1041 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781626567771

1 What Is the Courage Way?

, The Center for Courage & Renewal; Francis, Shelly L. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our complicity in world making is a source of awesome and sometimes painful responsibility—and a source of profound hope for change. It is the ground of our common call to leadership, the truth that makes leaders of us all.

—Parker J. Palmer

Most people would agree that leadership is something we need more of, but there’s little agreement about exactly what good leadership means, except that we don’t want more of the traditionally hierarchical and authoritarian style. Search the Internet with the keywords good leadership and you’ll find countless books and articles with lists of the top skills and traits of a good leader. You’ll also find all kinds of programs and coaches and organizations claiming to offer the secrets to leading well, as if there were a shortcut.

Most of us know “good” leadership when we see it or experience it; we put labels on it, like authentic, transformational, trustworthy, successful, courageous. Look further. Good leadership is about making good decisions by balancing inevitable tensions and knowing when to take risks. Leadership is keeping your values in sight regardless of the pressures around you, and staying calm in the storms that arise. Leadership is listening well and inviting opinions and answers from others. Leadership is inspiring others with your vision, influencing them with the power of your presence. Leadership encourages others to step into their leadership, too.

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Medium 9781605098265

Chapter 6: Answering the Big Question: When to Say Yes and No

Schuster, John P Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In an amnesia-themed story by Don DeLillo, The Names, a character describes the social fabric: “All of this we choose to forget. We devise a countersystem of elaborate forgetfulness . . . but the experience is no less deep because we chose to forget it.”1

Collective-amnesia themes are not as common as themes about individuals with memory loss, but they still show up often. A whole city or tribe or planet forgets its origin and its nature. As the story unfolds, the clues to its history emerge, and the shock of remembering can be a horror. In the Charlton Heston movie Soylent Green, our disguised source of food, due to planetary overcrowding, had become other humans. But if we are mindful of our memories, the recovery from amnesia may be a liberation and a link to the society’s truest, noblest nature.

Elaborate forgetfulness can lead us down paths that serve us poorly. We need to take great care to prevent our amnesia from forging a countersystem that works against what we are here to do.

OUR STORIES DEFINE us. Our stories confine us. Memories provide fuel for reinventing and rediscovering ourselves. Recalling, reclaiming, and recasting knead our memories for what we need to learn and what we hope to change. While memories themselves are important, remembrance, an act of amnesia-reducing recollection and reflection, is more important still. When we revisit our history as a more experienced and wiser person, we can remake ourselves. We choose richer interpretations than the simpler, less nuanced, sometimes downright mistaken conclusions of our younger selves.

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Medium 9781523094189

3 Purpose

Whitman, Gordon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Why dedicate our lives to social change? Surely there’s an easier path to a good life?

People get involved in social change for many reasons. We see problems in our community that need to be addressed. We care about an issue that affects our life. We want to help others. We want to feel a connection to people. But deciding to get more deeply involved, take on leadership, or make a lifetime commitment to fighting for justice takes a different level of motivation. This choice is more about emotion than logic. The payoff for deepening our commitment is less about a specific issue than the opportunity to feel included and respected, to know that we matter and that our lives have meaning. It’s less about helping other people than about our own freedom.

The first conversation that helps us clarify our purpose is important because it makes it possible for us to join others to take on the most entrenched forces of injustice. If we know that this is how we’re meant to be living our lives, then we can persist against opposition. We can motivate those around us. We can build the deep, trusting relationships people need to go into a fight together. That’s why the first conversation in social change needs to be with ourselves about the purpose of our lives. One of the biggest mistakes people make when working for justice is to skip over their own internal revolution. Personal commitment is what helps us work through the obstacles that beset even the best organizing strategies, campaigns, and tactics.

