- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (February 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060008393
- ISBN-13: 978-0060008390
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,145,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Corporate Shaman: A Business Fable Hardcover – February 19, 2002
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Richard Whiteley believes the mystical healing power of a shaman can be harnessed for use in the business world, and in The Corporate Shaman he explains his philosophy--along with ways these traditional seers might actually function in such an environment. Whiteley, an entrepreneur, speaker, and author involved in the practice himself for the past decade, describes a shaman as "one who enters an altered state of mind, at will, and journeys to other worlds and uses the power, wisdom, and energies of those worlds to create positive change in people and the environments in which they live." Recognizing that this concept will be alien to many in his intended audience, Whiteley couches it in the currently popular form of a business fable. Using a composite of common situations and easily recognizable people that, in this case, populate a fictional company missing its numbers and threatening to pull everyone into a downward spiral, he introduces the basics and shows how they could be employed in the workplace. An addendum offers additional details for those who wish to test the ideas themselves. Readers open to new routes for personal and professional growth should find this intriguing and potentially useful. --Howard Rothman
"An engaging and important read for anyone in business.no matter what level in the organization." (--Connie Duckworth, advisory director, Goldman Sachs)
"A stimulating and creative application of shamanism to modern life." (Michael Harner, PhD., author of The Way of the Shaman)
"An engaging illustration of how the wisdom gained throughout the ages has powerful relevance to modern business dilemmas." (Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Way of the Wizard)
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While I think that shamanism may have a future in the workplace, this simplistic story does little to promote that future. Substitute the phrase "spirituality in the workplace" or "emotional healing in the workplace" and you understand just how difficult it will be to have these kinds of alternatives accepted and implemented.
Modern organizations have shown definitively that practices such as modern psychology and sociology can have a positive effect on organization behavior. Physical and mental health are also attended to by many forward thinking companies, as well. But these health practices adopted by modern medicine because they are proven to be effective. Shamanism, in aggregate, has not. In fact, the author does not even take the time to define which brand of Shamanism should be employed, which practices were derived from which indigenous cultures, why one particular practice is chosen over others, etc.
Questions of efficacy aside--and these questions are hardly unimportant--the author fails to address the larger question: do we really want corporate America to integrate our private spirituality into our professional life for us? Do you really want your soul to be awakened and your spirit to be fed by Nike? by Hyundai? by Wal-Mart? ...or for that matter, your own current employer?
The answer to the problem: shaman practises of healing or restoring the spirit. I am not sure if all readers will easily accept the solution because it might be too far of the traditional business worldview. The solution however is unique, fresh and certainly potent with potential to provide for the open-minded reader a doorway into a new realm of energy and expectation. On a meta-level, the solution is that leaders in corporations should get in touch with themselves and their inner being. The solution I believe is universal and can be applied irrespective of the beliefs of the reader.
The open-minded reader will get the most out of the book because it has clear detail in terms of how to enter into a drumming journey of discovering words of wisdom and guidance. The author succeeds extremely well to convey the basics of shamanism in a very direct and vivid. There is absolutely no uncertainty in the author that he provides a valid answer. Although the solution is presented in the framework of a fable, the proposed solution is described with clarity.
I felt inspired after reading the book by the pure thrust of potential contained in the fable itself. The book is highly recommended to those who are curious about what shamanism is all about as well as managers that simply feels despondent and out of touch with themselves.