Synchronicity – the inner path to leadership


This is a deeply moving, thought provoking, and challenging book which
goes to the very heart of what it is to be a leader and even further
intow what it means to be human.

Peter Senge’s Introduction beautifully sets the stage for this book:

For many years I have told people that although there are a lot of
books on leadership, there is only one that serious studens have to
read – Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf. Most recent
books on leadership have been about what leaders do and how they operate,
why the world makes this difficult for them, and what organisations
must do in order to better develop their leaders. These books are
penetrated with seemingly practical advice about what individuals
and organizations should do differently.

…This to is a book that anyone who is serious about leadership
will have to read. Synchronicity builds directly on Greenleaf’s
thinking and takes it further, expecially illuminating the nature
of the choice to lead and the deep understanding or world view out
of which such a choice might arise.

Jaworski commences his story by recounting his father’s work as special
prosecutor in the Watergate case. Without stating it he shows how his
father’s leadership in this position was driven by a deep sense of purpose
and commitment to the rule of law. A president’s man deeply conflicted
by the emerging details of Watergate, Jaworski senior took the case
on on the condition "that he would be able to pursue the investigation
with complete independence, and that he would have the right to take
the President to court if necessary." Jaworski does not go into
depth on the details of his father’s role in this case except to give
an indication of the toll it took and a series of conversations between
father and son over the Christmas before Nixon resigned. "I looked
at [my father] and I could see that his soul was aching like mine,"
Jaworski reccounts.

This sets the scence for the type of leadership discussed in this book.
It is a leadership that is soaked in purpose. A leadership that comes
from the soul. A leadership that through personal conflict and heart
ache, makes a difference.

Jaworski didn’t learn this immediately. Initially he set off on a career
path dedicated to personal gain with the philosophy ‘whoever dies with
the most money wins.’ And for quite some time he was very successful
at it. Coming crashing down to earth with the experience of coming home
from a successful and high living business trip to find that his marriage
was over and he had lost the family he thought he treasured so much,
he set off on a journey which is described in the remainder of the book.

The central them of Synchronicity is what is most challenging.
Describing events that most of us would name ‘amazing coincidences’
he argues that these are not coincidences but rather cases of Carl Jung’s
Synchronicity where by being prepared as individuals and allowing
ourselves to be prepared, we meet others who act as guides and lead
us on the path of discovery. This can be quite challenging stuff if
you’re not used to it. But it is important to understand. Even if you
do find it confronting, let yourself be open to it and find your own
meaning for it.

Synchronicity is a journey and the events Jaworski describes
are like important places. Some things are related to places he visited
and some to people he met.

One of the people that Jaworski met on his journey was the physicist,
David Bohm. Bohm’s work in modern physics, studying the nature of matter
itself – and the amazing way that matter behaves when we look at either
very small particles or very large objects like galaxies – led him to
consider that nature of thought itself.

The more I read of this the book the more I felt I was discovering
my place in the word.

I highly recommend Synchronicity. I believe if you read this
book with a determination to examine yourself and your approach to leadership,
you will be changed by it.

Reagan as a leader

You might think this piece belongs over in my politics&rants blog – however that’s
more for venting spleen than reasoned thought.

No, reflections on leaders (political or otherwise) is always good fodder for

This piece
about Reagan
is the most reasoned and balanced review of his presidency
that I’ve read to date.

How about this?
"One can argue the most significant difference between RR and W is
that Reagan campaigned to the Right, but governed pragmatically from the
center. Contending with a Democratic Congress forced that, to some degree.
Bush, on the other hand, ran on a Centrist platform — but governed from
the hard right. With a Republican Congress, he should be able to enact his
own agenda — yet seems to be having more trouble with Congress than Reagan

The article has a lot of stuff you won’t understand if you’re not American
but it’s a good read nevertheless.

I had never thought all that greatly of Reagan. I guess I glibbly summed him
up as a B-grade actor and a B-grade president (maybe not even that).
However all the stuff that has been written about him this week has made me
think a lot about leadership again. We are passionate here about leadership
as a quality that comes from an inner strength – not a collection of management
theories. Maybe Reagan had that inner strength. Maybe seeing the world in simple
terms enabled him to lead for a wider range of people. I had never even imagined
before that there might be such a thing as "Reagan Democrats".

Regardless, I could never see Reagan as a person of great intellect. I haven’t
read enough this last couple of weeks to have any more or less evidence to support
this theory. However it does seem that people from all sides of politics are
willing to give him credit in retrospect as one of the better Presidents.

