Leadership and the power of inner images and words

We believe we see reality objectively. That is wrong! Everything is purely subjective. Imagination is the superpower. Columnist Raphael Ledergerber shows you from his coaching practice why this is the case and how you can take advantage of this in your leadership work.

For many leaders, it still seems that only what we can perceive with our five senses is real. What they cannot see, hear, touch, smell or taste does not exist for them. So the ratio is still considered as the key to the truth. Everything is explained and clarified with the supposedly logical mind.

What is regarded as objective is regarded as correct. But is our supposedly objective perception really objective?? Can it be? Can humans perceive objectively at all, or is not everything we perceive subjective??

Reality is imagination, imagination creates reality

The fact is that everything that we perceive is interpreted by our own brain. We perceive everything through our brain. Thus, everything seemingly objective is ultimately interpreted individually and thus purely subjective. Exactly the same applies to our imagination, our power of imagination. What is physically perceived is our own perceived reality, just like what is imagined in our heads.

Everything is mirrored by ourselves, purely subjective. The external is created from our internal because of how we see it. The genius here is that this is all our own reality that we can shape. And this is exactly what is so powerful in managing oneself, employees and organizations. On the one hand, it makes the leadership work so challenging. Because everyone has their own perception of things. On the other hand, we can use our imagination to achieve things that we previously thought were almost impossible. We expand reality and use this purposefully to achieve more than was previously conceivable.

The power of inner images, words, perception

What we see as reality is purely our own reality, translated by our brain. This is also nicely demonstrated by the example of optical illusion: the brain can deceive us enormously, make new things possible, create the unimaginable. Nothing is as it seems.

Inner images create perception and thus realities. Words and pictures inside you are our brain’s translation. "Imagination is more important than knowledge, because knowledge is limited", as Albert Einstein already knew. This is exactly what was forgotten for a long time. Without imagination we would not create anything new, but permanently repeat the past.

Language has an immense influence on our thinking. Words strongly influence how we see the world. Words create realities. We talk and think in metaphors. Because metaphors are born from physical experiences. So affection is warmth and closeness because we learned it that way. While one is warm-hearted, the other shows the cold shoulder, is just distant. You can warm up to something or someone, or you can let the interpersonal relationship grow cold.

Imagination – the superpower

"Imagine traveling within yourself to where you see and feel joy and true fulfillment. You just let yourself be guided by where you are drawn to, what attracts you. What do you perceive? What do you see? What do you feel?" In my leadership coaching sessions, I see perplexed faces again and again after asking these questions. The reactions often full of astonishment, simply irritated, confused. Then often: "How can this be?? I see something! I am probably just fantasizing. But I see something. I don’t know now if I’m just imagining it."

The imagination extends temporally from the past over the present into the future. Imagination has enormous power. Supposed limits of what can be done factually dissolve. Everything is questioned: Who says it can’t be done?? Who says it can’t be done differently? Why shouldn’t more be possible?

What do you want to achieve?? What are your challenges? What do you want to achieve next?

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