A new entrant to the management, self-help books genre, NEXT What’s !n is a book that exhorts the reader to leap beyond the truisms that shackle his creativity; dissolve the box instead of merely thinking out of it. Santosh Sharma, the author, has the designation of cultivator, universal intelligence, at Conscious Advisory Services, and graduated as cost and management accountant from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. He has worked with Ernst and Young and Maruti Udyog. Edited excerpts from an interview:
What are the different stages that lead to making a good leader?
A real leader first leads himself. He then aligns all the conflicting desires and objectives to achieve the intended goal by influencing others to play their role and lead themselves. He connects and reaches out to those who’re left out, lifts those who are fallen and guides those who are lost. He makes more leaders and not followers.
NEXT What’s !n: By Santosh Sharma, CAS Research Wing, 334 pages, Rs 299.
Your book talks about how the individual’s progress tends to be directionless. How easy or difficult can it be for him to achieve direction and how does it change things?
What is driving us now is our craving, which is caused by our attachments, hidden fear, ego, limited understanding of ourselves, and narrow mental intelligence. We are responding through stereotyped thoughts which come automatically and compulsively to us. These are nothing but our mental traps, hereafter referred to as boxes, which we’ve picked up all this while. At times we do think out of the box by suppressing, fighting or ignoring our boxes but that is very superficial as the deeper and more relevant boxes continue to dictate us. So our response is limited, infected and incompatible. We are directionless as our boxes guide us. Dissolving the boxes brings us back to our natural and compatible status by removing the traps, obstacles and frictions holding us back, helping us connect to ourselves. A universal direction helps in repositioning individuals and organizations from a follower or a superficial leader to a real leader with universal vision and insight for sustainable growth.
You challenge the biases that bind individuals. How does one get rid of these for a more holistic perspective?
Any situation in life and profession is made up of many aspects or variables. When we respond from boxes we don’t only fail to incorporate the relevant variables but also infect the limited variables which are participating in our decision.
Thinking out of the box certainly helps in incorporating a few more variables but deeper and more relevant variables are still missed out and the infection also remains. Dissolving the box is the answer.
You talk about “dissolving the box” rather than simply thinking out of it. How does this help?
It helps the reader, first, to hear his inner voice and guide him to take up a career he can contribute to and excel in. Second, to increase his coping mechanisms in order to deal with the opportunities and challenges of the dynamic world. Third, to design thoughts and solutions as the reader now gets connected to the designing intelligence, unlike while responding from boxes. Fourth, to maintain a balance between work and life. Fifth, to achieve professional excellence and innovation. Sixth, to adjust to the changing dynamics. Seventh, to become a real leader living every bit of his life intelligently.
You say that economics, as it stands now, is unsatisfactory. What is your vision for more holistic economics?
All the tools and laws of economics as of now are driven by two basic assumptions: One, human beings have a maximizing behaviour and two, they have unlimited desires. These assumptions are limited and they reflect only the traps of human beings and not human beings per se. We measure growth only in terms of money, which is a very limited aspect for growth. Environmental issues, sustainability, self-realization, etc., are completely ignored. The human development index does incorporate a few more variables for growth but still they are limited. Gross Universal Index (GUI) and Per Capita Universalism (PCU) are holistic measures for growth, allowing space for more relevant variables like health, well-being, transforming dreams into reality, etc.
What is your vision for the future, the one you call “Universally Intelligent World Vision 2030”?
This 10-point programme is a vision for our country and our world. It’s a mission that begins with individuals as the basic unit of transformation in the form of self-realization and extends to the world and the universe in the form of world realization and universal realization. By helping ourselves we begin to participate in the Universally Intelligent World Vision 2030. It is an initiative for personal, social, economical, organizational and political development.