Why Leaders Are Ruled By Their Subordinates: A Solo Podcast with Kapil Gupta

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Key Takeaways

  • If one is honest with oneself, most problems actually begin to go away
    • “It is precisely because one is not honest with oneself, that they are in fact afraid or intimidated by a certain subordinate that perpetuates the problem”
  • “No one really fears another. Human beings fear themselves.”
    • “Human beings fear what their reaction will be, to the reaction of the other person”
    • Human beings are really just afraid of feeling a certain way
    • “All humans are afraid of the negative feelings that will arrive from situations”
  • “It is precisely in the seeing of things that one becomes free. It is precisely in the doing of things that one remains bound.”
  • A leader needs to recognize that every one of his actions, is promoted by a stimulus, and that stimulus….is within him
    • “In the recognition and seeing of what those stimuli are, only then will he be able to become truly effective”

Intro

Setting the Stage

  • Examples:
    • Physicians are often ruled by their nurses
    • Business executives are often ruled by their secretaries
    • CEOs often feel a sense of insecurity around certain employees
  • “In the mind of the leader, there is a fairly pronounced conundrum – outwardly and from a hierarchical business perspective, the leader is the leader who is in charge of his or her subordinates, but this is in direct contrast to the feeling that he or she sometimes has, that there is a particular level of insecurity or fear with regard to one’s secretary or a particular employee.”
    • That leader often feels “sandwiched” between these two ideas – they think they shouldn’t feel fear, but on the other hand, there is an undeniable feeling that one is in fact afraid/enslaved by the subordinate
  • It’s very difficult to admit to oneself, or another person, that you are afraid of your subordinates

A Profound Quote

  • “Once something is stated either as a deliberate conscious thought or verbally to oneself, then it enters the domain of reality. It becomes documented in the fabric of reality. Once that step is taken, it cannot be reversed. As long as it is a passing thought, one can suppress and deny it, but as soon as it is stated with full conscious effort to ones own self, then there’s no turning back.”

Why do leaders fear their subordinates?

  • It comes down to the “rules”
    • The “rules” say you are a leader, and therefore you should lead

What should someone who feels fear of their subordinates do?

  • “It isn’t a matter of what one should do. It’s a matter of understanding.”
    • “If you view things from the standpoint of what to do, then even if you are given an effective answer as to what to do, that will only apply to a particular circumstance, and you will need 10,000 different answers for each different circumstance” 
      • This is hardly a practical way to approach any problem
    • “If one approaches things from a level of understanding, that understanding becomes pluripotent. It applies to all things.”

Honesty

  • It’s a necessity that you be honest with yourself
    • “If one is honest with oneself, most problems actually begin to go away”
    • “It is precisely because one is not honest with oneself, that they are in fact afraid or intimidated by a certain subordinate that perpetuates the problem”
    • So think:
      • “Yes this person makes me uneasy, even though this person is below me from a hierarchical standpoint, but the fact is, I’m a human being, and this person’s a human being, and we’re human beings before we are CEO vs. employee”
      • “As a human being, leader/CEO though I may be, this person causes some fear inside me”

What do we really fear?

  • Once one is honest with oneself that a certain employee makes you nervous, then the most important thing is to understand what it really is that you fear
  • “No one really fears another. Human beings fear themselves.”
    • “Human beings fear what their reaction will be, to the reaction of the other person”
    • “Human beings also fear the feeling that they will have once the other person makes the reaction that he/she is predicted to make.”
    • Human beings are really just afraid of feeling a certain way
  • An Example – If you tell your employee to do X, and they refuse, you fear how that will make you feel
    • You fear the feeling of embarrassment, the feeling that you did not exercise your authority
    • “The leader does not want to feel that his word was not listened to, because that will create further insecurity within him”
  • “All humans are afraid of the negative feelings that will arrive from situations”
  • Another example:
    • Athletes don’t fear losing itself, they fear the feeling that the losing creates

See to Become Free

  • “There are so many things that happen within the mind of a leader to which he is reacting to on a constant basis, that he does not even realize he is reacting to, because the things he is reacting to are never even seen, and the reason they are never seen is because he lives within a society that promotes action, as opposed to incisiveness. It promotes prescription as opposed to introspection.”
    • “It is precisely in the seeing of things that one becomes free. It is precisely in the doing of things that one remains bound.”

Wrapping Up

  • A leader needs to recognize that every one of his actions, is promoted by a stimulus, and that stimulus….is within him
    • “In the recognition and seeing of what those stimuli are, only then will he be able to become truly effective”
  • “It is precisely in the seeing of things, and the honest, genuine, natural, and organic introspection to discover what is at the heart…what is at the core that is driving all of one’s actions. It is in seeing those things that makes a leader truly supreme.”

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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