Interesting thought that. What about the great leader who is not a great thinker.
I have never thought about this. I have always thought the two go together.
But maybe not.

I would love to hear other thoughts on this.

Computers in Schools

In these days of national standards (which in my mind relate to narrowness
and mediocrity) it’s refreshing to see educators re-inforcing that schools
are about producing “people who can think, create and innovate – and
not just pass exams”. (See Gary Barker’s article Logging
into the laptop revolution

Read more

Who says woman don’t blog?

Apparently there is some research running around in the blogoshpere suggesting that women are under-represented here. Charles Wright had a related piece on it in his blog Bleeding Edge (we must point out that Charles didn’t say that women don’t blog – I’m refering to Bleeding Edge only because Charles is discussing the issue in general).
Well, I’ve been doing some research of my own and while it’s not statistically based, it’s not hard to find women bloggers.
Trish Wilson has a piece on this very subject arguing that the research is based on male bloggers maintaining the male culture by predominantly only cross linking to other male bloggers. So when they do research on the topic by trawling through their cross links, of course they come up with few links to women in the blogoshpere.
Blogsisters – Where men can link but they can’t touch is a group of women who express the full range of emotions and views with a courage that only women can.
Scribblingwoman – Probably about books, c18, detritus, parenting, poaching, print, sf, or writing. is a huge resource about all things books, writing and women.
An of, course, has linked frequently and is very grateful to Elise Bauer for her lovely site and particularly her Learning Moveable Type tutorials. I found all the sites listed above (except for Bleeding Edge) by following just one link from Elise’s site


You might notice that has a lot to say about relationships between the sexes. It’s probably been the dominant theme here since we got started.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to repair relationships between men and women. For a long time I thought it was my role in life to make it OK for women. To show them that there were men in the world who loved them truly and would not hurt them. To protect them.

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The real purpose of organisations

Subtitle: I’ll never look at Birkenstock the same way again

I pinched this title from a paper by Art Kleiner of roughly the same name. I’ll come back to Kleiner shortly.
Jason Kottke, led me to thinking about this with a reference to a Michael Lewis’s article in the New York Times article The Irresponsible Investor

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Sometimes there’s just to much else to do

No great perl’s of wisdom today.
I’ve spent all night getting Image::Magick installed and then setting up a test photoblog.
As always there is a lot of debugging to do and I’ve just done it. I’ve set up a test photoblog with two photos in it.
Thanks again to Elise at Learning Moveable Type for her tutorial on creating a photo Album.

Blogging as therapy

Setting up this weblog has been a therapeutic experience for me. It’s been an experience that has brought many parts of my self together.

Bleeding Edge has some interesting comment on the culture and purpose of blogging. There is something real about ordinary people having a voice.

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Off the couch into the conference room

You will see a link on the right to ‘Orgdyne’.

This list is about organisational dynamics with a particular emphais on a psychodynamic approach to organisations.

The list is moderated by Anil Behal who recently started a thread with the same title as this post. To quote Anil:

In my experience, psychoanalytically informed organizational consulting works well from the standpoint of discovery and diagnosis, framing the presenting problem, and excavating unconscious material, but I am a little skeptical about its efficacy as a tool for intervention in a highly time conscious, contemporary organizational setting. Other approaches like systems thinking, when used in conjunction with psychodynamic models, often produce more receptivity.

I wanted to share with you a paper written by Dr. Chris Davis, who was one of our participants in the Jungian group. The paper is entitled “Off the Couch and Into the Confernce Room: Liberating Jungian Systems from Clinical Oppression” in which Dr. Davis beautifully encapsulates his seminar experiences, and casts some light on the state of Jungian organizational theory. From an organizational dynamics standpoint, I think this makes for some compelling reading.

If you are interested in the paper, go to Orgdyne or email Anil for a copy of the paper.

In Praise of Play School

I can’t believe the fuss caused by a 15 second segment in Playschool showing a young girl being taken to a fair by her two “mummies”.
Both Prime Minister John Howard and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson have accused the ABC of being ‘politically correct’.
It’s a while since I watched Playschool (my youngest is now 16) but I used to watch it quite regularly with my four children. Playschool has always shown diversity without comment or sensation. Presenters have diverse ethnic backgrounds and the segments show people from all walks of life.
The rationale is that children get used to the world being made up of lots of different people who look different to each other, live different lifestyles and work in different occupations. There is nothing to explain to children. It’s just the way it is.
It’s a pity we ‘grown-ups’ can’t see the world the same way.