1324 Slices
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Medium 9781577310778

The Power of Failure

New World Library ePub

Creators are ambitious. They want to build great new worlds and make this old, flawed world a better place for their children. Truth, beauty, and goodness are their watchwords as are magic, passion, logic, intuition, knowledge, and humanity. Out of these building blocks they attempt to forge their spirited creative works, their songs and stories, their scientific theories and ten-foot sculptures. But the creator’s painful secret, which may be God’s secret as well, is that failure comes more often than success does. It is not easy to build new worlds. It is the opposite of easy.

Take writers. Writers with real accomplishments to their credit will be happy to tell us about all the books that didn’t work, which may amount to half or two-thirds of their efforts. There were the books that were entirely written but that turned out to be seriously flawed because the writer wasn’t ready or because the flaw just naturally appeared, as a flaw in pottery can appear after the firing process. Writers could tell us all about this, but we hate to hear these stories because it depresses and frightens us that so much failure is both possible and actually happens.

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Medium 9781609945367

10 Distracted Beyond Recall

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


For years I assumed that the Titanic tragedy was a result of human arrogance, a belief in the indestructibility of the newest, largest, fastest, fanciest ship of all time.

But, in fact, the Titanic went down because of distraction. It was sailing in iceberg-filled waters, and other ships had been warning them for many days prior. The captain changed course, but only slightly, and did nothing about speed. On the night of its sinking, two ships sent warnings of icebergs, but the radio operator never passed them on. When he received a call from a ship nearby surrounded by ice, less than an hour before the collision, he responded, “Shut up, shut up, I’m busy.” By the time lookouts spotted the iceberg ahead, it was too late to slow down the Titan-ic’s nearly full-speed momentum.42

The Titanic as a metaphor for our time, while overused, is frighteningly accurate. Distracted people don’t notice they are in danger. Ignorant of their vulnerability, they discount warnings or evidence that they are about to perish. My favorite quote from Rumi, the thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet, is “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.”

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Medium 9781855750173

CHAPTER FOUR. The question of blame and responsibility

Elsa Jones Karnac Books ePub

In working with adult survivors it seems to me important, as early in the therapy as is practicable, to make a clear statement about the issue of blame and responsibility. This comes from the experiences of colleagues working with children who have been or are being abused. It may not seem like a major issue to readers who are not systemic family therapists; however, within the family therapy community this statement initially elicited some criticism. It seemed to family therapists not possible to make such an apparently “linear’ statement, while still retaining the possibility of working “neutrally” with all family members, and while intending to consider the parts played by all family members within the system within which abuse occurred. In my experience it has indeed been possible to combine these two apparently incompatible attitudes.

Within the first or second session, once at least an outline of the childhood abuse has been given, I will look for the opportunity to say the following: ‘There is something I want to say to you, which is based on my experience and that of many other colleagues working with the children who have been sexually abused. When a sexual act happens between an adult and a child, regardless of what the child may have done, the child is not to blame. It is the adult who is responsible for what has happened/’ I will then expand on this by saying that in our culture children are taught that they must obey adults; they learn that when something uncomfortable happens between adult and child the usual interpretation is that it is the child who has been naughty.

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Medium 9781605098869

9 Stay in Touch

Mark Muchnick Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

AT SOME POINT in life we begin to realize that maintaining friendships gets harder and harder. Like it or not, we all get busy and sometimes just don’t have enough time to keep up with everything—and everyone—in our world. Before we know it, we may start to grow distant from people we used to be close to and eventually lose track of their lives. Without frequency of interaction, our friendships can wither and fade, and for that we may wind up having regrets.

To keep your relationships alive, you must take the time to stay in touch. This requires conscious effort and is not always convenient or easy. Essentially, it means either being a good communicator or learning to become one. In other words, we have to take the initiative to find out what’s going on in other people’s lives and be willing to let them in on what’s happening in our world as well. The mere fact that our lives are so overscheduled and fast paced calls for creativity in our quest to stay in touch.

Dan Vishny is someone who knows how to step outside the box when it comes to staying in touch. Vish, as he prefers to be called, is an accountant by training who also has a penchant for vegan cooking and travel. One day Vish, while living in Chicago, was experimenting with a new vegan recipe when he got a call from a friend he used to cook with back in Eugene, Oregon. Although it was great to catch up, Vish was saddened by the fact that many of his closest friends were spread out across the country and that he hardly ever talked to them anymore. In addition, due to his busy work schedule and the pressures of raising a family, it was always either the wrong time to go visit or just too expensive.

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Medium 9781609940652

Discussion Questions for Your Organization (or Team)

Deepak Malhotra Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

1. If Max were to study your organization, what would he say? What advice would he give?

2. If Zed were asked to evaluate the assumptions in your organization—those things that are taken for granted—what would be his evaluation? What advice would he give?

3. Why were so many of the other mice in the maze uncomfortable with the issues that Max and Zed raised? Clearly, many of these mice had overcome the fear of change. What was the fear that remained?

4. How would you describe the strengths of Max, Big, and Zed? Which of these strengths do you think are prevalent in your organization? Which of them are under-represented? How can these strengths be cultivated?

