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Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living Paperback – September 1, 2009
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About the Author
Jeff Klein (1958 – 2014)
As CEO and chief activation officer of Working for Good®, Jeff Klein produced collaborative, multi-sector, Cause Alliance Marketing programs intended to drive social and environmental change while addressing the business objectives of alliance partners. He was the founding director of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., an organization dedicated to “liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good” that was cofounded by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market. Jeff was one of the visionaries and driving forces behind Private Music, the career of Yanni, Spinning, and Seeds of Change. He consulted for the Esalen Institute, the National Geographic Society, GlobalGiving, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, among others. Jeff wrote Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living to support conscious entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders, and change agents at work. For more information, please visit workingforgood.com.
PRAISE FOR JEFF KLEIN
- 2010 Gold Nautilus Award - Conscious Business/Leadership
- 2010 Bronze Axiom Business Book Award - Entrepreneurship
- 2010 Bronze Independent Publisher Book Awards - Business/Career/Sales
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Top Customer Reviews
Embedded in the book is the idea that one cannot facilitate change by simply looking outside of ourselves for designing more conscious businesses. On the contrary, making a difference in our work begins with a personal journey of looking deeply into ourselves to find the insights and strength required to behave and act more mindfully. To do so, we need to reconnect to our humanity, to our heart, and to our soul.
Klein's five Working for Good principles - awareness, embodiment, connection, collaboration, and integration - are the critical skills that we need to develop if one wants to facilitate change. Accompanying the presentation of each skill are reflection exercises that aim at anchoring the learnings from the book and at helping us develop our own personal practice. Do each exercise mindfully and you'll witness the subtle transformative process that occurs within you! As you engage in leading and facilitating change, Working for Good will be the essential resource you will come back to, again and again, when you feel that the challenge is too great and the burden too heavy.
Note: I had the great pleasure to participate to Klein's presentation of his book at the East-West bookstore in Seattle on September 17. Unlike any traditional book reading, Klein engaged the audience into a mini workshop and gave each of us the opportunity to tune in and reflect on our life and work purpose, on the roadblocks that may be in our way to achieving it, and on the different kinds of support we can draw from as we embark onto our journey as change agents. Based on his extensive personal experience in working with - and helping develop conscious businesses, Klein's stories provided a meaningful and highly optimistic view of what the future of Working for Good might be like for each of us. For more live presentations by Klein, see his website: [...]
Klein lists Howard Gardner's nine different types of intelligences involving all the senses as he examines the concept of Working for Good: the idea—very familiar to you as a reader of my newsletter—that business can be a lever for doing good in the world. His goal is to help each reader find our "big why": our purpose.
There's a story told (not in Klein's book) about Gandhi: a mom asked him to tell her son that eating sugar was a bad idea. He sent her away and told her to come back a month later. When she returned, he told the child to give up sugar. When the happy but perplexed mother asked why she had to return, he replied, "I had not yet given up eating sugar when you came the first time." Like Gandhi, Klein declares that we must be in total integrity as human beings in order to make that warrior's journey through the business world and create the impact we want to have on the big issues of our time. Many of the exercises and stories are aimed at helping his readers achieve that integrity.
And many are aimed at helping us see beyond our own worldview, to reach understanding of the Sartre/Buber Other. The potential for connection, Klein says exists in every interaction--especially the bumpy ones. One very helpful and easily implemented exercise he proposes is to hear the other person's backstory, the context of every statement. This is a great way to defuse tension, listen deeply, and arrive at a resolution that addresses everyone's needs. Not coincidentally, solutions arrived by this kind of group consensus tend to be smoothly implemented, more lasting, and ultimately transformative; they arise out of Robert Greenleaf's concept of servant leadership rather than dictatorship.
Klein suggests four other key principles (I'm quoting them exactly):
* Not compromising quality for cost
* Not jeopardizing friendships through our business decisions
* Resolving conflicts through open dialogue, facilitated if necessary
* Making major business decisions with consideration for the implications for people, planet, and profit
To make the theories more concrete, Klein uses a series of avatars that show different personality traits, and follows one in particular as she plans and facilitates a series of very collaborative meetings, using various consciousness tools to arrive at a strong, consensus-driven outcome. While this makes a lot of sense in theory, as a veteran of many meetings that were facilitated with those kinds of tools, I'd suggest that his happy outcome is a bit too rose-colored. Even in the most conscious communities, run by the most skilled facilitators, meetings sometimes get ugly. However, it is certainly true that the chances of a truly successful collaboration are far greater using this model, and I've seen it work beautifully—even to the point of seeing consensus arise rapidly and repeatedly in a group of over 700 people who had been arrested together, in a meeting that used a hub-and-spoke communication model. This was a key to the success of citizen safe energy movements in the 1970s and the Occupy movement in our own time—and can easily be applied to business. And now, Klein points out, new collaboration tools can be converted out of new technology tools, even including Facebook.
For Klein, his key teachings are that our individual actions matter...that when we discover our purpose through greater practice of awareness, and can listen and act with authenticity, we can achieve Working for Good. For me, the most important lessons are in two ideas at the very end of the book:
* We value what we count—so count what you value
Working for Good is not about being a martyr; it comes from a place of joy.
Working for Good asserts that there are 5 skills for working for good: Awareness, Embodiment, Connection, Collaboration and Integration.
The first step is to know yourself. Know what you are passionate about. Of course, this is obvious, but is it? Klein gives the readers tools to figure out what they truly love and what their "good" in the world can be.
Working for Good has a series of exercises which guide us through the numerous steps. Exercises like Identifying Principles, writing reflection and tuning in to sensations. I did not do all the exercises - I did the ones that resonated most. I do intend to go back and do some of the others though. As with anything, doing the "work" can be challenging.
Karma411 is a "working for good" company. I can see it in the people who work there. They feel good about helping charities and non-profits raise more for their causes by giving them the tools to tap into the power of social media.
I am fortunate to have found my calling as an angel capitalist or venture capitalist(depending on your definition). I believe it suits my background and skill set well. And I am passionate about startup and business growth. It is the start ups and growth businesses that create the jobs and future prosperity. I am also a believer that business is not a zero sum game. New businesses actually create new value.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By Jeff Klein
ISBN: 978-1-59179-726-5 (Sounds True, 2009)
In publishing a magazine I find that I am constantly looking for ways to use my work in...To Believe Or Not To Believe: The Social and Neurological Consequences of Belief SystemsRead more