By Joseph Jaworski, with an introduction by Peter Senge.
This is a book that has been mentioned to me, on many occasions, by close friends and colleagues. And for years, I believed that “I didn’t need to read it”. I was so wrong. A copy of it happened to be on one of my friend’s shelves during a brief visit to Holland this summer. I picked it up and browsed through it. A number of words immediately caught my eye – one of those was “dialogue”, as Jaworski had the immense privilege of meeting and chatting with the physicist, David Bohm, one afternoon in London and I am particularly interested in ‘dialogue’. Almost immediately I found myself reading large sections of it. I bought a copy on my return home and now consider it to be one of the best books I have ever read about surrendering to life and learning to respond to what it needs from us, rather than egoistically believing that we can plan, control and manipulate it to our advantage.
The charm of Jaworski’s story is that it is his own, personal story. He was a successful North American lawyer from a famous family of lawyers, and the promise of a successful life ahead of him - until the day his wife suddenly asked him for a divorce. He was in his early 40’s. His world crashed around him and he was faced with having to construct a new one. Within that process, he found himself again, and re-discovered ways to connect with his intuition and the natural flow of life.
Many good things happened to him personally and professionally from then on.
His life is particularly interesting if you are interested in the subject of leadership. As a result of a series of very interesting events and encounters – what some might describe as “coincidences” - , Jaworski found himself “called” to fund the American Leadership Forum. He was then headhunted to lead the now very famous scenario building team at Shell headquarters in the UK.
This book offers some great tips on how to be, learn, intuit and change, and work in partnership with life – not against it, or in spite of it... One tip that will remain with me is to nurture the courage to act on what we sense. In particular, to reach out to people we meet and immediately “know” from the moment we first see them – without knowing why or how. That is how Jaworski met his second wife – in an airport, of all places - and many other key figures on his journey. We often allow our mind to hold us back, out of fear, or out of respect to social norms. Jaworski’s life story shows that life can be more rewarding when we trust and follow our inner knowing and allow ourselves to connect with others, only because we sense we need to – not because we need something specific from them - ; thus, we are able to allow life to unfold according to its natural, benevolent flow.
The moral of the story? Good things happen when we listen to our inner voice or follow our intuition – when we are connected to it...
Review by Caroline Pakel, from to the heart, a creative problem solving agency facilitating understanding and change for groups and individuals. www.totheheart.com
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