Leadership SOS: How Can We Release The Pattern Repetition of Divide and Conquer Sweeping the World?

behavior patterns

Summary: How do we, as leaders, work with the constant behavior patterns of hate and division now sweeping the world. Here are some thoughts, especially about the younger generations.

I received this email today, and it took me back to a video I posted in 2020 after the George Floyd situation. The video I made at that time is below for you to watch.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I know that you have been a pioneer in the behavior patterns of repetition. I don’t mean to judge; however, not much seems to change.

I’m certainly not blaming you for the woes of the world. However, I wonder what we can do to make profound, sustainable change happen?

Here is what happened to me.

Are we living in the film Groundhog Day with our behavior patterns?

To clarify, the other day, I woke up pretty agitated about the futility of real and lasting positive change. When I turned on the news, I wanted to get back in bed and pull the covers over my head.

For example, there’s the women’s skating controversy at the Olympics in Beijing, China. Add to that the truckers protecting in Ottowa, Canada. Mix this with the United States pressure concerning educational priorities about teaching Black history. Complete the angst with the danger in Ukraine (by the time you respond, there may be a full-blown war).

Above all, I didn’t crawl back in bed.

Critical thinking is a route out of behavior patterns of repetition.

What I did was do what you teach concerning frustration and critical thinking.

Firstly, I took some breaths to center myself. Then I looked at what was in front of me to do. I responded to work emails and cleared my desk of apparent necessities.

Then, I took a morning break, had a cup of green tea and took time for myself. (I am getting better at self-care thanks to you!).

Where should we put our focus to get out of the pattern of useless repetition?

Subsequently, I started thinking about the kids. Not just my daughters. I believe all children want their turn to flourish on this beautiful planet.

However, I felt sad to consider the world they will inherit. My thoughts kept leading me to the question, “How do we teach critical thinking in a world that wants quick, simple answers?

As leaders in various organizations, we should step up to the challenges around us.

Since you are a global leadership guru (by the way, congrats), do you have some good suggestions?


Concerned and ready to help

Can there be a mindshift to release us from behavior patterns of repetition?

Dear Concerned,

Thank you for the critical question and for being ready to help. And thanks for the congrats on the global guru recognition.

Now, I have a question to offer back to you.

Most importantly, my question is, “What is it we need to teach our children? What is missing in their education?”

Social Media may help us out of the maze of behavior pattern repetition.

Here are my initial thoughts about using social media and especially using zoom technology. I suggest teens from various parts of the country, the world, learn from each other. Groups of teens can join together to talk.

Perhaps leaders, like you, can set something up for the children of employees.

That is to say; the teen years are when there is a desire, an optimism, to find ways to make a difference. Let’s get to these young minds and nourish them with possibilities.

For instance, I am amazed at the number of films on Netflix recently about the Second World War. It seems almost serendipity that the word war is once again in our daily vocabulary.

On Netflix, some of the films are, of course, about the holocaust. Others, however, are about everyday life in Europe and the impact of war.

I believe all teens can relate. Here is one that teens will learn from: “My Best Friend, Anne Frank” is a 2021 film based on the real-life relationship between Anne Frank and her best friend, Hannah Goslar. It is riveting and full of discussion points.

And then other films also involve children, like in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I believe youngsters of today can deeply connect here also.

It’s a visual world, and watching films together outside of the school curriculum has merit.

Therefore, the teens can talk freely talk about life. I know from my clients that the teens want to discuss what matters to them.

That is to say, they need a method of dialogue, without giving them answers, without forcing them to take a test. Just ask them to watch, listen, learn and share their thoughts.

The world of sound bites keeps us in the world of behavior pattern repetition.

We’ve become a soundbite world, and we usually don’t go past the obvious. Yes, as suggested, the work I’ve been doing is about how behavior patterns repeat themselves until new ways of reacting are available.

For instance, my book, Don’t Bring It To Work, does a deep dive into behavior patterns that get in the way of success.

Let’s teach the teens how the past still lives in the present. And help them consider what needs to change now for the future.

We can also ask the younger generation to participate in creating the future. We need to fill their young minds with more than facts, give them the room to dream and create.

Moreover, we must prepare them to take over the helm.

Groups of teens can gather to discuss a film or even a song.

The disparity of how we treat people needs interactive discussion. We are becoming too fearful of speaking out. Teachers are in a difficult position with so much friction between parents and school boards.

Therefore, let’s use technology to help. Teens are great at using it. We can include the teens (hint: I believe they are happy to join in) and get some group discussions going.

Think about someone in your organization who could take this as a project. This is how to use technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It’s a way for organizations to donate more than just financial resources.

To sum up, this can be seen as an insurance policy for the future. It’s what I talk about in the video below.

A great place to start the conversation is simply with this song from the musical “South Pacific.”

“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.

You’ve got to be taught from year-to-year.

IIt’sgot to be drummed in your dear little ear.

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made

And people whose skin is a different shade.

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,

Before you were six or seven or eight

To hate all the people your relatives hate.

You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

In summary, Let’s find ways to break this behavior pattern, the repetition of hate and division.

Let’s use technology for more than Tic Tock, Instagram, or Facebook scrolling. We can do it.

To sum up, as leaders, we can do more to make a difference for an inclusive and sustainable future by guiding the next generation wisely.

Here’s your success,


PS. Please go to www.ceoptions.com and enjoy a complimentary copy of the introduction to my newest best-seller, “Invisible STRESS (It’s NOT What YOU Think!). Then please share it with a teen.

Thank you so much.

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options