Self-Mastery in Disruptive Times

by Stuart Mackenzie

“‘Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.” 
Gloucester, King Lear – William Shakespeare 

Much has been written about the problematic speed, acceleration, and scale of change, and its negative effect on business. However, at Maynard Leigh, we are not convinced that change itself is the only problem. The difficulty for business is that the kind of change we are experiencing – disruptive change – is affecting one of the core foundations of leadership: insight. We define insight as the capacity to see – to be able to perceive beyond the present little moment and develop a vision of a possible, desirable future.

We don’t deny the seismic shifts that are occurring; they are almost Shakespearean in breadth and scope. Ravenous ambition thrives, and wise folk are mocked as fools while fools hold sway over the populace. Despots and the vainglorious lead corporate armies and divided nations into war with the competition. The old order quivers on the cliff edge of dissolution. All this against a dramatic backdrop of violent storms which ravage the land and tempests that torment the seas; winds and floods rage across the global stage.

But one can look at any century and geography and see the shifts in religion, politics, and trade. Each era has its transformation. Change is ever present, and each succeeding generation discovers it anew as though it were unique – a quickening disintegration of what they perceive to have been the status quo.

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