For Steve Jobs, making objects that were beautiful as well as functional was a cornerstone of Apple’s philosophy. He even insisted that the circuit boards fitted inside the early Macintosh computers looked good. “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it,” he once said. “You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood in the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
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The American poet Robert Frost observed that our ideas are like seeds. “To flourish, when we harvest, we must not consume them all but turn some back to the earth to be transformed to compost in order to further enrich the soil. Out of one idea grows another…and that also is turned under. The seeds that are finally offered is the result of a patient waiting upon the gift – and it grows in response to the months of patient turning and building of the soil.” (From Robert Frost; A Life. (Jay Parini)
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As we move into a new year, we are also moving from seeing our world as a machine to seeing it as a garden – a living ecosystem. And that’s a shift of mindset that will bring with it a new leadership renaissance. This will be an age of aliveness and promise – a time of discovering a new harmony within ourselves and with life. As this renaissance unfolds we may see several patterns emerge…
To read more visit the management-issues website at: http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6997/a-new-leadership-renaissance/
That which is truly our own is often so close to us we don’t know it’s there. So it is often the stranger who sees our unique destiny and the path to true fulfillment that we cannot see for ourselves.
In our childhood imagination the stranger comes in many guises. They may appear as the bold knight on a great white stag, the ancient crone on the darkened forest path or the clownish fool who speaks truth to power in the king’s court.
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Leadership isn’t just about knowledge, skills and the ability to inspire change and transformation. Increasingly it is also about worldviews or our visions of life. Worldviews are also a way of life, helping us understanding the beliefs, values and principles that motivate us to certain kinds of action and behavior.
Our current worldviews are mostly framed through the lenses of politics and power, strategy and structure, human assets and development. But there is a fresh lens emerging, a narrative of aliveness that taps into the ancient wisdom of our mythic imagination. As this new narrative – which is rooted in nature, art and community – begins to inspire our thoughts and ideas, our world may be truly transformed.
To read more visit the management-issues website at: http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6983/rediscovering-a-mythic-worldview
Connecting with and acting in the service of our gift is such a fundamental human need that social upheavals are often motivated not only by financial poverty but the poverty of the imagination that arises when our gifts are not seen or wanted by others.
It is in the nature of the gift to transcend what we believe is possible so that our destiny can be fulfilled. This may lead us to wonder what the world might look like if we were rewarded not only for our productivity but for our gifts and deeper humanity as well.
To read more visit the management-issues website at: http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6961/living-the-gift-an-economy-of-generosity/
Many of us live in a world in which our sense of duty and obligation to a linear way of thinking overrides our deeper intuition and good judgment regarding life and what we believe to be true. This deeper truth is that we are who we are, not despite nature, but because of it.
To make our world whole again we need to re-engage in an environment in which nature, including what feels most natural within ourselves, serves as the dynamic central force to which all else is related.
To read more visit the management-issues website at: http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6974/we-are-nature
Business isn’t an exercise in numbers; it is an enterprise of humanity that is an inalienable part of life. So if we focus on taking care of the people in our enterprise and harness our intuitive capacity to co-create together, business will take care of itself.
In this context even the language of teams and teamwork may inadvertently conjure up associations with the competitive language of battle and sports so perhaps we look toward the language of neighborhood, to fellowship and to being in community together instead
To read more visit the management-issues website at: http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6957/business-the-enterprise-of-humanity/
Listen to Michael in the following videos on the Power of Place and Placemaking. Continue reading →
We are like islands separated on the surface
but connected in the deep
It has often been said that our span of awareness is a mile wide and an inch deep. The quality of our deeper life is frequently overlooked in our efforts to cope the daily demands and expectations of our outer life. One enabling metaphor that helps us look at this is the ecology of a tree. The outer life is symbolized by the leaves and branches – they correspond to a life of reactivity and busyness – of action plans, performance goals, desired outcomes and results. Continue reading →