5. What are the mazes that exist within your organization, or in your organization’s environment? Who designed them? Why do they persist? What are the taken-for-granted goals—your equivalent of the pursuit of cheese—that may be worth reconsidering?

6. What, precisely, stands in the way of changing things in your organization? Are there things that can and should be changed immediately? Are there things that cannot be changed in the short run but that can and should be changed over time? Are there steps that need to be taken today to ensure positive change in the future?

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Medium 9781576754399

Chapter 9 Generosity and Giving

Victoria Castle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Awise woman was traveling in the mountains, when she came upon a beautiful, clear stream. Thirsty, she cupped her hand, reached in, and brought the water to her mouth. After she had drunk, she noticed a precious stone in the palm of her hand. She held it high and it glittered in the sun. Delighted, she tucked the treasure into her bag. The next day the wise woman met a hungry fellow traveler, and without hesitating she opened her bag to share what food she had. Immediately, the traveler caught sight of the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without the slightest hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. This stone was surely worth enough money to provide a lifetime of security. But only a few days later, he came back, his brow furrowed, and returned the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone must surely be, but I’ve brought it back to trade for something even more precious. Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to freely give me the stone.”

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Medium 9781605099224

Fourteen Our Journey in Review

Barbara McAfee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub



It is good to have an end
to journey toward, but
it is the journey that
matters in the end.

Ursula K. Le Guin


We began this journey into your full voice by defining what vocal presence is: the state where your words, facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, emotions, imagination, and spirit are all fully engaged and congruent in conveying your message.

• How frequently is this state available to you in your day-to-day conversations and presentations?

• When you look back at the Full Voice Assessment you took at the beginning of the book, what has changed in your voice? What’s the same?

Next we tackled some big ideas to set a context for the rest of our exploration: evolution, the oral tradition, and how your voice is directly connected to your identity.

• How has your identity changed since you started exploring vocal presence?

• Have you reclaimed parts of your identity through your voice?

• Have you left aspects of your identity behind?

• How has your story about who you are shifted? If so, how did that happen?

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Medium 9781609945367

11 Controlling Complexity

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


This map has been the most difficult one for me to write and I’ve worried that you might find it too dark to read. So I’d like to tell you a little about this map and its origins.

The world I know best is that of large organizations and governments; I’ve worked in many countries and at all levels, from CEOs and cabinet ministers to staff and hourly workers. I have direct and frequent experience with what I’ve written here; daily these dynamics severely impact those in large bureaucracies with whom I work.

As this map took shape, as I linked together so many destructive dynamics, it was impossible not to succumb to anger and despair. I have vowed not to add to the aggression and fear of this time, but I struggled to avoid doing this here. This analysis makes clear (at least to me) how much harm is being done to the good work of good people, how people with legislative authority exert that power in destructive and abusive ways, and how the future is being cast aside for private profit. We have to feel angry and outraged—these are legitimate and necessary reactions. But I also know that we can’t use these to motivate us, that we need to pause long enough for them to abate so that they open the way to clarity and insight.

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Medium 9781576754306

13 Search for the Idea

Jack Foster Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If there is no wind, row.

Latin proverb

The biggest sin is sitting on your ass.

Florynce Kennedy

Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.

Gene Fowler

Cliff Einstein, the head of an advertising agency, says: “The best way to get an idea is to get an idea.”

He means that once you have an idea, the pressure is off to have an idea.

He also means that ideas have a way of snowballing, that the best way to get the whole process going is to prime it with an idea, any idea. It doesn’t matter if the idea makes sense or solves the problem or is even germane, just as long as it’s something new and different.

I know this sounds crazy, but try it sometime. It really works. Say: “Why don’t we paint it green?” Or “What if . . .”

Hal Riney, another agency head, said: “Actually, I suppose the creative process is probably nothing more than trial and error, guided by facts, experience, and taste.”

Linus Pauling said: “The best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas.”

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Medium 9781576755594

1. Breakdown in Professional Women—Why Now?

Kathy Caprino Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

* * *

We shall not escape our dangers
by recoiling from them


“Everything I’ve worked for has just lost its importance to me. I really have no idea what to do or where to go next. I desperately want to do something different, something more meaningful to me, but I can’t figure out what that is.”

“I feel so mistreated and unappreciated at work. What I really want to do is tell them all off, but I end up coming back each day, and stuffing down my anger and resentment.”

“I can’t keep up this pace. I want some time off, and I need more flexibility and space to be with my daughter. But how can I ask for that when I’ve just been promoted?”

“I feel sick and exhausted all the time, and I just can’t beat this illness. I can barely function, at work or at home. I need a break!”

“If I really get honest with myself, I realize I’m just not performing at my peak anymore at this job. I’m not at my best anymore and it’s scary to me.”

“A friend of mine has her own small business, loves it, and makes great money without killing herself each day. I wish I could figure out how to do that, but I don’t think I have what it takes to make it on my own.”

