Being Teal is defined by what we DON’T do more than what we DO.
Once entering Teal, for the first time, we see clearly how the social system we spent most of our energy striving in is just a mental construct. We no longer want to be controlled or influenced by it. Instead, we want freedom in every sense of the word – physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Not seeking it from outside, but creating it from within.
Life’s focus shifts from addition to subtraction. Instead of more friends, more projects, more clients, more discussions, or more opportunities, we focus on a few things, activities, and people that bring us joy. We want fewer interactions but deeper connections; fewer possessions but more space; fewer rules but more creativity. By letting go of thoughts, people, emotional triggers that clutter our world, we are open to new possibilities.
We no longer do to impress or to please. We dance to the beat of our own drum and love it. How other people think of us is irrelevant. Net worth, social status, recognition, power – the way most people define success – no longer have meaning to us. People may think we are distanced, cold, or have lost our minds. We know the only thing we have lost is the attachment to a mental prison that no longer serves us.
We have no interest to change anyone nor being changed by anyone. We went inward and discovered a spacious place of beauty, peace, and joy, far away from the chaos, noise, to-do-list, and expectations of the outside world. We know that we already have everything we need within us. We deeply understand this truth for everyone. Every human being is born unique, creative, resourceful, and whole, therefore, we keep their space and boundaries sacred and never trespass.
In service of others, we no longer impose pre-fabricated, scalable, and one-size-fits-all content, hoping to influence millions. We meet people where they are, step into their shoes, try to understand, and recognize what makes each unique. We encourage, guide, and accompany them to move forward instead of telling them what to do with the assumption that we are the experts in what they need. Teal is about discovering every person’s hidden treasure by chipping away the useless instead of adding more.
We simply cannot work in a bureaucratic, hierarchical, or competitive environment, which is against human nature, as we see it. Independent thinking guided by inner wisdom and integrity works better for us and we don’t need anyone else telling us what to do. Likewise, when we are in leadership roles, we trust the good nature of people, knowing that all of us have the same basic needs and the desire to contribute. The most important factor isn’t what to do but how to lead with vision and examples, to create the space, then to get out of the way.
Coping with VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) can seem effortless because we see the big picture and move inflow with nature. Instead of fighting against, we ride with challenges and see them as adventures that take us to new and exciting places. This may sound incredible. Yes, it is, if we try to understand it with the cognitive mind. Our superpower comes from intuition, which gives us access to the right idea or information at the exact time we need it. Didn’t we say that Teal is the first stage in which we operate according to the principles of the 4+ dimensional world? We are tapping into additional dimensions with infinitely more possibilities.
Most of the people Teal or beyond are out of the spotlight. Because we love privacy, stay low profile, and enjoy nature and the simple pleasures in life. If we ever become famous, it is because of the work we create – art, music, writing, company, services, or products – not because of us. We live light, both in possessions and in emotions. Few things or people trigger us. This frees up most of our emotional energy and time, so we can direct them to activities that really matter and stay fully present. Not to mention that we no longer walk around with masks but feel comfortable being our authentic selves.
Being Teal is not a status to achieve, but a way of being. Being joyful, peaceful, grounded, fulfilled without the need of doing. It is also a lifestyle that is inward-looking, focusing on self-mastery, staying in harmony with nature, showing up wise and kind. Once we become (Teal), whatever we do is just an effortless expression of who we are – joyful, peaceful, grounded, and fulfilled. And our creations – be it a company, a product, or a work of art – exudes those same qualities.
In other words, what matters is being before doing and substance before form. We cannot just “do” our way to Teal. We need to be Teal to do what Teal people do. Yes, the rules of the higher dimensions are exactly the opposite of those in the 3-dimensional material world, where we believe that happiness comes from external achievements. In a Teal or the 4+ dimensional world, external achievements are the result of intrinsic happiness or a higher conscious way of being.
How does this translate to taking organizations to Teal?
Similar to personal transformation, a Teal journey for organizations is an inner journey, too. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to plant a leader who is already Teal to lead from within. This is how every Teal company – Zappos, Semco, Morning Star, Buurtzorg, and Haier, arrived there. No exception.
For the rest of us, perhaps instead of trying to achieve Teal by emulating the doing, just start with self-awareness, the beginning of all wisdom. Then aim for a more conscious version of ourselves, whether it is Amber, Orange, Green, or Teal.