Application to the University of the Self

Here is my sutra for the day: "The collective commitment to a healthy, productive environment has to be authentically lived to be real." This phrase tumbled out of an essay I was writing in support of an application for a leadership position:
Having worked with many different deans, department chairs, law partners, scientists, scholars, other professional colleagues, and innumerable clients, I have concluded that two personal characteristics are necessary to succeed in such a community role: one, the ability to make decisions in consultation with others, yet take responsibility for their ultimate determination and implementation; and two, a positive and harmonious outlook that balances out the need for firmness when leadership is required. From my experience, no matter how seemingly accomplished, sophisticated, or celebrated the person who enters an institution post-search, even small seeds of arrogance or negativity can blossom into major destructive forces within an institution. Many will talk about "collegiality" or "collaboration," but these words can only live within a person, and not merely serve as self-promotional labels or external indicia of an institutional mission. In other words, the collective commitment to a healthy, productive environment has to be authentically lived to be real.
The essay went on with a segway to some professional accomplishments of one sort or another:
The world of health in all its dimensions--physical, emotional, and spiritual--has been my personal passion as well as professional path. Over the years, I have had opportunity to function in both legal (and medical) academe and in the corporate world, providing a leadership role in a niche but nonetheless significant area within health care law that deals with the integration of complementary and alternative medicine into mainstream health care.


On one level, the finest leadership is one that manifests spontaneously, without ego. (This is certainly applicable to the current presidential race, a blur of self-promotional labels and placards.) In the Caribbean (and elsewhere) the word "boss" (or "boss-man," "boss-lady") is used quite frequently, and yet, the whole world of subordinate and subordinator, employee and employer, is becoming a bit tiresome. We are all the same, at least to the extent we share 99% of our DNA with our orangutang neighbors.

And, in another thread, working independently is a great joy. Of course, we are not really either independent or dependent (or co-dependent, for that matter), but really inter-dependent.

If you study the human energy field, as I have, you come to realize that subtle filaments of energy (as Carlos Castaneda probably would have said) connect us all. In the system taught by Barbara Brennan, which is the one I studied, there are cords of subtle energy that connect us all. The cords connect whether the "other" is a spouse or other living loved one, a deceased loved one, a spirit guide or ancestor, an angel, or even someone in another country or, an animal or insect. Thus, there are cords between "us" and "them," even if "our" country is at war with "theirs," we are still all connected through subtle filaments of energy. It takes only an act of the imagination--read mind, read subtle awareness, read consciousness--to have a clear perception of those luminous cords.

I suppose if am to apply for a "position," it is the position of being entirely myself. Maslow's hierarchy still reigns, but self-actualization is coextensive with meeting the other needs.

The sutra or suture about authentic living is born of experience. Read behind these words -- "From my experience, no matter how seemingly accomplished, sophisticated, or celebrated the person who enters an institution post-search, even small seeds of arrogance or negativity can blossom into major destructive forces within an institution" -- and you will enter a world of experience. Many stories are behind those words. And these: "Many will talk about 'collegiality' or 'collaboration,' but these words can only live within a person, and not merely serve as self-promotional labels or external indicia of an institutional mission." Flip through Fortune or another business magazine and read the stories of entrepreneurs and start-ups and even large corporations that actually live their mission statement. That is a good case study. Those who don't, perish, either externally in the world of finances or implicitly in the world of a living death for their employees.

Starbucks gets it. Here is what they say:
The Way We Do Business

The Starbucks Mission Statement is more than words on a piece of paper - it's the philosophy that guides how we do business every day.

The Starbucks Mission Statement

Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow. The following six guiding principles will help us measure the appropriateness of our decisions:

* Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.

* Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.

* Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.

* Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.

* Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.

* Recognise that profitability is essential to our future success.
Say it, be it, live it, feel it. The leadership at Starbucks tries to create an environment in which the company mission statement becomes palpable, a living thing rather than an inert showpiece.

Or as Thoreau said: "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Or as Karl Malden put it (subtitute Your Authentic Self for The American Express card): "Don't leave home without it!"
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Sponsorship
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The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
Sponsorship Sponsorship
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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Hence: "The collective commitment to a healthy, productive environment has to be authentically lived to be real."