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Who Do We Choose To Be?

Book Description

This book is born of my desire to summon us to be leaders for this time as things fall apart, to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil.

I know it is possible for leaders to use their power and influence, their insight and compassion, to lead people back to an understanding of who we are as human beings, to create the conditions for our basic human qualities of generosity, contribution, community and love to be evoked no matter what. I know it is possible to experience grace and joy in the midst of tragedy and loss. I know it is possible to create islands of sanity in the midst of wildly disruptive seas. I know it is possible because I have worked with leaders over many years in places that knew chaos and breakdown long before this moment. And I have studied enough history to know that such leaders always arise when they are most needed. Now it's our turn.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. What This World Needs
  6. Contents
  7. Opening
    1. An Invitation to the Nobility of Leadership
    2. What Time Is It on the Clock of the World?
    3. Who Do We Choose to Be?
    4. Two Lenses
      1. Science of Living Systems
      2. The Pattern of Collapse of Complex Civilizations
    5. Form Follows Function: The Design of This Book
    6. Dwelling Mind
  8. 1. The Arrow of Time
    1. What Science Teaches
    2. Facing Reality
      1. The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
      2. The Decline of Civilizations in Ten Generations
      3. The Myth of Progress
      4. The Religion of “Technological Majesty”
      5. Tipping Points
    3. Claiming Leadership
      1. Choosing to Lead Well in Collapse
      2. Leading an Island of Sanity
    4. Restoring Sanity
      1. Where Is Your Organization on the Arrow of Time?
      2. Leading from the Future
  9. 2. Identity
    1. What Science Teaches
    2. Facing Reality
      1. Identity Then and Now
      2. The Rise of Celebrity Culture
      3. The Compelling Call of Identity
      4. Whatever Happened to Ethics?
    3. Claiming Leadership
      1. “We are faithful; therefore we are not afraid.”
    4. Restoring Sanity
      1. Leading with Integrity
  10. 3. Information
    1. What Science Teaches
    2. Facing Reality
      1. Information Makes a Difference
      2. How the Digital Age Destroyed the Information Age
      3. What Happened to Learning?
      4. Neural Networks Can Herd Cats
    3. Claiming Leadership
      1. Restoring Learning to Decision Making
      2. The Origin of a Great Line
    4. Restoring Sanity
      1. The Principles and Process of an After Action Review (AAR)
      2. Dealing with the Impossible
  11. 4. Self-Organization
    1. What Science Teaches
    2. Facing Reality
      1. When Humans Self-Organize
      2. The Unstoppable Rise of Terror
      3. Leading with Self-Organization: Social Movements and Terrorism
    3. Claiming Leadership
      1. Leadership Lessons from Social Movements
    4. Restoring Sanity
      1. Grace Lee Boggs: A Lifetime of Movement Building
      2. Q: How Do You Self-Organize an Island of Sanity?
      3. A: You Rely on Human Human Beings
  12. 5. Perception
    1. What Science Teaches
    2. Facing Reality
      1. The Blinders of Inexplicable Arrogance
      2. Cognitive Dissonance
      3. Cognitive Dissonance and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)
      4. Conspiracy Theories
    3. Claiming Leadership
      1. Depending on Diversity
    4. Restoring Sanity
      1. A Tale of Two Stories
  13. 6. Interconnectedness
    1. What Science Teaches
    2. Facing Reality
      1. When There Is No Place Called Home
      2. Emergent Systems Can’t Be Changed
    3. Claiming Leadership
      1. Leading with Emergence
    4. Restoring Sanity
      1. The Joy of Interbeing
      2. You Can’t Build on Broken
  14. 7. Who do We Choose to Be?
    1. Leadership and the Collapse of Complexity
    2. Naming Ourselves
    3. What Do You Stand For?
    4. Where Do You Stand?
    5. The Gift of Meaningful Work
  15. 8. No Matter What
    1. Unshakable Confidence, Unquestioned Humility
    2. No Hope No Fear
    3. Making Our Shoulders Strong
    4. What Do You Want to Be Remembered For?
  16. Coda: When There is No Reality
  17. Appendix
  18. Recommended Readings
  19. Acknowledgments
  20. Index
  21. Author: Margaret Wheatley