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Medium 9781622500291

Campaign Speeches

Saddleback Educational Publishing Saddleback Educational Publishing PDF



date ____________________________


A. Have you ever listened to a political candidate’s campaign speech?

Use the clues to solve the crossword puzzle. Match each clue with one of the words in the box. constituents support reform platform obstacle cause precinct enforce pledge





1. to use power to compel people to obey

4. a goal or purpose that a number of people are interested in


6. ideas and plans a candidate stands for

8. a promise to voters






2. voters who are represented by an official

3. to change for the better, improve

5. to take the side of

6. one of the voting districts into which a city is divided

7. anything that gets in the way

B. Complete the speech below with words from the box in Part A.

My fellow citizens:


I thank those who have come here today to __ __ __ __ __ __ me in the mayor’s race. As you know, my __ __ __ __ __ __ __ includes new ideas for making our city safe. I __ __ __ __ __ to stem the rising tide of crime! I call for a total __ __ __ __ __ of the court system! As mayor, I will encourage our police department to

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Medium 9781576756003

5 Kitchen Talk

Adams, Marilee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

It was early in the morning when Grace found the Choice Map I had stuck on the refrigerator door the night before. As usual, I awoke to the smell of fresh coffee and made my way downstairs to the kitchen. Grace is always up before me. She’s one of those people who wakes up cheerful and enthusiastic about each new day. I’m just the opposite and I know it sometimes puts Grace on edge. She claims that I’m like a bear coming out of hibernation in the morning. I don’t think I’m quite that bad, but I don’t exactly start the day off with a song in my heart.

As I entered the kitchen, I found Grace standing in front of the refrigerator with her back to me. She appeared to be engrossed with the Choice Map. I was immediately worried about what she might say. I was pretty sure she’d start probing and I’d have to tell her the whole thing — about my trouble at work and all the rest of it. That would lead to how I’d gotten the Choice Map and why I’d posted it on the refrigerator. Then I might have to tell her about why Alexa had referred me to Joseph and that could turn into an emotional minefield.

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Medium 9781626567771

8 The Courage to Question and Listen

, The Center for Courage & Renewal; Francis, Shelly L. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A strong community helps people develop a sense of true self, for only in community can the self exercise and fulfill its nature: giving and taking, listening and speaking, being and doing.

—Parker J. Palmer

Greg Sunter is used to being at the front of the room in control of delivering content—first as a classroom teacher, then in school leadership, and now as an education consultant in Brisbane, Australia. Greg no longer thinks of controlling presentations. Rather than showing up as an expert, Greg now asks, “How do I invite other people into a conversation rather than me leading it?” He does it with questions.

This was Greg’s mindset when he was hired to address a toxic staff culture at a primary school. Morale was at an all-time low, and relationships were frayed after a complete turnover in the school’s leadership chain within two years. The administrators told Greg that they didn’t expect him to fix all the problems in a day and a half, but they needed to start the detoxification process.

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Medium 9781609949327

Chapter 11 Take a Break—Is It Over Yet?

Leider, Richard J.; Webber, Alan M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You’ve gone through each of the six practices that make up the Life Reimagined map. So this must be the journey’s end! Right?

Actually no.

In fact, the journey is never over. Remember Yogi Berra’s famous dictum, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”?

When it comes to the Life Reimagined journey, good old Yogi had it wrong. The truth is, it’s never over.

When you reach Act, the sixth guidepost on the map, you haven’t arrived at your destination. You’ve actually just started. Because after you Act, your next step is to Reflect. You pause and see how your action feels to you: Does it sit well? Is it uncomfortable in an uncomfortable way? Or is it uncomfortable in a satisfying way, like the first day at a gym doing a new exercise regime? You know that workout might make your muscles sore—and you also know you’ll feel a little proud of yourself for having made the effort.

After you’ve gone around the Life Reimagined map for the first time, you’ll want to check in with the members of your Sounding Board. You’ll want to report in on how your journey is going. You’ll want to invite their feedback, to add their insights to your own experiences.

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Medium 9781605094113

7 Decide upon Your Major Definite Purpose

Tracy, Brian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.


Since you become what you think about most of the time, a major definite purpose gives you a focus for every waking moment. As Peter Drucker said, “Whenever you find something getting done, you find a monomaniac with a mission.”

