This is a foreword to a new book, From Stuckness to Growth, by Yechezkel and Ruth Madanes that will be published soon.

We learn from Physics that, at any point in time, energy is fixed. And we indeed see, that even the most productive human being has only twenty-four hours a day. What I found out is that, in each one of us that fixed energy predictably gets allocated. How? It gets allocated first to solve our inner conflicts, our internal struggles. Only the surplus of that energy -if there is any of it left-, goes towards achieving our personal and professional goals. Let me give you an example: Take a human being that went to the best business school, got an MBA with all A’s and his parents left him an inheritance of a hundred million dollars cash in the bank. Good education, lots of money in the bank, and let’s even assume, very good looking, great presence. Is he going to be successful? You may be tempted to say, “Can I get his phone number”…right? This guy has the money, the looks, and the education…But what if I tell you that, for whatever reasons, he has no self-respect and no self-trust? Everybody can get to school and get A’s. That’s in the head, and that’s easy. But to develop your heart, your emotional intelligence – that’s not so easy. This guy emotionally is full of unsolved issues. He doesn’t know whether he is doing the right thing or not, he is troubled about what people think about him, he doesn’t know where he is heading, and so on. How successful is this person going to be? Not very much, because all his energy is being wasted between his ears. He is stuck in the inner chatter of his own mind. The hundred million dollars in the bank is like having a Rolls Royce but not having the key to turn it on. The education is not worth the paper it’s written on because he cannot apply it. Total waste.

With the aim to address these internal interferences that can block your way to success, this book presents a methodology that combines the Enneagram and the Adizes PAEI systems of personality types, in order to help you understand why you think, feel and act as you do, and what drives and shapes your behavior. This will allow you to “know thyself”, so you can deal effectively with your own personality limitations, and then be able to free your energy to deal with the world, fulfill your potential and achieve your goals and dreams.

Let me add that in today’s business environment it is crucial not only to manage energy at an individual level, but also at an organizational level. In over forty years of working as a consultant to hundreds of organizations in more than fifty countries, I’ve seen the same phenomena over and over again: marketing fighting with sales, sales fighting with production, accounting fighting with e-very-bo-dy… When the energy is gone, and your clients come, what can you tell them? Come tomorrow, we are exhausted today!… Where are you spending all your time and energy? Internally! You have no energy to pay attention to the external world. When are you going to be able to pay attention to the external world? When there is peace inside. And peace inside will come only if you create a culture of mutual trust and respect (MT&R) in your organization.

What do I mean by mutual respect?

Respect is when you recognize the right of the other person to think differently – and not only that you allow them to think differently…there is a benefit in diversity. We are learning and benefiting and thus capitalizing our differences.  Thus we should not just allow differences. We should nurture them as long as they are done with respect, with recognition that differences are legitimate and desirable.

And what is mutual trust?

It’s when you believe that there is common interest. When I am not afraid to turn my back. I trust you, because if you hurt me, you are hurting yourself. We are in the same boat. We have common interest. Not in the short run, by the way. It is not possible to have a win-win climate in the short-run. You can have it only in the long run. And only if you have the faith that it will work out. That the differences in interests of the short run will compensate each other in the long run. That it will wash…

When there is a common interest, when there is the feeling that we are in the same boat, and a climate that you are willing to learn from people that are different than you are, then there is mutual trust and respect.  There is synergy created by differences based on mutual respect and there is symbiosis based on cross-pollination of interests based on mutual trust.

When there is no MT&R, what happens? Internal friction and unproductive conflict abound. You are afraid to turn your back. People are asking themselves: “Why is he saying this”, “what does he mean”, “what is she doing”… All the energy is spent in suspicion and politics.

With all the above in mind, this book builds a system that will help you to understand the differences between people so you, and the people in your organization, can begin to rejoice and actively seek the positive that the difference offers – instead of breeding a culture of friction and destructive conflict, or at best, quietly suffering and “tolerating” each other.

The book does so by showing you how to step out of the “box” in which you are and from where you look at the world, and by becoming aware that there are other viewpoints from where other people perceive the world and that drive them to think, feel and act different than you. Not only that, the book is also very strong at showing you your inner mechanisms that shape your own thoughts, feelings and behavior, in a way that will allow you to unlock your gifts and unique leadership potential.

Throughout my career I’ve seen all kind of management fads come and go. Perhaps the common denominator of these temporary fads is that they offer “one-size-fits-all” solutions together with unrealistic promises of “total transformation” of your personality and behavior. Against the trend of canned approaches that keep plaguing the market suggesting ungrounded approaches to today’s managers’ challenges, here is a book that goes countercurrent. Yechezkel and Ruth Madanes’ approach is innovative and intellectually stimulating as well as professional and practical. Their book will challenge you not only to think but also to act out of the box.

May all who read it find inspiration and tools for their journey from stuckness to growth, and from management to leadership.


Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes