Sunday, May 3, 2009

Meditations on Meditation

Reflections on Practice in a Secular World

          I’m late. My stomach complains. The only thing preventing me from hurrying home faster is the random patches of ice on the sidewalk.
          I try and take stock of my mental to do list—groceries, drugstore, cleaners—but something’s missing. I had a late start this morning having overslept just before a 9 a.m. teleconference. What am I forgetting?
          Reaching my porch steps, I remove my gloves to fish the keys out of my pocket. As I fumble with the key ring, blood begins to creep back into my fingertips. The moment I touch the key to the lock, it hits me: I forgot to meditate this morning.
          What follows is the story of how I came to this moment and why meditation has become a central part of my life.

Meditations on Meditation.pdf
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Friday, February 20, 2009

The End of Leadership?

A Verbal Rorschach Test

Below is a list of thirteen adjectives. Take a moment to read through these words and see what thoughts or images come to mind. There are no right or wrong answers. If you think you know where these words came from, try to put their origins aside for a moment and just focus on whatever trends in meaning arise for you:


The End of Leadership.pdf

Monday, September 1, 2008

Executive Empathy

Lincoln's Escalation Antidote

          What struck me most while reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, was how the lynchpin of Lincoln’s prodigious emotional intellect was his empathy. Time and again, it was Lincoln’s emotional insights into others that de-escalated conflict and cemented relationships, both personal as well as national.
          This is an exploration of how Lincoln’s empathy was central to his effectiveness. Using selected excerpts of Goodwin’s painstaking research into the people and events of Lincoln’s life, I explore the relationship between Lincoln’s empathy and the following expressions of his emotional intelligence: de-escalation, storytelling, self-awareness, self-regulation, humor, and pausing to reflect. The result is a chronicle of Lincoln’s emotional intelligence.

Executive Empathy.pdf
Team of Rivals is copyrighted © 2005 by Blithedale Productions, Inc.

Friday, August 1, 2008

World Cafe Overview

A Process for Large-Scale Collaborative Conversation

World Cafe Overview.pdf

Friday, September 14, 2007

In the Shadow of Windmills

Reflections of a Climate Project Volunteer

          Walking towards the end of the peninsula, Hull Wind 1 is hard to miss: a 200 foot-tall light gray tower, its three sword-like blades rotating persistently in the on-shore breeze. Even though I’m still a quarter of a mile away, I can just begin to make out the woosh woosh of its blades. Visiting Hull at the invitation of a fellow Climate Project Volunteer, I will be departing this small seaside community just south of Boston on the next ferry. But before I leave, I feel compelled to pay my respects in person.
          Less than a year ago I would have regarded a pilgrimage to a windmill as peculiar. A lot can happen in a year.

In the Shadow of Windmills.pdf

Friday, February 2, 2007

A Field of Tall Grass

          I’ve always been struck by this quote from Arie de Geus, author of The Living Company:

“Life is like walking through a field of tall grass. You can only see what path you’re on when you look behind you.”

          If we think of our career path as “a walk through a field of tall grass”, what would it look like?

A Field of Tall Grass.pdf