When this started, I was working for a man named Alan Arnott at Perkins Engines, in England. He was a great, great client and I’d been working there for years. We were in a manufacturing group of about 50 people that had a big problem. Everybody’s talking, talking, talking, and I said something. One of the guys stood up and asked Alan, “Why do you hire this guy?” Alan said, quickly and directly, “He’s always bringing oblique shafts of illumination. You don’t know where it comes from or even what it’s about, but it lights up the room. It lights up possibilities that weren’t there before he spoke. Some are oblique, some come right through the window, but they light up the situation.” Some people got it right away, and we went on with the meeting.
Then, I started to notice how often I do that. You want to talk about business and I’m talking about changing, adding to the sense of what we’re doing. People sometimes get up upset…, it had nothing to do with what you were doing. You were attached to what you were doing, and that made a whole lot of sense. I don’t plan on introducing oblique shafts of illumination, that’s just who I am and what I do. .., eccentric, coming from up and down and sideways.
At the time, I was in the Gestalt Institute in Cleveland as a student in a certification program. The head teacher was Erving Polster, who now is 100 years old. I talked with him the other day .., an extraordinary man. Gentle man, genius, deep, deep thinker. And suddenly I realized, that’s what he does! He never does what you think he’s going to do. I once asked him, “What is God?” He said, “God is the perfect integration of poetry, emotion and ideas.” I’ve lived my whole life with that idea. He’s always saying something that has two or three parts, that makes you think something you didn’t already think. And I noticed that I was doing that much of the time. I was imitating him without knowing it. I was proud of that and just turned it loose. I then realized that I couldn’t not do it. It had become automatic.
I then began to notice that frequently this behavior on my part was driving clients away. They started out loving what I am and what I do, but over time I was making them too uncomfortable They just wanted to make cars, or jam or applesauce. I was creating games they could not share. Those games would help them tremendously, and when they were in pain, or confusion or had powerful interests at the beginning, they’d play those games and see the benefit. But when things got stable, and pragmatic, they didn’t want to do it anymore.Download Article 1K Club