for Excellence" :
[Known to his friends as Bill, Dr William Cottringer, President, Puget Sound Security Group, USA is a consultant, sports psychologist, teacher and the author of ‘You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too’. Here, in the following paragraphs, Dr Cottringer talks to Anil Bhatnagar about his revolutionary workshop on attitudinal transformation to help him share his vision with the world more systematically.]
Bill. Is your workshop on ‘attitudinal transformation’ or on ‘emotional and spiritual intelligence’?
Anil. It is on ‘Attitudinal transformation’ through ‘emotional and spiritual intelligence’.
Bill: Hmmmm…And why do you call it ‘ALICE AND THE WIN TEAM’?
Anil: Each alphabet of ‘ALICE’ reminds us of a timeless Natural Law or principle. Similarly each alphabet of WIN TEAM helps us remember the seven members of our inner team. The workshops aims to coach each inner team member on how to play its role as an exemplary team member in order to help us respond to life’s moment-to-moment challenges in the spirit of these 5 laws of Nature.
Bill: If you were to let me know of the objectives of this workshop in very brief, what would you tell me?
Anil: In two simple words, it ‘wakes up’ your work force.
It trains participants on how to vanquish their inertia and ensure ceaseless and accelerated all round growth for themselves and their organization through conscious, alert and most responsible responses, moment-after-moment.
Bill: What made you feel the need for this workshop?
Anil: The percentage of their inherent potential that the majority of executives eventually manage to convert into their performance is dismally low in even some of the best-managed organizations. And this gap is the real wastage that any organization can ill afford, more so because it can be managed with relative ease with the right tools and approach. This is the greatest wastage most of the organizations should be concerned about. And this workshop equips the participants to help the organization reduce this wastage.
Bill: But that is what any workshop aims for? What is so special about this workshop?
Anil: Other workshops only aim; this one achieves it.
Bill: Why do you think this difference should exist?
Anil: When I myself attended workshops that were seemingly great but failed to change any of the participants, I began a deep inner search for the reasons. I very strongly believe that if you keep on doing the same things the same way you are going to continue with the same results…and what else insanity is… not changing your approach but still expecting the results to be otherwise next time. A new approach to learning especially in the context of training workshops was crying for my attention. And I not only discovered it…I have ceaselessly worked for more than 12 years to bring it to perfection.
Bill: That explains the origins but why do you think your approach achieves what others only wish to?
Anil: In fact I was coming to that only. In my view, other workshops ignore six vital insights, which are the pillars of this workshop.
Bill: Sorry for interrupting you, but isn’t change a gradual process?
Anil: Change is indeed a slow process—and I agree on that. But any process, howsoever slow, means three things:
‘Being slow’ should not mean ‘being subjective or vague’. This workshop fans the inner spark of inspiration into a wild fire of self-driven motivation and coaches the participants on the secrets of transferring any new learning point into your second nature and provides the participants with an easy, specific, measurable, review-able and time bound blue print for such a complete assimilation of these principles.
Bill: Okay. Please carry on…what are the other insights that other workshops ignore?
Anil: Yes, the first is complacence that I just shared with you. The second and third are closely related and pertain to the trust and respect any educative process should have for the learner’s inner intelligence, in built longing for meaning through contribution, and the natural will to ceaselessly grow better on all fronts of life. Most of the organizations and also a majority of the workshops with an authoritarian approach undermine the following second and third insights:
Bill: Both these insights indeed seem to be valid and important. But how do they relate to corporate world, say for instance, in the context of goals setting, training or stepping up the motivation level. Don’t the goals, training or even inspiration come from sources external to us?
Anil: Yes they need to come from outside, but in a way that only assists as a catalyst for the natural process of unfolding of goals, learning or motivation from deep within.
I will tell you why it should be so in all the three contexts one by one.
Bill: But what is wrong if we try to fill people with great ideas through workshops? Don’t you think it does help?
Anil: Good you asked it, for it takes us to the fourth insight.
Bill: Whatever you may say, aren’t you too giving only great ideas through your workshop? In what way the great ideas, facts or information that this workshop provides are different from those that are provided in other workshops?
Anil: No, I am not giving any great ideas through this workshop any other than the ones participants are already having within them; they may only not be aware of them consciously. I only help them re-discover it for themselves and tie them together into a meaningful whole. If you throw all the transistors and capacitors and all other constituents of a television set into a television cabinet and stir it, it will not be transformed into a well functioning television set, unless a TV mechanic assemble them together into a meaningful whole. That is precisely my role. I don’t give them anything that they already don’t have. And since these great ideas are what they discover and tie together themselves and see the power of doing so themselves they tend to own and value these more. Secondly these great ideas are not allowed to stay at the intellectual level itself but made to permeate through the intellectual level down to the subliminal levels wherefrom stem our habits.
So, this is an approach very similar to that of Bin Laden’s—though only, unlike his unjustified and condemnable action, for a highly laudable cause. It uses the participants’ own deep-seated subconscious beliefs (need for meaning and ceaseless growth), participants’ own forgotten dreams/longings, and participants’ own dormant natural endowments against the twin towers of their own mental and psychological blocks that keep them from becoming and contributing their ultimate best. So the beauty of the approach adopted in this workshop is that that it doesn’t run against the grain of one’s own intrinsic nature but respects and utilizes it to let one’s best shine through.
