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18. The Power of Commitment

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by
yourself as a mighty one … the being a force of nature instead of a feverish,
selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world
will not devote itself to making you happy.

—George Bernard Shaw

In early 1988, we were in the midst of opening a new Forum chapter in Silicon Valley, California. I had been away for the entire week but returned to Houston on Friday in time to take Mavis to the Museum of Fine Arts for the opening of a new show. We were among the last few to leave that night. We had parked the car a block or so away on a dark, unlit street lined with trees. When we walked out of the museum, it was raining, and so I suggested that Mavis stay in front, and I would bring the car back for her. When I reached our car, I opened the door, folded up my umbrella and threw it into the back seat, and slipped behind the wheel. Just as I was about to close the door, I felt cold steel in my ribs.

I looked up, and there was a large man, about twenty-five years old, with a fierce look on his face, holding a bayonet-sized knife against my ribs. He wasn’t just holding it there, he was pressing it hard into my ribs and saying through clenched teeth, “I don’t want to hurt you, but I will. Now you move over from behind that steering wheel.”

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Medium 9781576759042

1. The Source of the Entrepreneurial Impulse – The Quest Begins

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL IMPULSE? WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF OUR CAPACITY TO ACCESS THE KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION WE NEED AT THE MOMENT?

In the spring of 1998, I was sitting in the back row of a large auditorium in the Shell Learning Center at the Woodlands just north of Houston. Eighteen months earlier, Shell Oil Company (the then-autonomous unit of the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies), Texaco, Inc., and Saudi Aramco had announced their intention to form an alliance of all their refining, distribution, and marketing (their “downstream” operations) in the United States. The “Alliance” would be the largest downstream organization in the world, with annual revenues approaching $40 billion. The Alliance hired Generon, a firm I had cofounded, to help develop its senior leadership and to assist in the integration of the units into a cohesive whole.

On that spring day, about 250 senior officers, who were members of the transition team, had gathered for the kickoff of the new venture. The chief operating officer of Texaco, Glenn Tilton, gave the opening remarks. In those remarks, Tilton identified the greatest challenge facing the Alliance – how to compete effectively with the newer and more nimble entrepreneurial downstream operators that had appeared in the marketplace in the last five years.

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8. The Mountain Lion

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WHEN THE MOUNTAIN LION SHOWS UP, THERE IS A CHOICE TO BE MADE.

In late July 2006, a number of Generon colleagues and I were coleading a retreat in Montana for the Global Philanthropy Circle (GPC) founded by Peggy Dulaney, the chair of Synergos, and her father, David Rockefeller. GPC is a network of leading philanthropic families from across the world, committed to using their time, influence, and resources to fight global poverty and social injustice.

It had been a spectacular spring and summer that year in Montana – there was a profusion of wildflowers up where I was on solo for four days and three nights. My site was located just under Black Butte at 9,800 feet. There was a clear mountain stream originating out of the rock formation just under the butte, and the wildflowers were waist high all around the headwaters of the stream.

There were over forty species of flowers represented on the mountain that summer, Peggy told me. It seemed that all were there with me. The most predominant were the fuchsia bells – they were in profusion just beside the water. There were little yellow flowers everywhere, with their dark yellow center. Then there were very small flowers shaped like daisies, but they were lavender; and also huge flowers that resembled Texas bluebonnets, reminding me of the days as a young boy when my parents took us to the countryside in April to play and roll in the bluebonnets. And then there were the mosses of every shade of green – some that I would call “neon” green – spectacular in their own right. Finally there were tiny white “cluster daisies,” I called them – very small, growing in clusters of fifteen or twenty, each with their tiny yellow center. All of these were framed by gorgeous ferns that were very fine, like lace, and by various species of grass – elegant shapes in many shades of green.

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26. Accessing the Source – The Surprising Role of the Heart

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE INTUITIVE MIND IS A SACRED GIFT AND THE RATIONAL MIND IS A FAITHFUL SERVANT. WE HAVE CREATED A SOCIETY THAT HONORS THE SERVANT AND HAS FORGOTTEN THE GIFT.
– Albert Einstein

In my attempts to understand how best to access the Source, I learned that the “intuitive mind” is potentially present not just in the brain, but throughout the body. Complex neuronal structures exist throughout the body, particularly in the heart and the gut. Some researchers even talk about the “little brain in the heart.” One of them is Bruce Cryer, CEO of HeartMath LLC. The work of HeartMath involves measuring the impact of consciously accessing what HeartMath calls “heart intelligence.” There is compelling evidence that the body’s perceptual apparatus is continually scanning the future and that the heart is involved in processing and decoding intuitive information.

I first met Bruce and Doc Childre, the founder of HeartMath, in 2000 at the beginning of the research project for the Alliance. Bruce and Doc have achieved global recognition for their work in harnessing the power of the heart-brain connection. They and their team of research scientists have developed practical, scientifically validated methods and groundbreaking products designed to increase individual workplace performance while reducing stress. Their training programs and techniques are being used by Fortune 100 companies, hospitals, police academies, and schools on four continents to achieve better business outcomes, including employee retention, reduction in health costs, and increased performance, both in creativity and productivity.

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19. Partners in Evolution

Joseph Jaworski Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IN DISCOVERING OUR OWN PURPOSE AND MEANING, WE ENRICH MEANING IN THE UNIVERSE – WE CREATE SOMETHING OF SIGNIFICANCE THAT HAS NOT BEEN THERE.

There was one final conversation that day that was of critical importance to me. As we finished talking about the advanced U-process and how powerful it can be when used properly, a protégé of one of the physicists raised the following question: “Yes, this process is robust, and the Lab team using it can manifest new realities – but what if it is used for evil? What if, for instance, a person with the mind of Hitler tried to employ the process?”

A very lively exchange then broke out, which lasted almost an hour. In the end, we went back to Bohm as the basis for the agreement we reached. Bohm wrote in Unfolding Meaning that meaning is an aspect of reality tied to the achievement of goals and to a specific context that is so subtle and complex that it cannot be represented by any closed formula. We inhabit a universe that is imbued with profound meaning. Wholeness, love, and significance infuse and inform the universe and give it shape and form. By its very definition, the advanced U-process is designed to access the Source and is also infused with meaning – truth and love are at its core, its essence. It is a process designed to bring forth the emerging reality as it desires – not as desired by people of ego or of mal-intent. In order to enable the collapse of boundaries between self, others, and the universe, one or a collective must unambiguously stand in a place of love, caring, and sacrifice for others – for the whole system under investigation. It is at this moment of oneness that the participants are acting out of the unfolding generative order – the unbroken wholeness from which seemingly discrete events take place. And it is at this moment that new realities are enacted for the benefit of the whole system. This is why the advanced U-process is so powerful. It is designed to serve life. The process itself is a volitional act of love, enabling new realities.

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