The ancient Chinese viewed things in relationship with nature and the environment, everything studied formed part of a holistic perspective. No single element existed in isolation. There was perfect symmetry in the dualistic nature of night and day, water and fire, active and passive, masculine and feminine.
Daoist theory of yin and yang helped explain all things and their inter-relationships. All things had yin and yang properties. Yang is associated with outward movement, active, projection, brightness, excitement. Yin is associated with inward, rest, darkness, passive, nourishment.
How is business played under the masculine archetype of leadership?
Masculine (Yang) energy plays out in business as a bias for action, making things happen, setting goals, measuring results, hitting targets. Metaphors of war abound in both business and sport. Competition is fierce, targets are hit, takeovers are hostile, companies are taken over, market share is won/lost, customers are targeted, plans are executed, patches are carved up, products are launched, staff are boned, people are fired.
Sun Tzu’s classic, The Art of War, widely linked competitive theory with ancient Chinese military strategy. Some suggest such military, authoritarian styles of leadership have a time and a place, especially during times of crisis and war. Perhaps so.
The natural state of play is for masculine and feminine energies to co-exist in equilibrium. What Drunvalo was alluding to was the rising up of feminine energy to restore the equilibrium from hundreds of years of dominant masculine energy.
Leading business mind, Warren Bennis, writes: “We are facing unprecedented times of growing complexity, globalisation and rapid change, the likes of which we have not seen before ... what is needed is not a map, but a compass for this is unchartered territory.
Furthermore, Heifetz suggests that amid such flux and uncertainty one of the qualities needed in leadership is an ability to “live in the disequilibrium”. If masculine (Yang) energy is about DOing then feminine (Yin) energy is about BEing. Our leaders need to embrace more of this Yin energy, remaining present in the disequilibrium, and seeking out and listening intently to the diverse opinion in our ranks. The key is to resist trying to solve the problem and allow creative tension to bring resolution of its own accord. It may appear counter intuitive but as Einstein said: “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it” and most definitely we need different ways of operating to deal with these new challenges.