1041 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781576755990


Kevin Cashman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In preparing to write this book, I personally interviewed 62 CEOs and presidents of corporations. The purpose of these meetings was to solicit their views regarding our leadership models and to have them challenge our viewpoints. Additionally, we conducted a survey to discover which areas of mastery corporate leaders perceived as most relevant to their leadership effectiveness and which areas they viewed as the most challenging. The results of our interviews were very clear-cut: 75 percent of the CEOs and presidents saw Personal Mastery as the most relevant to their leadership effectiveness, while 67 percent saw Interpersonal Mastery as the second most relevant. However, 92 percent of them selected Resilience Mastery as the most challenging personally.

For most leaders I meet, balancing work and home life still is a lofty, never-achieved goal. Yet, the more I encounter the time-oriented, mechanistic formula of work/life balance (i.e., working a certain number of hours, exercising four times a week, spending a certain number of evenings a week with family), the less useful and relevant I find it. Although each day brings nearly impossible demands on our time, with too many meetings, obligations, and 24/7 connectivity in a global marketplace, it is our resilience and energy that are stressed daily, not the clock. Most days begin like a sprint and then turn into a triathlon of meetings, e-mails, and presentations. Let’s face it, “time is a finite resource.” We get 24 hours, no matter how we carve it up. However, shifting our focus from time management to energy leadership can allow us to discover our own unique formula for sustained energy and resilience throughout each day. When we are calm and focused, we are more on top of the demands of leadership. Conversely, when our energy is low or manic, everything seems on top of us.

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Medium 9781576754276

Step 5: Invite Support

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Questions to get you started:

How do you ask people for help?

How do you create an effective support relationship?

For support to be effective, it must be delivered in a way that actually helps you. In order for that to happen, you and your supporter should be equal partners, both having a voice in how you can change and how to make the support relationship work. Early in my career I was on a team in which we failed to create this equality and subsequently failed each other as supporters.

All of the members of my team strived to provide exceptional support to one another. We all prided ourselves on our ability to give one another feedback. We talked about continuously improving our skills and supporting one another’s development, and it turned out it wasn’t just talk. We did it. We gave each other feedback all the time, after meetings and presentations, on our writing and speaking, one-on-one, and in group settings. There was no topic, no 82 time, and no place that was off limits, and it was all in the name of helping our team succeed.

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Medium 9781576756300

The Journal

Crum, Thomas Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

After he tucked Sierra in, Angus sat at his desk staring at the computer. He had a pile of e-mails, but they could wait. This day was too important to put on the back burner. He created for himself a new screen saver:

Three Deep Breaths

The Centering Breath
Breathe in the present moment,
with balance and energy

The Possibility Breath
Breathe in the “me I want to be”
with power and purpose

The Discovery Breath
Breathe in the Mystery,
let go of judgment

Angus looked at the Three Deep Breaths for quite some time. More than anything, he wanted to share this with Carly. But how could he possibly explain the significance of this day to her in a way she could understand? They hadn’t had an intimate conversation in months. Explaining it to Carly felt far more difficult than sharing it with Sierra, or even with his project team. He reread the words on the screen. What would keep them from appearing trite—just a bunch of words—to Carly? How could he explain that, to him, they represented so much more: a daily practice that could—and already had started to—change his life.

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Medium 9781626567719

6 Reframing from Doubt to Confidence

Peterson, Rick; Hoekstra, Judd Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A lot of really good players I’ve been around believe they’re a lot better than they really are. They’re not constantly evaluating themselves critically. In a game like baseball, that every-day evaluation can be so detrimental. They’re smart enough to forget the negatives of the past and somehow only draw from the positive. As a result, these guys end up being better than their physical talent says they should be.1

—BILLY BEANE, executive vice president of baseball operations, Oakland A’s

Our reflexive thoughts and assumptions under pressure often lead us to feelings of fear, worry, and doubt. These reflexive thoughts and assumptions include, but aren’t limited to these:

We base our confidence on our most recent performance.

We assume we have to feel great to perform great.

We assume we are stuck in the present, pressure situation.

We fail to recognize our strengths and focus on our doubts.

The elite performers I interviewed boosted their confidence in unconventional ways. In this chapter, you’ll learn the methods these elite performers use to overcome their doubts and increase their confidence.

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Medium 9781523084586

Conclusion: This is Your Memo

Bryant, John Hope Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The civil rights movement was waged and won in the streets, but the silver rights movement will be waged and won in the suites.

Civil rights was about race and the color line, but silver rights is about class and poverty. If you deal with class, you often get race for free. It is time for a new movement, and its color is green (as in the color of money).

But wealth—just like poverty—begins in the heart, the soul, and the mind before it ever ends up in your pockets.

