More factors that block human growth — Vivienne Schultz

Optimum Human

A  monthly column by social entrepreneur and A2B Transformation Group founder Vivienne Schultz.

Before the Christmas break we were discussing the factors that block human growth. I include a list at the bottom of this blog for you to refer back to.

A quick reminder of what we have discussed so far:

It may not be very popular nowadays to point out the weaknesses in a person’s armour. However, we believe it’s not viable to use a soft, cushioned approach to get the best out of a human, once they are in a donga of disempowerment. It takes a good dose of tough love — an approach that is neither comfortable for the beneficiary, nor for the person administering the intervention.

If you want to help people get out of what keeps them stuck, using their own willpower and own actions, you need to become an expert in:

1. Offering individuals graded and diverse “I can” moments. For this you need to measure their responsiveness levels (which I can observe in seconds now that I understand the scale for occupational intelligence) and be able to equip them with crutches for competence to grow their occupational intelligence;

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2. Setting up of Ecosystems for Change where all the elements in the organisation focus the individual towards task mastery and growth. This is a supportive growth environment, consisting of resourceful whole-brain thought leaders and trainers, who are capable of igniting and provoking human volition. They do so through action-learning methods, resulting in high response-ability, long-term memory and entrepreneurism. The learning environment needs to be resourceful, innovative and practical, rich in socioeconomical task challenges and opportunities, yet with non-compromised boundaries.

3. Positioning them with complimentary power- partners (resourceful spiritual entrepreneurial role models and organisations who can add value in all spheres of life).

In short, once a human can identify the inner boulders in their way, they can be empowered to find the right tools to smash that piece of rock. Every human can become their own, optimum self. Nobody should be left behind.

We have nine blockers left to discuss. Here are the next five:

1. Arrogance and pride.
When a person’s default response to a challenge is arrogance in what they think they can do, and pride in what they think they have accomplished in the past, you have a problem. Note the repeated word: Think. It is all in their head!

When our competence to respond is all in the head, it means the person lives in a dream world where they are competent, but they are too afraid to allow that perceived competence to be tested in the real world.

Suggest a performance audit, and they will be at the labour lawyers in no time. They oversell, underperform, and stick to the letter of the law to keep their supervisor from ever finding out.

Once you get in this person’s bad books, they will ensure that your life is miserable, and that they contaminate the entire ecosystem to feel as upset as they are.

The easiest way to identify the proud? He or she will always claim to speak on behalf of the entire team, projecting their ill feelings on everybody, especially the quiet ones.

2. Two-face
A slightly subtler version of the arrogant and prideful, is the two-face: Harder to detect, because they show you exactly what they think you want to see, but back-bite behind the scenes. It is as if these people do not truly know themselves — they morph from personality to personality, giving supervisors or leaders what they think the leader wants to see.

What you see is never what you get. This person will work hard to get in your good books, and even cheat and deceive to do so. Once their name is at the top of the list, the destruction will begin.

I am not exaggerating. Arrogant, prideful two-faces can destroy your organisation within six months. Watch out for them, and make sure you put measures in place to push them to face their giants, and grow beyond them.

3. Bitterness and unforgiveness
This condition, if unchecked, will become the hotbed for further issues to develop. If a human cannot forgive and move on, it is easy to move into victimhood, or arrogance and pride.

Note that I am not making a judgment on who is responsible for the injustice perpetrated, or blaming the one at the receiving end of the injustice. However, unforgiveness and bitterness as a condition always blames the perpetrator, without taking ownership of the victim’s response to the injustice.

Point is, no matter what happened, humans can respond. They can learn to respond better. Unforgiveness keeps us from even trying.

These three conditions, if put together, becomes the tower of Babylon of human non-responsiveness. There is no end to the evil they can perpetrate when arrogance, two-facedness and the blame-game of an unforgiving person come together.

In a sense, the opposite of this Babylon’s tower, is the following two blockers:

4. Defeatism and 5. Poor parenting and non-conducive ecosystem at home.
It is very hard to help a human grow and blossom, once they have given up on life, having accepted defeat. If they feel defeated and their ecosystem at home enforces that condition, the only real hope would be for you to help the individual remove themselves from their home. Once in a healthy, empowering, charged ecosystem, the human can discover new options. Defeatism is blinding — it takes away vision. Its victim feels there is no way out and no other options, especially if their family reminds them that this is the case.

Enlarge their world every week, nudge them into ecosystems with other options, and daily grade their I-can moments to help such a person learn they are indeed able to respond differently.

I close with a reminder: it is not your job to remove blockers from a person’s life. You need to position yourself as the one who provokes change, who refuses to hand out solutions. Other people’s blockers will be the end of you!

Instead, be smart and pro-active! Make sure you only take beneficiaries into your ecosystem when they are properly inducted and have been proven to be ready for the pearls you offer. Make sure every task is then geared to ignite their responsiveness and there is no motion of passivity. Drive their occupational intelligence growth, in other words. Help them onto the road to becoming self-starting responders to challenges with an unbeatable spirit! The era of passively follow the leader is over. Everyone is instructed to take dominion over the earth. Make this a “no compromise” value in your organisation!

The A2B Transformation Movement can surely help you reverse the disempowerment in your ecosystem and implement these solutions. Contact me on

Blockers previously discussed:

1. ELOC — external locus of control (Somebody else should control me)

2. Fixed mindsets and belief systems — “This is the way things should be!”

3. Victim mindset: “Poor me! Somebody, rescue me!”

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4. Half-brain approach to problem-solving — not using full capacity to zoom in AND out

5. Rotten apple with his bad attitude

6. Old before your time

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