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Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership Paperback – January 1, 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Jaworski, the son of Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski, here presents his personal philosophy of life. As founder of the American Leadership Forum, Jaworski espouses the value of servant leadership, which calls for leadership that is relationship-oriented, creative, and constructive. Additionally, he comments on the world economic situation. Regrettably, the author seems too self-absorbed at times, wandering from topic to topic without providing any insight. At one point, Jaworski claims, "We are all one," but how does one apply that to leadership? Due to the lack of any practical ideas, this recording is not recommended.?Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Scientific American

"Synchronicity illustrates that leadership is about the release of human possibilities, about enabling others to break free of limits-created organizationally or self-imposed. Although this book describes the author's personal journey, it contains profound messages about organizational learning and effectiveness." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576750310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576750315
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,334,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Synchronicity is one of the most inspiring books I know on leadership. The book is a fascinating and holistic blend of the personal and the professional. Jaworski is a name you may already be familiar with. He is the son of Watergate prosecutor, Leon Jaworski. His career is facinating. He began his professional life as a high-powered attorney in Houston. He chased after and won all of the trappings of external success. Then, suddently, his wife announced she was leaving him, and he was forced to confront himself, his values, and the meaning and purpose of his life. The rest seems to flow out of this pivotal experience. Jaworski left the practice of law and went on to become founder, chairman, and CEO of the American Leadership Forum. This organization continues to serve established local leaders and promotes collaborative problem-solving in communities and regions for the public good. In the early 90's, he joined Royal Dutch Shell in London as head of Global Scenario Planning. The initiative he led there is credited as instrumental in the peaceful transfer of power in South Africa which put an end to the government of apartheid. At the time the book was published, Jaworski was with MIT's Center for Organizational Learning which later closed in 1997. His role there was to work with leading corporations on building learning organizations, a topic which still receives considerable focus in leadership circles. It's a concept that appeals to many, and yet few have succeeded in implementing one. The old models die hard. Still, change is in the air.

The book speaks to topics that resonate with us at a deep level: integrity, commitment, responsibility, values, meaning, vulnerability, trust, collaboration, to name a few.

The book begins with a familiar story.
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Format: Paperback
Many books about leadership view the subject as being akin to mechanical engineering. How do you get all those people (like cogs in a machine) to act in just the ways you want them to? Mostly written by leaders to describe their own experiences or by writers to explain what leaders told them, these books are unsatisfying in the extreme. Take a look at Flawed Advice and the Management Trap by Chris Argyris to get a further perspective on this problem. This book is totally different, and quite appealing.
Jaworski (son of Leon Jaworski, the famous special prosecutor of the Watergate scandal) tells of his personal journey from being a successful corporate lawyer to becoming someone who works on making leadership better for all of us. Like most personal journeys, this one has low points (his wife falling in love with another man and telling Jaworski to move out that day, his father not telling him that he loved him, and the deaths of a child of each of his two sisters) and some high points (breakthrough meetings with great thinkers and stimulating helpful change). You could read the book for this, and you would have the rewards of a nicely done biography of someone who is working towards living an exemplary life.
But there is more. Jaworski has accumulated some important insights into leadership that are well worth knowing. He makes an appealing case for servant leadership (the leader looks out for the group, rather than his self-interest). He also tells a fascinating tale of running the scenario development work at Royal Dutch Shell for 4 years. From this, he develops what seemed to me to be a profound insight: Scenarios can be used both to prepare for the future by helping us think through it in advance, and to create the future.
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Format: Paperback
In his book, Joe Jaworsky marvels at the string of circumstances that put him in touch with just the right people at just the right time. Isn't it amazing how they all take his calls, how they all agree with him and encourage him, some of them even give him seed money and put him in touch with other like-minded individuals? Joe, that isn't synchronicity, that's the Old Boy Network. You have never been excluded from it so you don't see it for what it is.
On the other hand, there are some interesting ideas here. I liked the last two chapters a lot. They describe two plausible scenarios for the first few decades of the 21st century. I like the idea of shaping your future by imagining it, as oppossed to simply reacting to the present. I also resonate with the concept of Synchronicity, just not most of the examples Joe cites.
This is a mixed bag but it was worth my time, though only marginally.
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Format: Hardcover
Many books on leadership are written for managers or those
unique individuals who will save the world. This book,
"Synchronicity," sheds some light on that community. More
important to me, it shed a light into some of the far, dusty
corners of my personal life.

I'm newly 48 years old with
many different jobs in the past and new challenges staring
me in my face. Mr. Jaworski's scenarios and suggestions did
a good job with two areas: (1) it rattled me into reviewing
the path that I have been working on and (2) it bolstered me
up in realizing that following "gut feelings" is not just
magic, it's hard work. So? Well, it's my path, my life but
now I have a different way to look positively at the past.
At the same time Mr. Jaworski has given me new ways of
looking ahead, sharpened my survival senses.

Thanks to "Synchronicity," I may not change the world you
know but, I am changing the world immediately around me...
for the better.

----Geo.Brett (not the baseball player)
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