We must remember that we are our first capital. We are the CEOs of our own lives.

We are investors and investments.

We are holders of relationship capital.

We are translators and transmitters of our dreams.

We must become lifetime learners.

We must never give up our childlike curiosity, our hope, and our joy.

We must accept that there is no one else just like us on this entire planet.

And then we must embrace this reality, acquiring self-esteem and confidence, absent of arrogance and unnecessary ego.

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Medium 9781576754672

Law Ten: Always Make Your Questions Bigger than Your Answers

Sullivan, Dan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


There is nothing more powerful than a question. The reason is that the mind can’t ignore a question. It may choose not to answer, but the question will still be there, provoking new thoughts. Answers, on the other hand, are closed-ended. You can know them and file them away and never think of them again. They don’t require any further thought. That’s probably why people find them comforting.


Questions open the doors to inquiry, which is how we imagine and discover new possibilities. Growth comes not from having the definitive answer but from the activity of being engaged in the conversation around a great question.

So what is a great question, and how do you make your questions bigger than your answers? Great questions are open-ended—that is, they don’t have easy answers. A really great question can keep you thinking and growing for a lifetime.

Dan shares this story:

When I was nine years old, I was walking in the corn-fields of my family’s farm in Ohio. It was a beautiful, clear late afternoon in winter. The sun was still out, but you could see the moon coming up, and there was snow on the ground. As I walked, a plane flew overhead. Looking up and watching it pass by in this big open sky, I suddenly had an expanded sense that anything was possible, and I thought to myself, “I wonder, how far can I go?”

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Medium 9781523094578

5: Listening

Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deep in the present moment and feeling fully alive.1


When I was told that I had been assigned a person named Yoshiko Meyers to visit, the questions began. What do you talk about with someone who is dying? Would they be interested in small talk about the weather outside their room? Does the news hold any importance for them? Would they like to talk about their religious beliefs? But what if they have none? Would they want to talk about their feelings?

And if they wanted to talk about death, what could I possibly say?

I was a hospice volunteer in Boston, a young man on my way to graduate school with the goal of becoming a psychologist. I thought that I was supposed to talk with Yoshiko about dying, and while I reassured myself that I was ready, I knew that I was not. I had been assigned to her because of our shared cultural backgrounds. I tried to understand what it meant to be Japanese and facing death. My grandmother talked openly about dying, mostly about acceptance, saying shikata ga nai, it can’t be helped, we all have to die. She also spoke of her desire to avoid meiwaku, burdening the family. I thought that I should ask Yoshiko how she felt about dying, but never found the right moment.

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Medium 9781576750575

Chapter Five Right in Place Doing Right by the Planet

Shapiro, David A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In every introductory ethics class, there are always a few students who want to argue that morality is nothing more than a way to ensure the survival of the human species. Our conceptions of right and wrong, they say, are entirely a by-product of evolution; the real reason we think something is good is because it contributes to the passing down of our genetic material to future generations; the real reason we say it’s bad is because it reduces the likelihood of having descendants.147

There’s certainly something to be said for this view. If the right thing to do consistently resulted in our inability to procreate, we probably wouldn’t keep thinking it was the right thing to do. We’re not lemmings, after all—contrary to the impressions of many politicians and advertising executives.148

On the other hand, it’s hard to accept that right and wrong are entirely the result of natural selection. If that were the case, then it would be much harder to explain why rape or adultery, for instance, are generally—and quite justifiably—considered to be wrong.

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Medium 9781576752975

Chapter1: The Flame of Identity: Recalling Our Stories

Leider, Richard J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


New Elder
Richard Strozzi Heckler

At an age when most of his contemporaries were wondering what to do with themselves after retirement,Richard Strozzi Heckler embarked on a new and exciting journey uncommon to men at any stage of life.

The words of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung seemed to have been written just for him: “Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life . . . we take the step into the afternoon of life;worse still,we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us as before. But we cannot live the afternoons of life according to the program of life’s morning—for what was great in the morning will be little in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”

We cannot tell if we have entered the second half of life solely by counting the candles on our birthday cake. We do not really step into the afternoon of life just because we reach a certain age. To know where we are in the process of becoming a new elder,we must learn to look inside.

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Medium 9781523094189

2 A World on Fire

Whitman, Gordon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

To stop an injustice, we have to first understand who is profiting from it. Human suffering, misery, and oppression that fall systematically on people based on their class, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability are no accidents. Despite what we’re often told, and perhaps want to believe, extreme social inequality happens by design. It results from conscious decisions that promote the profits, status, and power of some people over what is good and necessary for the vast majority of us.

