True story by Chris Thorsen(2)
This article is part of a serie of stories of how aiki can be applied in business for better leadership. They show how business success depends on the spirit of the leaders, the way in which they source their power, and their willingness to be guided. Chris Thorsen and Richard Moon (Quantum Edge), the authors of these testimonies, help executives develop the inner mastery skills required to achieve a unified spirit in the midst of today’s complex, high pressure business world.
Imagine an international sales executive who changes companies and finds himself alienated from his new executive team. The friction surfaces at a conference where his CEO is present, and he is given 90 days to turn the situation around. By chance the conference includes a presentation of Aikido, the unique martial art of peace, as a metaphor for servant leadership and change mastery.
Impressed by the Aikido approach, he asks the presenter for coaching regarding his crisis. Without knowing it, the executive embarks on his own inner journey as he and his coach begin to study how Aikido applies to transformational leadership. What ensues is an inquiry into his own heart and a discovery of the power of a loving spirit.
He begins monthly coaching sessions and starts a daily practice of centering. He commits to looking for ways to blend with people whenever possible. In three months his executive team reports he’s done a 180 degree turn to a harmonious style of leadership. They coalesce around him and, for the first time in the company’s history, fully unify the Pacific region. Through discovery of the power of non-resistance he is not only able to maintain his center in the whirlwind of international business but even transforms some strained family relationships into a new and lasting unity at home.
In the second year the executive and his team increase Pacific sales to unprecedented levels, and he reports a new degree of ease even as he assumes more strategic levels of accountability. Five years later he is hired as president of a $3 billion company based in Japan.
This is a true story. This executive has been successfully practicing the principles of Aikido since 1987 without ever getting on the training mat.