, we can easily be drawn off track; thus, the need for close supervision.  Many people need that high touch supervision to function at their peak performance.  And third, we must be patient and allow time for the habits to take hold.  Good leaders recognize, that prior to this forced workflow model, close supervision was required for some people and that for others it can be a hinderance.  Today, this is not happening and people are not being terminated because supervisors understand we are forcing them to operate differently.  In the current short-term environment this is acceptable but it cannot continue long-term. This law is the “how” behind the “why” people are able to change.

Finally, we must contend with another law; The Law of the Stages of Time. There are only three stages of time; Past, Present and Future.  No more, no less.  Understanding where we are makes a difference in the use of the prior laws.  The requirements of the Law of Positive Change unite with the Stages of Time. 

Requirements of Positive Change                                          Stages of Time                       

A Burning Desire                                                                   Future

Daily Effort                                                                            Present

Passage of Time                                                                      Past

Even with the support and guidance of the natural laws, we still will struggle to make positive changes in our lives but with these laws, change is always possible.  Without them, change is impossible.  Both scenarios depend heavily on the power that choices bring to the table.  If any company tries to use this temporary choice-less situation as the basis for a new model of workforce design, they will have to deal with the negative outcomes these laws will present to them.  For those of us who understands these truths, the return to a successful normal will be quick and painless.  In addition, the lessons we learn through this tumultuous experience can be applied to all future change.     

Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”

If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.

Shouldn’t Higher Education Lead to Wisdom?

There are three sources of knowledge for a reason.

  • Knowledge applied without education leaves you foolish.
  • Knowledge applied without experience leaves you naive.
  • Knowledge applied without ethics / morals leaves you gullible.

It is only when we selflessly apply all three sources that we can be assured of a wise decision.

Anthony “Tony” Boquet

The sole purpose of every business ever created has been based on one central premise; to offer a product or service at a profit for a reasonable price that will solve a problem that the consumer could not solve on their own.  The same should be said for our colleges and universities when it comes to their ability to transfer the knowledge needed to solve future problems in the specific field of education.  Wisdom is the application of the three sources of knowledge toward the best solution to a problem.  It is up to the schools to affirm that their education is first true so that it can be transferred as knowledge applied as wisdom.  

 After all, wouldn’t a school be the perfect place to explore, understand and apply the truths that answer the questions raised by the unknowing?

The early universities were established around the understanding that knowledge is made up of three sources of development; Education, Experience and Ethical / Moral values.  The Solutionaries who led these great institutions understood that wise decisions cannot be assured without all three being applied as a solution to a problem.  For years institutions of higher learning were solely and totally focused on providing all three areas of development.  This required that the school hire professors who were well educated but also had to have experience in their field of study and be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to ethical and moral values.  In other words, professors were not only “educators” but experienced ethical practitioners.  Sadly, in todays hallowed halls of academia, this is not always the case.  Most schools are satisfied with turning out students who have an education instead of being Solutionaries with the knowledge required to make wise decisions.      

We live in a circular world.  This means that what goes around comes around.  In other words, if you experience something in your business of choice, you will more than likely experience it again in the future and you should be better equipped to handle the problem the second time around.  You will also have lived through the ethical / moral consequences of the decisions you chose to make.  That cannot be done solely by studying simulations, no matter how well established or delivered.  Some consequences may not surface until months or years after the decision is made.  A professor who never actually experienced this phenomenon has no way of teaching the lessons that only experiences can uncover.  

Every wise decision you or your business associates make must be based on the truth; identifying the true problem, understanding the true motivating factors impacting those affected by the problem and committing to the truly selfless solution as well as the consequences that will impact each of the three parties involved.  Education alone will fall short because it is almost impossible to do without experience yet some academic leaders believe that wise decision making is not important, not their responsibility or that education alone is adequate to deliver a solid graduate. 

My personal experiences taught me that each source of knowledge does matter; as a practitioner, as a business leader and now as someone who in works in academia.  I am proud to say that the institution I work for still delivers on all three components of wisdom.  Our professors are well educated and came out of the profession of which they now teach, each course we teach has an ethics component built into it and the educational material taught is based on well established truths. In addition, we have an experience requirement tied to the use of our college level designations.     

Regardless what is believed, the fact does not change; experience along with education and ethics are the three factors required in order to make wise decisions.  Sure, anyone can luck out and make a wise decision without any of the three but tuitions are paid and the value associated with holding a degree of higher learning demands more than just luck.  The business that hire the graduates do so because of the perceived value.  They do not just want to survive, they want to thrive, and that takes more than just luck.  If given a choice between two highly educated candidates; one with the knowledge to solve problems verses the other just a well-educated student, the corporate leaders would likely select wisdom over education every time.  One can buy an education but wisdom is only obtained through a lifetime of selfless dedication to solving problems with the truth.  

If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.

Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”, Vice President, Business Development at The American College of Financial Services