Everyone starts out, as a lump of coal. Most of us want to become diamonds, but we don’t want to have to go through the ‘treatment’ necessary to get us there. Instead of accepting the potential by letting ourselves be buried deep in the earth where heat and pressure can crunch us into what we want to be, we stay on the surface. Some of us pretend to do the heat and pressure treatment, we jump into a furnace of our choice, thinking that will be enough heat and, hey, who needs the pressure anyway? What happens to us when we do that unfortunately is that we only glow red for a while, then we burn up, just like carbon without the constant pressure can become soot, smoke or ash. So much for just wanting to become a diamond! In simple words, when we short cut the process we put “form over substance” and we all know where that leads in the end. There are no shortcuts to becoming a good leader, only different speeds of development.
“The soul is placed in the body and it is like a rough diamond. It must be polished within, or the luster of the soul will never appear.” – Daniel Defoe
“I tend to get a little more philosophical each day as I get older. The diamond is probably my most philosophical reference yet, but I also feel it is apropos for not only how we view leadership, but also how we view ourselves.” – Bo Carrington
For leaders to fulfill their purpose, the diamond within has to be excavated, cut and polished. That is the mission on which we find ourselves at BCA. We work to help organizations excavate, cut and polish the leadership capability within their organization.
The diamond represents our authentic self – who we really are. The unpolished flaws and cracks represent all our insecurities, self-doubts, fears – who we fear we are. And the thick layer of dust represents the self that we project to the world – who we pretend to be. Can you see your layers?
For many people, they’re sense of self-worth is false – they’re looking at the painted-on dust and impurities instead of the diamonds in themselves. That’s mostly because they fear that others could see their flaws, in the end, they keep that coating in attempt to “fake it till we make it”.
The first step we take in this process is to help our client gain the awareness that in the hard rock is hidden a precious diamond. To reveal the diamond in a raw world of rock requires “bittul” (the peeling away of the outer layers, shedding unrefined habits, eliminating the inappropriate). So our second step is excavation and cutting: clearing away the externals (old habits, ways of thinking & mental models) and allowing the brilliance of the diamond to emerge. The leader then needs to be rounded out and polished, with each event in that process allowing another facet of the brilliance in them to shine. Finally this process yields the completed diamond that radiates and beautifies this world and allows for more diamonds to be uncovered, as it requires diamonds to cut diamonds!
Have you discovered the diamond in you? Who are you really, on the inside? Who are you when you’re not trying to be somebody? Why hide your authentic self behind all that expensive masks?
We believe great transformational works always begin from the inside-out. Transformation for us, starts at the layer of the diamond and not the outer coatings that hide our brilliance. This type of transformation (lump of coal to diamond) is a deep learning crated through self-discovery – an inner journey that brings out the best in you.
The Inside-Out approach is less about covering your “diamond” with layers of “new dust” or just changing a behavior (I don’t deny that it can give you quick wins sometimes), it’s more about helping you to get out of the way of your brilliant self – your authentic self, understanding and working at the level that generates your behaviors.
As I’m deepening my understanding into the inside out approach of coaching and living, I encourage you to remember to “Shine bright like a diamond” and remember the diamond is not out there in the sky or deep within the earth, it’s inside you and me.
Simplicity- Diamonds are comprised of a singular element: Carbon. However, simplicity does not translate to ease. Like the carbon, each of us is subject to the elements. The leadership experience and expertise BCA brings enables others to take the pressure and heat of leadership and form their own diamond.
Diamonds are the very hardest natural substance which means they are resilient. Much like our spirit and can do attitude as it relates to the challenges our clients offer us to resolve. Because diamonds are the hardest substance, they also sometimes symbolize endurance or perseverance, the same of which is displayed in all that we do.
Ancient Hindus used diamonds in the eyes of devotional statues, and believed that a diamond could protect its wearer from danger. Our clients tend to view us in the same way as we work to help them mitigate numerous types of risk.
Many ancient cultures believed that diamonds gave the wearer strength and courage during battle, and some kings wore diamonds on their armor as they rode into battle. Like the diamonds worn by many ancient cultures that entered into battle, we stand side-by-side with our clients as the enter the battle fields of this industries.
During the Middle Ages diamonds were thought to have healing properties able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness. We become the healing diamonds for our clients. Whether to heal brokenness or strengthen areas of weakness, we provide the strength needed to help our clients achieve their goals.
Like diamonds, there are a lot of “manufactured” service firms that promise great value. However, like manufactured diamonds, true value comes from its genuineness, not its perfection, and that genuineness can only occur through one process.