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Medium 9781576751329

15. Accept when Failure ws Really Failure

Charles C. Manz Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Author Sydney Finkelstein recently wrote an article in which he outlined several factors that contributed to the dot-com collapse of 2000– 2001.28 Among those was an apparent overly positive embrace of failure as an end in itself. Finkelstein points out that the assumption that failure will necessarily lead to learning is not always true. Many Internet company executives, especially young and inexperienced ones, developed a cavalier attitude toward failure, taking actions that were quite harmful to their firms. From Finkelstein’s view, real failure, rather than adaptive long-term-oriented learning, was the dominant result.

Throughout this book I have tried to make it clear that what we call failure is usually only a temporary setback or a “challenge in progress.” Sometimes, however, failure really is failure and we need to accept it for what it is. This requires that we face it honestly and avoid going too far to redefine it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to reverse this book’s theme 180 degrees and suddenly say that we should look at failure as a dead end and as a trigger for guilt and remorse. Rather, I’m saying we need to recognize that sometimes failure is just that—failure—so we need to face it honestly, take from it what we can, and get on with moving beyond it.

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Medium 9781855756199

II. The Epistemological Problem in the Theory of Dreams

Donald Meltzer Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

While the psycho-analytical literature has almost without exception followed Freud’s lead in the general theory of dreams both as regards their function in the mind as well as the mode of their genesis, the literature of philosophy has been occupied, in so far as it has taken note of the phenomenon of dreams at all, with the epistemological aspect. This seems to take the form of two different sorts of questions: can we know that we are dreaming? and do dreams, as our prime evidence of a world of intuitive mental activity, generate knowledge?

In general the interest in linguistics among the philosophers has centred on defining the limits of language on the assumption that language is both man’s unique differentiating capacity that separates human from animal mentality, and the parallel dicta that anything that can be thought can be said, and anything that can be said can be said clearly (Wittgenstein of the Tractatus). This attitude separated the world of rational thought about observable facts from the world of emotion and intuitive understanding by arrogating meaning exlusively to the former realm. This was not meant to imply that the latter realm was of no importance in human relations but that it did not deal with knowledge and therefore was meaningless in the epistemological sense. It rightly, in a sense, relegated dreams to the vicinity of myths, religions, art as the realm of the ineffable, where this term, meaning inexpressible in words, equated this deficiency of language with the borderline between real and mystical experience. But it wrongly mistook the solipsistic position that one cannot have knowledge of other minds with the parallel assumption that a mind cannot have direct knowledge of itself.

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Medium 9780991309405

Resources: Supporting Research

Ya-Ling J. Liou Return to Health Press™ PDF


Supporting Research




Hakim AJ. Hypermobility and illness. Revised December 2013. http:// hypermobility.org/help-advice/hypermobility-syndromes/what-is-hms/.

Accessed December 23, 2014. See also Scheper MC, de Vries JE, JuulKristensen B, Nollet F, Engelbert RH. The functional consequences of generalized joint hypermobility: a cross-sectional study. BMC Musculoskelet

Disord. 2014;15:243. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/15/243.

Accessed December 23, 2014.

Korting HC, Lukacs A, Vogt N, Urban J, Ehret W, Ruckdeschel G. Influence of the pH-value on the growth of Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes in continuous culture. Zentralbl Hyg

Umweltmed. 1992;93(1):78-90. See also Santi I, Grifantini R, Jiang SM, et al.

CsrRS regulates group B Streptococcus virulence gene expression in response to environmental pH: a new perspective on vaccine development. J Bacteriol.

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Medium 9780971435223

Casus Belli

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Yet now, forsooth, because Pierre began to see through the first superficiality of the world, he fondly weens he has come to the unlayered substance. But, far as any geologist has yet gone down into the world, it is found to consist of nothing but surface stratified on surface. To its axis, the world being nothing but superinduced superficies. By vast pains we mine into the pyramid; by horrible gropings we come to the central room; with joy we espy the sarcophagus; but we lift the lid – and no body is there!– appallingly vacant as vast is the soul of a man!..........

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Medium 9781855751811

CHAPTER NINE. Reflections

Judy Hildebrand Karnac Books ePub

In this final chapter I connect the trainees’ feedback with some of my original speculations, before moving on to comment on a number of related training issues for the future. On the whole, the message from those trainees who took part in the survey confirmed many of the earlier reasons for setting up the module. For example, they concluded that taking part in experiential work had helped them to become more sensitized to their clients’ experience of therapy; they appreciated the variety of ways in which they had been encouraged to reflect more carefully on what it felt like to be in their clients’ shoes.This could be described as a development of their capacity to use empathy and compassion in their professional role.

They also commented on the significance of the leaders’ role in helping them to bridge the gaps between their own and their clients’ experience, between their personal and professional persona, and between their theoretical knowledge and their clinical practice. They also demonstrated the proposition that “Optimally, the self and the role of the therapist can exist in an acknowledged, functional, creative and respectful marriage” (Haber, 1994). The trainees confirmed my belief that if the leaders shared some of their own experiences with the group, this could lead to group members being more open; it would also become self-evident that the need for maintaining confidentiality was a mutual one.

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