The more you think about your major definite purpose and how to achieve it, the more you activate the Law of Attraction in your life. You begin to attract people, opportunities, ideas, and resources that help you to move more rapidly toward your goal and move your goal more rapidly toward you.

By the Law of Correspondence, your outer world of experience will correspond and harmonize with your inner world of goals. When you have a major definite purpose that you think about, talk about, and work on all the time, your outer world will reflect this, like a mirror image.

A major definite purpose also activates your subconscious mind on your behalf. Any thought, plan, or goal that you can clearly define in your conscious mind will immediately start to be brought into reality by your subconscious mind (and your superconscious mind, as we will discuss later).

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Medium 9781626563292

14 The Story of Your Gift

Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Puanani Burgess

I am a facilitator and mediator, and I use a process I call “Building the Beloved Community” to help people talk to each other. I arrived at this process after years working as an activist for the rights of my people, the Hawaiian people. After becoming a Zen priest, I realized that all people are my people and that I had the responsibility to care for all of them.

With this process, I help people go to the deepest places, below the piko (belly button) into their naiau (guts). We do this as part of a ceremony, a sacred process that helps to level the playing field. It’s a safe space where we can all see each other as human, where we develop curiosity about each other, and where conflict can be transformed. It’s a process I’ve used with incarcerated women and among government officials and community advocates trying to find common ground.

In this process, I ask people to tell three stories.

The first is the story of all of your names—not just the ones you use during short introductions. When you speak of your names, you tell the story of your family, your people, and your history. And you share your feelings about your name— who named you, what your name means.

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Medium 9781576759448

CHAPTER SEVEN Following the Five Directions

van Dernoot Lipsky, Laura; Burk, Connie Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As you begin your journey, remember that you are not alone. Nearly every spiritual tradition has created stories or texts to guide the way. Any one of these might help you to arrive at answers that will allow you to benefit yourself and others to the fullest extent. For this book, I have created the Five Directions as a navigational tool. It is our compass: It will help us to continuously assess how we are doing and what we need.

In developing the Five Directions, I have drawn upon a vision of the world that was common to many early cultures in Asia, the Americas, and even in Europe. In addition to the four cardinal directions—north, east, south, and west—the ancients envisioned a fifth direction. This was sometimes seen as the core element that linked Earth to both the heavens and the underworld. It has been variously described as “the center,”“here,” or the “spiritual direction.”

The ancients understood this fifth direction to be integrally connected to the other four. In the modern world, we often think of north, east, south, and west as little more than the letters at the ends of arrows pointing our way across the earth’s terrain. To the earlier peoples, of course, each of the directions was linked to natural phenomena—and therefore with colors, materials, and seasons, as well as with their metaphorical qualities. East, for example, is the direction of dawn. To the Chinese, east was often associated with springtime, the colors green and blue, and wood; to the Cherokee nation, on the other hand, east was associated with the color red, reawakening from winter, and new life.

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Medium 9781605099224

Brain Rats, The Song

McAfee, Barbara Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub



Brain rats, I’ve got brain rats.
A pestilential blight upon my mind.

They torture with such cunning like
little Marquises de Sade
And wreak unstinting havoc
beneath my cool facade.
They tell me I’m worse than everyone;
My problems can’t be solved,
And I’m the piece of crap around
which this whole world revolves.

Barbara McAfee, from
the song “Brain Rats”1


In between contractions, my friend raises her head from the pillows and says, “I’m not having this damn baby!”

Her belly is huge.

She’s been in labor for five hours.

The midwife is present.

The nursery is ready.

I’m there as a friend and supporter.

I look at the midwife with amazement.

My friend clearly is having this baby.

The midwife climbs up onto the bed, literally gets in my friend’s face, and says in firm tones, “You are in transition. Women giving birth go through this. You are having this damn baby!” This typically mild-mannered midwife is fierce and clear with my friend. The mother calms down, gets busy with her labor, and several hours later births her beautiful daughter into the world.

