HEAD NECK CANCER - A learning journey
When everything is ‘in sync’, we mean it is aligned.
Sometimes we might say that all the stars are in alignment,
or the ‘ducks are all in a row.’
It is more than serendipity, meaning a ‘happy accident’ –
a chance meeting; it is about the bigger flow
and the magnetic force of particular kinds of relationships
and more enduring power that can create great outcomes together.
I am teaching in the School of Tourism Management,
Zhuhai campus of Sun Yat-sen University.
Always hungry for books, I regularly trawl the stacks
of the 10th floor of the tall book-shaped library building.
The 10th floor houses the foreign languages books.
Here I can find an eclectic mix of writers and literature.
As I teach Management and Organisational Behaviour courses,
I wanted to familiarise myself with what was on the shelves
that I could recommend to my students,
beyond the conventional heavy detail-laden course text books.
I was seeking something by Peter Senge,
and other Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Management professors.
This led me to Joe Jaworski’s Synchronicity: the inner path of leadership (1996),
with an introduction by Peter Senge.
I was hooked, and surprised that I had not come across this book before.
It is very clearly written with editorial expertise from Betty Sue Flowers,
and one of those ‘un-put-downable’ books with a profound message.
It is a fast but deep read.
When Joe mentioned one of the first books he re-read
when he was making his transition from high flying lawyer
to following his dream of setting up a centre for developing leadership
was Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach,
I joined in his delight and wonder about life’s journey.
“Leadership is all about the release of human possibilities.
One of the central requirements for good leadership
is the capacity to inspire the people in the group to move them
and encourage them and pull them into the activity,
and to help them get centred and focused and operating at peak capacity.
A key element of this capacity to inspire is communicating to people
that you believe they matter,
that you know they have something important to give.
The confidence you have in others
will to some degree determine the confidence they have in themselves. …
Just being able to be there for others and to listen to them
is one of the most important capacities a leader can have.
It calls forth the best in people by allowing them to express
what is within them. If someone listens to me say what I am feeling,
then my feelings are given substance and direction, and I can act”
(Jaworski 1996, p.66).
“ Arthur Koestler, paraphrasing Jung, defines ‘synchronicity’
as the ‘seemingly accidental meeting of two unrelated causal chains in a
coincidental event which appears both highly improbable and highly significant.’
The people who come to you are the very people
you need in relation to your commitment.
Doors open, a sense of flow develops,
and you find you are acting in a coherent field of people
who may not even be aware of one another.
You are not acting individually any longer,
but out of the unfolding generative order.
This is the unbroken wholeness of the implicate order
out of which seemingly discrete events take place.
At this point, your life becomes a series of predictable miracles”
(Jaworski 1996, p. 185).
CREATING THE FUTURE, SHIFTING THE THINKING AND DOING
There are two key shifts required:
Shift our mental model that the universe is fixed and determined,
predictable as a machine or a clock.
Sometimes matter is like particles; sometimes like waves;
sometimes it as mass and sometimes it is energy.
All are interconnected and constantly moving.
Therefore, the future is not fixed and pre-determined.
The quintessential organising principle of the universe is relationship.
All particles are ephemeral states in a continuous
but changing network of interactions, or relationships (Jaworski 1996,pp.183-184).
Shift the nature of our commitment
“We grow up with the belief that if we commit to something ‘out there’
work longer and harder than others, we will be successful.
Another pathway of commitment is to trust our inner voice
to shape our role in forming the future.
Can we suspend our expectations,
be still long enough to hear the inner voice,
and trust it to guide us to the right people
and right opportunities to create coherence and meaning? …
From this commitment to our inner voice,
when we stop pretending to be like someone else,
we become more authentic and begin to attract the right people
in order to form a larger conversation and shape action
to create promising futures.
Instead of fighting against worst-case scenarios driven by fear,
anxiety or anger, we are walking towards and creating promising futures,
inspired by trust, calmness and love (Jaworski 1996, pp.184-185).
Jaworski, Joseph (Joe), 1996,
Synchronicity: the inner path of leadership,
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.
As a gentle provocateur of positive change,