By the way, I did not say that great ideas are always useless. I only said that they are so if they do not reflect in our moment-to-moment responses
Bill: And how do you ensure that?
Anil: By sharing the secret of raising the awareness level of the participants in the context of what one may be doing in any present moment. Though it happens very subtly at the subconscious level, they get into the ceaseless habit of checking if their responses are in harmony with or violating the 5 apex infallible principles of Nature.
Bill: Could you kindly elaborate on that?
Anil: Sure. In fact elaborating on that would bring us to my 5th insight.
Bill: How would you define ‘a great idea’?
Anil: Any idea that utilizes our resources and endowments fully (i.e. with minimum wastages) for making the best possible contribution towards the common good so that it naturally results in the fulfillment of our own longings and needs. Any idea that qualifies these conditions strikes harmony with the laws of Nature and ensures sustainable growth and vice versa.
Bill: Management gurus like Stephen Covey often talk about these natural laws but I am curious to know if they can be specified or defined objectively. If they are really so important why do we just mention them without elaborating on them. Is it because they are so generalized or because we are supposed to know them intuitively?
Anil: I have spent my last 12 years collating and distilling the wisdom of spiritual giants of all times in order to arrive at the core values that Nature is probably trying to make us learn. In a way this learning process is perhaps what we are born for. This is the very purpose of life.
In fact, that is what the 6th insight is all about.
Bill: And how do these participants make these 5 apex laws a part of their (and their organizational culture’s) second nature?
Anil: Anything that you want but find unable to make a part of your habits or second nature is what is either being resisted or not getting the required cooperation from one or more of your inner team members. You may want to go for a morning walk but some part of you (a member of your inner team or inner mental software) would like to sleep till late in the morning. When we reconcile these contradictions within and make our inner team work together as one whole we unleash an incredible and sustainable power and will within us that works progressively effectively to let these five apex principles sink into our second nature.
Unlike other usual run-of-the-mill workshops, instead of sermonizing on what the participants should or should not do, this workshop directly sets out to identify the elements of the mental software that shape our responses. Having done that, it programs the transformation of these elements at the very subconscious level through a precise and easy to use mechanism. It makes it difficult, thereby, for the participants to ever behave in their old unproductive and self-defeating ways. This workshop is not about introducing good thoughts to inspire attitudinal change and/or managerial effectiveness. It is about ensuring, moment after moment, a perfect and exemplary attitude in action.
Bill: Isn’t that a tall claim that one having undergone this workshop wouldn’t need to bother oneself with plethora of learning points relating to any behavioral skills?
Anil: Apparently yes. But deep down it is pure common sense. It is we who have classified the great ideas under various heads for our own ease. The boundaries don’t exist actually. The spirit of all the great ideas that we study under each of these seemingly different subjects is the same. Like a sunflower that always looks towards the sun, all these great ideas, whatever subject they may pertain to, look towards the timeless laws of Nature. We are entering an age when we need synthesis instead of reckless analysis that is only increasing the managerial complexity and complication. Today we need simple but infallible principles instead of rules that are getting progressively complex and ineffective.
If you go back to my definition of a great idea pertaining to any field, it is what that has roots in the timeless principles of Nature because only then can it result in sustainable growth. So if you coach yourself to adhere to these laws you ensure to naturally evoke the great ideas in any area of management.
This workshop will either obviate the necessity for, or will render more meaning to, any other workshops that you might have scheduled for your executives because it re-awakens within the participants the natural passion and hunger to learn and grow. It will do to any other workshop what the digit ‘1’ does to any zeroes that follow it; it lets the value of an apparent zero be felt.
Bill: What is the methodology you adopt?
Anil: Each of the 5 apex principle is coverd under six phases:
Bill: What is the duration of the workshop?
Anil: It began as a three-day workshop but the response of the participants forced me to demand for it the time it takes to do full justice to its spirit. I very strongly feel that the impact and momentum generated by the third day shall need to be generated again in order to complete all the five principles if we split the workshop in two parts. It would be something like kindling the fire today and waiting till tomorrow for the cooking. Moreover, the 5 principles that it teaches are complimentary and need to be studied together to have the best results.
Bill: Don’t you think you are at a disadvantage considering most of the organization usually finds it difficult to spare executives for more than three days for a workshop?
Anil: I believe any decision that any management takes comes on the basis of the answer it gets in response to the question, “Is it worth investing this (time or money) in order to get this (the returns)? Who would mind the inconvenience of having 5 days at a stretch if its impact proves to be more than that of ten three-days workshops. As such it saves many days of training calender that an organization may have to spend separately on behavioral trainings such as the ones enlisted above. Any intelligent organization would save on those workshops and divert investment and time for covering more people under this workshop.
I, with each of the trillions of cells of my body, am convinced to the core that in future no management would be able to afford not to spare these five days for this workshop. And with all the humility and honesty at my command, I can only say that my conviction has sound observations at its foundations. Organizations today are increasingly being managed by people with unusual foresight. They are fast realizing that they can either keep their complacence or their growth. They cannot keep both.
Bill: That was truly thought provoking Anil. I am sure you are indeed sowing the seeds for a new enlightened corporate world. I wish your workshop spread like a wild fire too.
Anil: Thanks Bill for your kind words and for being so caring.