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3. Musonius Rufus and the Art of Fieldwork

Jules Evans New World Library ePub

MICHAEL IS A FORTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD major in the US Army Special Forces, or the Green Berets as they are known by outsiders. He joined the Rangers when he was thirty-one, and five years later joined Special Forces. Michael first came across Stoicism while training at the Navy SEALs’ SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school in Fort Bragg in 2001. He says:

We were taught how to survive being tortured, and one of the things we were taught was James Stockdale’s experience in Vietnam, and how he’d used ancient philosophy to cope with his seven years in a POW camp [we’ll meet Stockdale in chapter seven]. Afterwards, I found out more about him online, and gradually became more and more interested in Stoicism. Eventually, I thought we should change our Special Forces training to simply a course in Hellenic philosophy, because so much of Stoicism is about understanding humans and why they make the decisions they do, which is a crucial part of Special Forces operations.

One of Special Forces’ primary missions is training and advising foreign military and political forces. Michael says: “We usually work through other people. That’s one of our mottos — ‘by, with, and through.’ We’re force multipliers. We go into a foreign country, and build, train, and lead a force from scratch. Because of that, one of our most critical skills is understanding human beings. That way, hopefully we can stop fighting before it happens. Stoicism has really helped me understand why people make the decisions they make.” Michael says:

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20. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind

Jim Donovan New World Library ePub

Many years ago I attended a meeting in the office of one of my clients. At the time I owned a marketing and advertising agency and was invited to the meeting to share my ideas on how the company might position its new technology product. This was the early 1990s, an exciting time, since technology was about to explode.

In attendance were the company president, the executive team, myself, and another outside consultant who had initially brought me into the company to help with new product launches.

The president was proposing his ideas about what to call the company’s latest breakthrough product and how best to proceed. It was obvious to my friend Bill and I that he had no idea how to successfully launch the product and that if his suggestions were implemented, the launch would never succeed. The president went on and on about how we should do this and that and how the project should be carried out.

Looking around the room I saw the various key executives nodding in agreement with his ideas. The only ones not nodding were Bill and I. We knew the ideas would not work.

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1 Stop Doing What Isn't Working

Muchnick, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

NOT TOO LONG after we got married, my wife and I got into a rut. We were working dead-end jobs for bosses we didn’t like and were barely making enough money to pay the monthly bills. We were happy as a couple, yet we were unhappy with our professional lives. Between the two of us, we had racked up more than six figures in student loan debt. In addition, we had moved to an area of town that was more affordable and closer to our jobs, but this had taken us farther away from our friends and the coastal part of San Diego we loved most. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t see how our situation was going to change any time soon.

I started teaching at two community colleges in the evenings to supplement the income from both of our full-time jobs. We also started selling personalized gifts at the local flea market—not exactly our strong suit, but my wife had a knack for calligraphy and I was decent at sales. Every weekend we’d haul display cases, folding tables and chairs, and all of our products in the back of my tiny convertible to our even tinier booth at the swap meet. It was quite a spectacle and an exhausting process. More than anything, though, we regretted the fact that we were working so hard and had so little to show for it.

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Chapter 3: Forming Your Group

George, Bill Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

BY NOW YOU ARE LIKELY INTERESTED IN FORMING YOUR own True North Group. This chapter provides you the details about how you should put your group together. Toward the end of the chapter we look at converting your existing group into a True North Group and creating your group in other settings — in your company, educational institution, or community organization, and even from remote locations.

Let’s begin by examining a women’s group that was formed eighteen years ago and has been together ever since.

In 1992, Karen Radtke, a property management executive, met Jane Cavanaugh, shortly after Jane moved into the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. At the time, Cavanaugh was single and struggling to make a career in acting, while Radtke had been recently divorced. The two women formed an immediate bond that still exists today.

They talked about forming a group that would focus on their shared concerns. Radtke contacted five additional women, all of whom were strong, independent people who were successful in their professional lives. In those early years none of them had children and few had outside connections, so the group also became their primary social network.

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CHAPTER TWO: Social dreaming: report on the workshops held in Mauriburg, Raissa, and Clarice Town

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Claudio Neri

Social dreaming is a method that focuses on dreaming with a view to understanding not the “inner world” of dreamers but the social and institutional reality in which they live. According to Gordon Lawrence (1998b), who propounded this technique, dreams contain fundamental information on the situation in which people are living at the time they dream. Social dreaming does not challenge the great value of the traditional psychoanalytic approach to dreams but tries to emphasize their social dimension.

This chapter illustrates some experiences conducted according to the social dreaming technique and draws some methodological, theoretical, and clinical suggestions from them. The first sections provide some practical information on social dreaming sessions and on how the method can be used to explore and improve the way an institution or organization works. Subsequent sections look at the origins of social dreaming and place it within a historical framework. The final sections offer accounts of some practical experiences.

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