You know it when you hear it. It touches you. You are so moved by what you’ve just heard you can’t wait to share it. You may have even heard it before. But this time, the way it’s said and who says it impacts you differently.
This was the case during my recent webinar with Joseph Jaworski and Susan Taylor. There were so many powerful and wonderful ideas shared.
Joseph is the founder of the American Leadership Forum and known throughout the world for his book Synchronicity and two other books, Presence and Source. He has also had an enormous impact on leadership and the state of being throughout the world. Susan has worked closely with Joseph on leadership development for the past 20 years.
During this webinar, Joseph and Susan addressed many of the key questions and challenges faced by leaders, entrepreneurs, and in fact all of us during these times of fast and turbulent change.
Please enjoy these key insights I mined from our conversation. Follow the links for a more thorough discussion.
“What I’ve learned and what is absolutely the case is that those opportunities are hidden there waiting for us, if we only knew how to access them. That’s what I keep reminding myself of when I’m close to that edge, that this world, the way universe is literally constructed, is one of infinite possibility. It’s up to our choices and the way we choose to operate our businesses and live our life to step into that. It’s waiting for us.”
“The short answer is give people more freedom, because the more freedom, and respect and love that the people have, the more natural they will be, which means that they’re going to be more curious. That’s my key insight over the years about this. Sadly to say, most organizations, even smaller ones but certainly in large systems, are pervaded by anxiety and, I would say, fear.”
“What I have discovered over the years is that staying committed is so important because it’s like the Joseph Campbell picture of the Hero’s Journey which is an archetype for all of our lives, really. You have to go through that road of trial and stay committed. It’s almost as if the universe is saying, “I’m going to see how committed you are.” Keep your dream and your vision alive and in front of you, and maybe we can talk about it later but you tack into it. Beating the path as you walk it and then ultimately you’ll get there.”
“I think it’s a matter of awareness and being resilient so it doesn’t get squeezed out of you during tough times, and remaining open and optimistic is a key element to being a great entrepreneur and a great leader. It’s the hallmark, actually, of great entrepreneurship is optimism and curiosity.”
“From an organizational standpoint or, well, from a personal standpoint, what I’m saying is continual awareness training and work on your practices, which we can talk about. From an organizational standpoint, it’s the mantra of continuous renewal. Not resting on your laurels but being open to finding ways to renew your organization on a continuous basis. That’s the way to avoid these traps.”
“The point is that there are practices for high performance thinking that we have discovered over the years that really work. These are critical to maintaining full awareness about what’s going on. One, it’s just simply having in your quiver the first element of what is shown on our U-Process, which is a process of discovery. That is awareness and observation. We write it three times: observe, observe, observe. Just being cautious that you have your eyes wide open and you’re observing all the time, that’s a practice, really.”
“That’s a term of art that we use in Generon that actually came from another one of my mentors by the name of John W. Gardner who was in President Johnson’s cabinet, and he’s head of the White House Fellows Program. He wrote some books on self-renewal that’s related to individuals, but then wrote books about organizational renewal. This is literally what Generon’s work in the world is, is the work of organizational renewal. There are four elements to it. We call it the Four-circle model.”
“What we have discovered and what I wrote Synchronicity and Source about was the last perspective which we found nobody had written about which was from where is the source of this kind of leadership –the source of Stage IV leadership we call it. It’s the kind of leadership that has the capacity in the face of all these rising and accelerating complexities — in the face of all of that — how can we create new realities continually so that we stay ahead of the game.”
If you’d like to listen to a replay of the webinar, an audio recording is available here, Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century.
Thank you, Joseph and Susan, for sharing your insights on leadership and entrepreneurialism!