I’ve read 4 books in the last 3 months that have significantly altered my thinking. I’d go so far as to say they have altered what I want to do with my life. I’m still figuring all this out but I feel compelled to share the details of the book so others, particularly lawyers seeking a more conscious approach to their life work, may be inspired too.
Incidentally, today I was unexpectedly given a Kindle by someone who knows just how important books are in my life. (I do wonder if it’s because apparently you don’t have to leave the light on when you read a Kindle!). I look forward to playing with my new toy although it will be weird not holding a book in my hands.
The most recent of these books is: Synchronicity – The Inner Path of Leadership, by Joseph Jaworski
I concur with a reviewer who said:
“Think of this book as the guidebook for a journey that connects you to life and culminates in the gift of leadership. His book takes the premise that leading is serving and gives insight to the transformation we must make internally, not externally to become a leader. For me though, this book was not about leadership or developing leadership. It is a book that helps you understand life in a new context. Synchronicity becomes the goal and the added benefits of leadership qualities become more of an after-thought.”
Jaworski was a trial lawyer in the US for 20 years, who had all the material trappings of success, when suddenly things shifted. His wife left him and in a series of events that unfolded through a process of synchronicity, he was guided or inspired to start the American Leadership Forum. After perhaps a decade or so he went on to work for Shell as a scenario planner globally, which is where he worked with Adam Kahane who wrote “Solving Tough Problems” one of the other 4 books I refer to earlier. Adam came out to South Africa to lead the Mont Fleur Scenarios – but more about that at another time.
Currently Jaworski co-owns a consultancy called Generon International. He and his colleagues have come up with the Global Leadership Initiative (GLI).
An online magazine called Enlighten Next describes this as “so audacious and inspired that it has caught the attention of a new partner, The Synergos Institute, a well-placed international development organization, as well as major corporations, leading foundations, UN agencies, and local organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. GLI is committed to creating tri-sectoral projects to find innovative solutions to ten of the most intractable problems facing humanity—beginning with the world food supply and child malnutrition. The brilliance of GLI is that it doesn’t work through the usual channels. Rather than getting embroiled in the labyrinths of existing bureaucracies or caught in turf battles, their aim is to work with key leaders across all sectors to create a shift in consciousness, a leap into the future.”
But to get back to the book, Synchronicity, Jaworski’s own journey begins with him describing his father’s involvement as the Prosecutor for Watergate – clearly a very difficult role to be brought into as the one guy tasked with uncovering the truth when it turned out that everyone including the President of the United States was lying through their teeth. There are stories of Jaworski’s deeply meaningful encounters with nature, a tornado, loss, grief, his own failures and successes and projects of such immense scale that he brings to life. Throughout his story and his becoming more aware the central tenet is that:
“If we have truly committed to follow our dream, there exists beyond ourselves and our conscious will a powerful force that helps us along the way and nurtures our growth and transformation. Our journey is guided by invisible hands with infinitely greater accuracy than is possible through our unaided conscious will.”
I will post a video of Joseph Jaworski shortly – which explains much of the book. It is an hour long talk which I think is harder to stay absorbed in than the book was. Perhaps because I love to read. For those who take in more when listening, watch the talk and then see if you want to read the book. I can only say that I finished this book in a flood of tears. It is a book that I think is powerful enough to have a lasting effect on all those who read it and therefore in the interests of contributing to a more conscious world, please read this book.
Secretly (well, not so secretly) I wish to work with Joseph Jaworski some day. I have the sense he’s who I need to assist me carry out my WIG (Wildly Improbable Goal). Mmm. And if there were an opportunity to go and work for the GLI – I’d be on a plane tomorrow.