2015 December

The Case for Spiritual Growth for the Entrepreneur

“I just received the following note from one of our Inner Circle members.  Below the note is my response.”

A well-known management consultant offering a different sort of guidance to MBA students– unhinging oneself from the external acquisition process.

Alicia Parr

Mike’s response:

It’s a great piece from Ichak.

The ONLY issue I take is that it IS spiritual/purposeful for a few (1-5%) to acquire…

What society has done is brainwash most of us into thinking, that’s the right thing to do.

When you start unwinding humanity, you begin to realize that the spiritual work through whatever means has to do with self-knowledge.

And it’s that twist of self-knowledge that allows you to begin to find an exit ramp off of BS.

My point about “questioning the underlying assumptions” is key about understanding why we are doing what we are doing.

All of us MBAs see this as a means to an end, aside from the few who just love the work.

The key?

To what end.

Unwind that and the emptiness begins to dissipate and soul returns.



7 replies on “The Case for Spiritual Growth for the Entrepreneur”

Hmmm, pretty sexist story hehe.

Do you think that because women are the rulers of the universe, that men discuss…lives of quiet desperation”;)?


It is indeed. Actually this tale came to my mind when Adizes describes the man he doesn’t want to embarrass (sounds like Silvio Berlusconi) and then says “he realized that it reminded him of a woman…“. I wondered why he was pushing the phenomenon onto women – as does the tale.

Considering that most MBA’s are probably men and the vast majority of the ruling princes (CEO’s) are men and (today still) women their decoration:)


“I wondered why he was pushing the phenomenon onto women – as does the tale.

Considering that most MBA’s are probably men and the vast majority of the ruling princes (CEO’s) are men and (today still) women their decoration:)”

The commentary about the woman and her shoes bit. It’s funny-interesting seeing how different people interpret and comment on it and to reflect back on how I perceived and processed it when I listened to the video. Being a woman. 🙂

I recall being struck by the backwardness of the comment and probably even rolled my eyes at the time. And then thought, well, he’s old and from a different culture. And how about I just interpret the story as a story about a single woman who happens to be that way rather than a commentary on women in general, because I know and everyone knows the story doesn’t have anything to do with me and it’s not like I’m in any position to change the guy’s meaning making. Live and let live. I also remember thinking about how brilliant in some ways but out of touch he is and that how interesting is it that he’s got these videos going, because that doesn’t look like the idea of someone out of touch with current times. Surely, these videos are the influence of his son, who I met at a conference last year. Yes, that’s a good explanation.

And then I promptly forgot about it.

By the time I read Mike’s reaction to the “woman” comment, I didn’t even remember what it was without rooting around in my mind for it. The filters of the mind! If it’s not relevant, it didn’t exist. But it did exist. I wonder how much influence something that is heard but is then disregarded has on meaning making. Because just look, I did remember all that once I went looking for it. Huh.


I wrote some about this the other day, but these biases root deep and wide and project themselves throughout our lives and as we get older they show us the way to these deep ingrained, handwritten biased perspectives.

There are times when I wish to withdraw rather than to be constantly vigilant about my own projections and shadows…just be who I am and WYSIWYG;)

No place for that kind of dinosaur in today’s PC world;)

Ichak carries the same baggage;)



As I watched it I saw little Green in his words.
It was all about filling up the emptiness inside through focus on societal needs.
So to me it’s Yellow.



At the risk of being glib, the only yellow in this is a few tidbits that are stripped off the more complex meme and spliced/mashed (not yet integrated) into DQ-BLUE.

The word spiritual is used many times but he doesn’t show us what it means except through a contrast of full and empty.

I’ll get someone to transcribe this, then I’ll take it apart for you to show you what I think you are hearing.

The green tidbits occur in the first 15 seconds and the last and the contrast is that u have soul if you build houses for poor people, or contribute or go to Africa…to help people…in small business (as a MBA)…hardly.

Basically this is a rant against?


AND I found the comments about “woman” being generalized and I’m surprised no one said anything, it stung me on the first run through but much more on the second.

This, to me, is a good demonstration of how memes are mashed up to make a point and the complexity here is nothing close to the reasoning used in the letter than got the YALE TEACHER scorned.

Ichak is old school.

His message is a good one…what is enough, but that is a SSTGL (sacrifice self to get later) message against, ESTGN (express self to get now) category.

There are the points about the “ruining the world” once I believe.

But he does use generalization language almost completely and TO ME, what differentiates yellow is the nuancing of language to move away from absolutism which you see as black and white…

Yellow is made from combinations of colors in reality….

I think if u watch it again, u will see what I mean…and most of us gave him an attaboy because we are “generating” the gaps in his meaning, but if we were NOT doing that, what you have is a less sophisticated performance at “wise” DQ-BLUE.

This is why a LOT of assessment of adult capability is more about the assessor rather than the person being assessed.

Someone says a “phrase or word” without having any “cues, support or scaffolding” for meaning and we pick it right up like we did with Ichak, and we know what he means!!

But Ichak didn’t build that…we did. So the performance is shared and the reason we lap this stuff up (and the reason Ichak is so revered) is the story telling.

The one point we have to give him is the “decline” (supposedly…although he did throw “his numbers” at us (cp))…and not exposing the person but that’s apropos at DQ-BLUE.

Ichak still accepts a lot of money for his speeches at 78, and has not gone philanthropic as I know….

When someone says that “others” should do things that they themselves don’t do, or doesn’t model, or explain why, the lack of coherence erodes what appears to be a more sophisticated performance.

Just some thoughts.

I like Ichak, I met him listening to Nightengale-Connant Cassette Tapes driving in my car. He has some good models, one of which I adapted for leadership on business cycle.


This one has a lot of angles incorporated into it including leadership pipeline/Jaques, Generati, resilience and complexity over time, along with SGD w/tiers, circa 2003-5.

I unwound Ichak PAIE model and added a more focused set of correlations, perhaps causations, while making this a good snapshot ting tool for consultants.

Hope that helps, mo;)


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