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Breaking Love’s Code at Work

British pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park changed the course of World War II when they broke the Nazi Enigma code.

Some of Turing’s superiors had scoffed at his unorthodox methods and thought his time and resources invested in code breaking was a waste. His commander Alastair Denniston told the head of naval intelligence:”You know, the Germans don’t mean you to read their stuff, and I don’t expect you ever will.”

Facing resistance, Turing took the unusual step of appealing directly to Churchill. In his appeal he wrote: “It is very difficult to bring home to the authorities finally responsible either the importance of what is done here or the urgent necessity of dealing promptly with our requests.”

Churchill recognized the urgency of the code-breaking work. “ACTION THIS DAY,” he directed chief of staff General Hastings Ismay. “Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this has been done.”

At the time Turning made his appeal, attempts to break the Enigma code were failing. The German code changed each day. Turing realized that their code-breaking machine was at a disadvantage; all possible combinations were being searched, and there was not enough processing power to complete the search in a day.

The breakthrough came when Turing realized that certain words were coming at the beginning and the end of the message. In the movie version of Turing’s efforts The Imitation Game, Turing finds a new direction: ”What if Christopher (the name given to the code breaking machine in the movie) doesn’t have to search through all of the settings? What if he only has to search through ones that produce words we already know will be in the message? Repeated words, predictable words; the weather and heil Hitler.”

Many of us go through the day with a jumble of messages coming through our heads. Like Turing and his team, we may be searching for those messages that will make clear our course of action as a leader. Days end, and we feel we didn’t accomplish what needed to be done.

When we first began our leadership journey we may have been inspired by a higher purpose and now despite our best intentions we are often feeling exhausted and dispirited.

What if our problem is like that of the Bletchley Park codebreakers? Are we are searching all possibilities and thus missing the important ones?

How many of the thoughts in our heads are false messages that could be dismissed? If we are not acting from love, we are acting from fear. And when we act from fear, stress, poor decision-making, and conflict are the results we experience.

Many thoughts take the form of I need more of this and I need less of that to be an effective leader. What is these messages are mostly senseless? What if our problems are not what we think they are?

Our ego, A Course in Miracles instructs, doesn’t know what is good for us, “Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, ‘protective’ clothing, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the ‘right’ people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers.”

When our faith is placed in the trivial then the trivial occupies our thinking. We believe our trivial thinking means something. Our ego has created a logjam with way too much thinking. Inspired ideas cannot get through. The ego’s loud and raucous thinking drowns out Love.

What if in the jumble of messages we could find those thoughts that are inspired by Love? Could we uncover the essential messages, those that are not serving the needs of our ego? Could we break “Love’s code”?

The messages from Love don’t encourage us to micromanage and, in the process, discourage employee engagement and creativity. Our ego’s desire for power may be satiated when we control others; but better results are obtained when employee’s actions are guided by simple rules, imbued values, and a shared purpose.

When we sit at meetings the messages from Love don’t encourage us to kill dialogue by saying to others the tired cliche that will never work. We ignite employee engagement when we listen without our agenda in the forefront of our thinking.

The messages from Love don’t attack. We can ignore messages that contain I stink because… or You stink because….

The messages from Love don’t compare. We can be skeptical of messages, that often occupy our mind, about what is better or worse. Leaders are called to evaluate; but when you are listening to incessant judgment, you know you are listening to the voice of fear.

The messages from Love are not full of personalized interpretations of other people’s behavior. Joe is behaving this way because… is not a thought coming from Love.

Messages from Love don’t rehearse scenarios in an unknowable future. If in the shower you are listening to the thought,  At today’s meeting Jeff will surely attack my proposal…you are not listening to the voice that speaks for Love. Preparation is called for, but presence without distracting thoughts is what allows our preparation to shine.

On the very first page of A Course in Miracles we learn,

The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

To break the “code of Love,” we are asked to remove our self-created barriers. These barriers are always based in thought. We begin the process of breaking Love’s code when we recognize and no longer value the voice in our head that speaks for what is not loving.


My  leadership workshops will help your employees choose love over fear. Contact me and explore how  my workshops will help your organization reduce stress and conflict while increasing employee engagement.

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