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Medium 9781576755594

7. Speaking Up with Power

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A No uttered from deepest conviction
is better and greater than a Yes
merely uttered to please or,
what is worse, to avoid trouble


* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Reliving past trauma over speaking up.

* LET GO of your pain from past suppression.

* SAY YES! to your personal power through words and action.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I use my voice to support myself and others.”

* Christine: I have a long history of not being able to speak up for myself. I see now that how I was raised and what I went through growing up stunted my ability to know myself. I couldn’t express what I believed or wanted. And often, I didn’t even know what I thought deep down. My very traditional, conservative parents came from cultures that believed women and children should be seen and not heard, so that’s how I was trained. Throughout my life, I can’t ever remember asking myself, “What do I really want to say here?” because it didn’t seem like a relevant question. My thoughts and feelings weren’t allowed to come to the surface.

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Medium 9781626567719

5 Reframing from Anxiety to Taking Control

Peterson, Rick; Hoekstra, Judd Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You are a professional glove hitter. Hit the glove!


There are many things about pressure situations which cause our anxiety levels to rise. The reasons include, but aren’t limited to, these:

We focus on goals or factors outside of our control.

We focus on outcomes rather than the process to achieve those outcomes.

We get overwhelmed by the perceived difficulty of the task.

We commit to doing too much.

Our expectations are too high because we use the wrong measuring stick.

We exaggerate the importance of the situation.

In this chapter, we share a number of antidotes to pressure that will lower your anxiety levels and put you back in control.

At the beginning of spring training every year, Rick asks his pitchers, “What’s your goal?” Most of the answers given center around outcomes like winning a certain number of games, or pitching a certain number of innings. Rick takes these answers as an opportunity to teach a lesson in goal setting. While many of us have been taught to set lofty, long-term-outcome goals, the type that show up on the back of a baseball card or a company financial statement, these goals are overrated in comparison to lesser-appreciated, short-term, bite-sized process goals.

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Medium 9781523097821

9 Kate

, The Arbinger Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I had met Kate just once. She’d been the final of my eight interviewers during the hiring process. I liked her instantly, as I’d since found out was common to nearly everyone in the company. Her story was in some ways the story of Zagrum, and like Zagrum’s story, Kate’s was freely passed along to new employees. She had joined the company fresh out of college some 25 years earlier, with a degree in history. One of the first 20 employees at Zagrum, she started as an order-fulfillment clerk. In those days, it seemed that Zagrum’s future was in perpetual doubt. After five years, Kate, by then Zagrum’s director of sales, left the company for a better opportunity, only to change her mind after a last-ditch personal appeal by Lou Herbert. Since that time, and until Lou’s retirement, Kate had been second in command at Zagrum. At Lou’s retirement, she was elevated to president and CEO.

“Hello, Tom,” she said, extending her hand to me. “It’s good to see you again. Is life treating you well?”

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Medium 9781576752715

2. Yes Is the Right Question

Block, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

yes is the right question.         The alternative to asking How? is saying Yes—not literally, but as a symbol of our stance towards the possibility of more meaningful change. If the answers to How? have not fed us, then perhaps we ordered the wrong meal. The right questions are about values, purpose, aesthetics, human connection, and deeper philosophical inquiry. To experience the fullness of working and living, we need to be willing to address questions that we know have no answer. When we ask How? we limit ourselves to questions for which there is likely to be an answer, and this has major implications for all that we care about.

The goal is to balance a life that works with a life that counts. The challenge is to acknowledge that just because something works, it doesn’t mean that it matters. A life that matters is captured in the word yes. Yes is the answer—if not the antithesis—to How? Yes expresses our willingness to claim our freedom and use it to discover the real meaning of commitment, which is to say Yes to causes that make no clear offer of a return, to say Yes when we do not have the mastery, or the methodology, to know how to get where we want to go. Yes affirms the value of participation, of being a player instead of a spectator to our own experience. Yes affirms the existence of a destination beyond material gain, for organizations as well as individuals.

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