The Power of Soft

By Hilary Gallo

How to get what you need and still be nice

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Follow your Purpose, tell the Truth, know your Needs

In writing this book I have increasingly come to realise that killing the “Jungian” shadow is key to success in so many things in life. It is the key even to how we define success itself, to ourselves. What we want, what our companies want and how we thus project and defend ourselves into the world, holds us back. Future success, for brands, for public engagement, for our daily negotiation with the world depends on our making a more direct connection with a core based on purpose, truth and true need.

In Jungian psychology the persona is the mask. As a building has a façade created by architects that it presents to the world, we adopt a front to the world when we walk out of our front door in the morning. The persona or mask that we adopt will vary just as the dress we choose does, by occasion. This front we put on to the world is not our deepest self. We hold that deeper down closer to the soul of who we are. 

In “Do Purpose”, David Hieatt explores the purpose driven brand. At its heart this is a book about connecting with our passion and connecting brand to that passion. As David says this is not just hot passion, born of emotion from the heart and below. It is a fusing of hot with cold passion, passion of the head. It is a passion of purpose; heart and head combined. It is sustained and committed.  

Our challenge is that our reaching “do” in life, our work, can become disconnected with who we really are. Deep down this causes a fracture in the heart of the mountain of self. If it no longer works for us, it no longer works for others. Re-connecting with purpose is what the frustrated worker increasingly does in this age of re-connection to find true meaning. The soul finally rebels at yet another bland presentation to yet another boss or customer who is really only interested in numbers. We wake up to the fact that the doing bit of us has walked as far away from the soul as it is possible to do, without completely falling off the edge. The journey back to who we really are starts from here. 

David comes at the challenge from a brand perspective. In contrast Robert Phillips, with a career at the top of the PR industry, comes at the challenge from an angle of public engagement. This is about message and alignment of message with action. Robert’s book, “Trust Me, PR is Dead” is also soon to be published, like David’s, on a similar wave of popular crowd-funded support by unbound. In his book Robert calls to account the large organisations who have become used to being able to do one thing whilst saying another, then expecting to use PR to craft a message that connects the two coherently and convincingly. Robert’s call is for plain and simple truth. Truth is achieved by action only supported by five things: clear consistent vision, transparency, empowerment of all, an on-going commitment to disruption of the business model and demonstrable proof of all of the above. There is a congruence of this message with David's; truth and purpose are connected. This is about congruence. 

The problem with all the lack of honesty and masking up is that in Jungian terms it creates a shadow. The stronger and more inconsistent the mask we create, the more we create confusion and shadow behind it. An incongruent gap opens up between position and truth. This problem we often now see in our corporate leaders and politicians is also a real problem when we come to negotiate. The very smartest negotiators know how to get behind positions that warring tribes take. Not everyone’s position can be achieved. When we negotiate we have to make it our job to find out more about the underlying needs of the parties. This is the same question the cash strapped partner asks their spouse. “Do we really need it?” comes the question. Yes, have come to want it but given that we have other prorities, do we really need it?

Asking this question and detaching for a moment from our wants is how we negotiate better outcomes with the world. If we are more truthful about our positions and are more connected with what we really are and what we really need, we might be a lot happier. We might even end up getting some of what we want and not have to be so damn attached to it all the time. In time we will also find some haves that align more purposively with our real needs. In turn it makes us free and connects our achievements more directly with our truth.

Follow your Purpose, tell the Truth, know your Needs.

Thanks to Tim Fisher for the images.

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