When something is by design, it can be changed. The most important question facing any community or society is how much inequality it will tolerate. The answer is in our hands. It results from political struggle. But that struggle is never just about who gets what or who can profit from the labor of others. It comes back to whose humanity is taken for granted and who has to fight to live a dignified life. This is why coming out—asserting your humanity and forcing society to recognize it—has been part of every social struggle in history and why engaging in social change is so important to living out your purpose rather than being a pawn in someone else’s imagination.

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Medium 9781576754566

Chapter 1: Hunting the Invisible Game

Leider, Richard J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

How are we to see life? Is it an existence of meaningless movement from one moment to the next? Or is there a larger purpose in life, something to live for?

When we’re young, we think that when we’re all grown up, we’ll have all the answers. We’ll know what we want to do, how we want to do it, and with whom we want to do it.

But when we’re older, we realize it doesn’t work that way. The questions don’t go away, and the answers don’t magically appear. Just because we’re grown up doesn’t mean we’re finished growing.

Throughout our lives, we continue to ask these eternal questions: “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “What am I living for?” And while we make these inquiries on and off from cradle to grave, they somehow become more pressing, more urgent, and certainly more poignant in the second half of our lives.

In the first half of life, the questions are framed by basic economic realities. Eventually, though, we reach a point—usually around midlife—where the answers are no longer obvious. Somewhat freed from the practical (although usually not the emotional) responsibilities of providing for our basic needs, we find ourselves having to come up with our own answers.

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Medium 9781523094578

4: Connectedness

Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend

The first thing you do is to forget that i’m Black.

Second, you must never forget that i’m Black.1


The boy in my high school yearbook photo is dressed in a summer kimono, a matching headband tied around his forehead, eyes closed, arms folded, sitting serenely with his back to a blazing fireplace. It was my choice of how I wanted to be photographed and seen by others. The white boys in my school saw me as “almost black,” because they had some idea of what it meant to be black, and no idea of what it might mean to be Japanese. Neither did I, but I imagined myself as a cool, tough, calm samurai, as that was the only good image I had, thanks to glorious stories from childhood about my great-grandfather.

The photo caption read: “He represents an easy balance between East and West.” Those were not my choice of words. I felt nothing like an easy balance. I was off center, romantically searching for understanding who I was and where I belonged. The two seemed inseparable, yet vital to finding my place in the human family. In what would prove to be a tortuous, twisting path, a never-ending journey, I was on my way home.

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Medium 9781605098265

Chapter 3: Recall

Schuster, John P Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the Japanese film After Life, a social-service office in heaven helps to prepare the newly dead for the afterlife. It is a specialized amnesia service that creates a recording of the one and only memory that each person selects to keep for eternity. All other memories will be wiped away. What a choice that would be!

We have a much better choice to make: to recall as many memories as we can, and to interpret their truth as they formed and shaped us. Barbara Kingsolver wrote, “It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.”1 Let us see what we have noticed, and what formerly unnoticed or forgotten memory may escape the amnesia zone and become ours to own for eternity.

In the work here, we choose to remember. We choose self-awareness. We go back to the narratives that we do remember, we ask ourselves to look for new ones, and we start to view them all in ways that provide new options. We give our memories our best attention through the remembrance process, beginning with recalling.

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Medium 9781626567771

4 Courage Takes Trust

, The Center for Courage & Renewal; Francis, Shelly L. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other’s stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart.

—Jean Vanier

A physician named Lynne Fiscus was offered a once- in-a-generation opportunity to lead the endeavor to build a new clinic that would consolidate more than thirty individual clinic locations into a single space. She knew the project would be challenging. Although the new building was designed for a more modern and flexible practice, having to build it during the recession meant more clinics in fewer rooms. It would also mean being open longer hours for better patient access. Nobody had a choice about moving. Clinicians and staff were angry, complaining, “Here I am in the academic world where I’m expected to teach and do research and do clinic. Now you’re telling me that sometimes I have to have clinic ’til seven o’clock at night!”

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Medium 9781576752715

13. The Archetypes of Instrumentality and Desire

Block, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

the archetypes of instrumentality and desire.         Carl Jung was a psychologist who had a profound influence on our thinking about personality and behavior. He developed the concept of the collective unconscious. He understood that our way of moving through life is affected as much by the common images held by a culture as it is by individual personality and personal and family history. Central to his thinking about what drives our behavior is the existence of certain archetypes.

An archetype is an inherited way of thinking, a mythic image that exists for all members of a culture. Within the image of an archetype is collected a whole series of possibilities and qualities that helps explain who we are and who we might become. I want to use this concept of archetypes to explore a range of possibilities and qualities that help us understand our place in today’s industrial-turned-information age. The instrumental aspect of the culture discussed in the last chapter is primarily given form through the archetypes of the engineer and economist.

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