A good driver is not chained to his car seat. When the car stops because of a problem, the driver can step outside and analyze the issue. It is difficult to mend a puncture while still seated inside. The driver is detached from the car, though he is ‘the car’ when it’s running on the road. When it stops, the driver is able to step out for a breath of fresh air and taste the essence of the journey.
‘Detachment’ is a state of tranquility which might result in extreme productivity and good health, while running your small business. When you are free from bias and emotional upheavals in case of challenging situations, you’re able to find solutions with a wider perspective. ‘Detachment’ here is the way you can simply step out of the car and fix it.
He is the one who leads & runs the company well but finds it strenuous to face trying situations- employee issues, client complaints and serious team/product failures. That is because he sticks to the ‘problem’ and wastes time in feeling hurt/stressed/hopeless about it. He stays emotionally attached to the problem. Love for your company is healthy, but it can’t come in the way of problem-solving.
“I’m shocked they did this to me!” “I’m so angry that the deal didn’t work out!” “4 of my people are leaving?! How will we complete the assignment? We’re doomed!” He is unable to keep a cool head, zoom out, get the entire picture and find a solution. A Plugged-In CEO is tied down.
He is the one who leads & runs the company well and does NOT find problem-solving a stressful exercise. Though he runs the show, is a great captain and connects to his team- an Unplugged CEO is mobile, flexible and open-minded enough to instantly zoom out.
Though he loves his company, he is able to detach and view all work relationships, agreements and decisions from a third party perspective. It suddenly makes things clearer and keeps his blood pressure in check. An Unplugged CEO is calm, composed and healthy. He is a free soul.
Edward De Bono’s Thinking Hats
Yes, this is a good example of detachment. De Bono asks you to wear multiple hats (perspectives) to aid the process of troubleshooting. So while wearing one hat, you’re optimistic. While the wearing the other, you can stick to facts and also get to be pessimistic while donning yet another. It keeps your thoughts uncluttered. It helps you be logical and sensible.
It is easier said than done
Indeed, because it is primarily a state of mind. And it is often difficult to unlearn when you’re conditioned to be so attached to things you live with. That can be your childhood toy or memories.
My 8-month old India-based property management start-up, Hammer & Mop, is into a labor-intensive business. Since we currently provide cleaning services to individual homes and offices, client interaction plays an important part. In this unorganized market with underpaid employees and high attrition rates, cleaning attendants often go on unannounced holidays. It gets problematic because there are commitments made to the clients!
Having been a Plugged-In CEO while starting up, I often lost my cool and spent precious hours contemplating decisions that were already taken. There were times when I lost all hope and didn’t take swift action to find solutions. Issues were resolved but with stressful & heated exchanges. Inaction on the part of team members resulted in headaches and exhaustion.
After the transition into an Unplugged soul, it was easy to not feel the extreme emotions. There were sensible conversations, logical discussions and prompt decision making processes. I could empathize better and that helped in mentoring the employees. I was at peace and even if 6 out of 10 people didn’t turn up on the site, I knew from where I could manage a few and what will keep my clients happy.
Unplugged and loving it
Oh yes. I even wrote a poem on the subject.
In Hindu philosophy, we have a concept called ‘Karma Yoga’. It is the science of achieving perfection in action. Though it might not mean the right decisions (the intended destination), it means a smoother decision making process (the journey) and of course, learning lessons on the way. ‘Detachment’ employed in the right manner while running your small business gets very near to this ‘Discipline of Action’. It makes your work a pleasant and a joyful experience.
I’m unplugged and I love it. Trust me, so will you.