Three years ago, I took part in a conference called Wisdom in San Francisco. At the conference, there were more than 2500 participants who came to explore how they could combine mindfulness with technology. At the entrance to the conference, there was a booth that belonged to a company, whose mission was to help people increase their awareness of traits they think they need to expand on in their lives. The way they did it was by asking people to choose a word, a trait, and they printed the word onto a hoop, and then thread a string through it so that it could be worn as a neckless or a bracelet. This was so that the word could be seen and the individual reminded what he/she needed to increase in life.
While I was standing there trying to choose my word, my college tried to convince me to take the word he thought was “right” for me, something I needed to increase in my life. It was not easy for me to choose the word, there were various options like: love, creativity, engagement, focus etc. But then it came to me, it was “courage”. I understood that in order to succeed in bringing my vision to the world, to be able to be a servant to leaders and organization I work with, I needed to have courage, and listen to my heart and to my inner wisdom, alongside rational logical thinking. The combination of these two will help me bring my vision to the world.
The second time I encountered such a lesson was when I decided to change the name of my company (not long ago). The decision to change the name of my company emerged for two main reasons. The first, the fact that my company name is my surname, The meaning of Tsuk is very powerful in Hebrew but in English, it doesn’t really have meaning. The second reason was more meaningful for me. I felt that it was time to separate from my surname, the understanding that what I am doing is broader and beyond myself.
I started a branding process. I did not know that choosing a new name for my company would be so difficult (in a sense it is a little bit like changing your identity). I thought it would be easy, I would make a choice and move forward. But while I was trying to understand what the new name means I realized it would not be a simple a task. I told myself that I should put it aside and that it will emerge in time. And that is what happened (not exactly but nearly). During a reflective time, the word wisdom emerged, and I understood that it is going to be part of my company name (I remembered that I was at a conference named Wisdom). But the complete name was yet to be. After talking to colleagues, I understood that the name is Wisdom To Lead. For me, the connection to the wisdom within us and the ability to help leaders connect to their inner wisdom, the connection between the heart and mind, is the foundation of my work with leaders and managers. From my perspective, this is the essence of leadership.
I was really happy that I found the name. And then I saw people and founders around me that choose their company name through a different process. They conduct a rational and analytic process, they approach colleagues and encounters and ask them to give feedback to a list of names they have thought up. By looking at this process I started to doubt the process of choosing my company name and thought that maybe it was not comprehensive enough, so I paused and started an analytical process. I sent colleagues and acquaintances two optional names, while my tendency was clear. It was interesting to see that there was no “right” answer (in this case – name). 50% liked the name I liked and the other 50% liked the other name. It was interesting to see the obvious; there are a lot of opinions and it did not come up with the “right” answer.
During the process, I have met a friend for coffee who “rebuked” me for not carrying out a rational and professional process and told me that for my kids I would have done the best. And then it “hit” me. I understood that my work, my vocation is very important to me, in a metaphoric way, like another child. And for my lovely children, I do not ask anybody for advice for the right name but I knew from within what their names should be, and just felt what the right names are for them. Then the right way for me to choose my company name is the same process. So, the metaphor that my friend gave me was a service for me, but the opposite to he thought.
I understood that this was one of the lessons in leadership that I have experienced. In the sense that no matter what we do it will never be perfect. We can never please everyone, but the most important thing is that we are at peace with our decisions, that we feel “complete” rather than “perfect”. And for that we need courage; courage to listen to ourselves, to our inner wisdom, to connect our heart with our mind and to make a decision that feels complete for ourselves and for our organizations, even if it is not a perfect decision.
This is the reason I have chosen Wisdom to Lead as the name of my company. My perspective is that in order to be able to lead, we first need to be able to connect to the wisdom inside us and to the wisdom in our organization. Listening is the first step; the next step is to find the courage to mark the way in order to succeed fulfilling our unique added value and our organizations. I am continuously developing myself and my ability to assist organizations listen to their inner wisdom. Accordingly, I have developed a retreat for senior management teams. The goal is to deepen the connection and the communication of each manager with her/himself, with his colleagues and with their common goal. Through this process connecting to their organization’s wisdom, that is beyond the individual wisdom, in order to successfully motivate their organization.
And leading to a place in which the organization gains maximum results with minimum effort (in Taoism named “Wu – Wei”) which enables the organization to work in harmony to fulfill its mission to be creative, innovative and at the cutting edge.