"If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men and send them to cut wood. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
-Antoine St. Exupery
"No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.”
"If in the last few years you haven't discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.”
"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."
November 2005 - Holiday Thoughts
Happy Thanksgiving! I am sending this month’s LEADERBOARD on Thanksgiving week. You will see that this issue is very different in honor of the holiday season. But first, a little housekeeping.
I have been gathering research and energy to write a book for a couple of years now. It is very clear to me that the time has come to write that book. The LEADERBOARD is gratifying to produce (and you seem to agree since you pass it along to an average of 12 new subscribers each month). However the research and arrangement for guest writers requires more time than I can devote each month while I put my energies into a book. So, The LEADERBOARD will become a quarterly e-briefing. You will receive your next issue in March, 2006 and once per quarter thereafter.
This month’s LEADERBOARD will be a little different from our usual format. I have just returned from the Georgetown University alumni symposium for executive and leadership coaches. The content and exchange were very rich, both among the peer coaches and from our guest speaker, David Whyte. So this month, I am including a single article, which is a hodge-podge of thoughts and ideas that came from the symposium. It is a short, but any single item can provide serious grist for your attention over the holidays.
In addition, see our suggested book list for those who wish to deepen their understanding of leadership, relationship and the human condition.
Please accept my wishes for a pleasant and peaceful holiday season, and my gratitude for the interest and support you have shown through your continued readership, referrals and positive feedback.
As always, your comments, ideas and responses are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thoughts on Leadership and Life for the Holidays
I. Barry Goldberg
This is an inspirational collection of concepts ideas and questions that came from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching alumni symposium this month, including inspiring ideas from David Whyte, our guest speaker. These short descriptions are meant to provide food for thought over the holidays.
Holiday Reading and Gift Ideas
Here is a list of interesting sites, books and other easy to find resources to further your leadership exploration over the holidays:
www.davidwhyte.com - If you are not familiar with either the writing or poetry of David Whyte, consider this an invitation to an amazing man and set of resources. David's primary work is as a poet. You should hear him describe the deep silence of his father-in-law in the moment that he announced that he was "going full time as a poet." David's books on Work and Passion are a great place to start, The Heart Aroused and Crossing the Unknown Sea are wonderful explorations of work in our lives. And of course, his books of poetry reflect his own deep journey. All of the books are available on David's site and on Amazon.
The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield - I have reviewed this book in the last year, which you can see at this link. This is a wonderful book for the holidays as it provides a very clear set of attitudes and habits needed for creative projects. If you have something you have been putting off that you are looking to get done in 2006. pick up this short read. It is more effective than any New Year's Resolution.
Presence - This book, published in 2005 by Peter Senge chronicles an ongoing conversation between Senge and his co-authors, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jawarski and Betty Sue flowers. It is both an exploration of and challenge to leaders in all segments of society.
The Power of TED - This is a newly published book by David Emerald which uses a story format to turn the Karpman Drama Triangle inside out. The drama triangle casts the roles of victim, persecutor and rescuer to many of the unworkable relationships in life and in the workplace. Emerald rethinks the roles starting with the question "What is the opposite of victim." This is a short but powerful book. More information is available at www.powerofted.com.
The Sunflower - This is a powerful and even disturbing book that will push your definition of forgiveness. It is written by Simon Wiesenthal, who survived Nazi concentration camps and went on to be famous for his pursuit of those responsible. However, the book recounts a story from his time in a work camp and then asks a powerfully challenging question: "You are a prisoner in a concentration camp. A dying Nazi soldier asks you for your forgiveness. What would you do?" The newer version includes not only Wiesenthal's retelling, but a response to the question from such wide personalities as the Dalai Lama, Albert Speer, Cardinal Franz Konig and Desmond Tutu.
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The LEADER BOARD is a monthly publication of Entelechy Partners, a coaching and leadership development company.