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The Zen Leader: 10 Ways to Go From Barely Managing to Leading Fearlessly Paperback – April 22, 2012
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I rate this book at six stars and beyond (my top 10% out of 1800+ non-fiction reviews) for multiple reasons.
First, as subtle and simple as it might appear on the surface, this is a DEEP book that represents hundreds of years of integrated understanding about both the zen of being and the zen of teaching leaders who want to change but are at a loss for going about it. I see myself often in this book, generally when the author is describing Epoch A leaders with deeply ingrained habits of command and control.Read more ›
I thought of that as I read Ginny Whitelaw's Introduction to The Zen Leader in which she urges her reader -- under intense and severe pressure by others to perform "leaner, smarter, faster, cheaper" -- not give up or give in. Use the pressure rather than be used by it to "propel breakthrough development and leaps to new consciousness, to "give way" to a "radical" reframing and inversion -- a "flip that takes many forms." For example, transitions such as these: from coping with constant pressure from outside-in to "diving right in and transforming situations from inside-out"; from exhausting oneself and others from the relentless drive for results to "attracting the future and people who help create it; and from [begin italics] being [end italics] one's personality to [begin italics] seeing [end italics] one's personality "and applying the right kind of energy to any situation."
Whitelaw provides ten "Zen Leader Flip" mini-tutorials to help her reader to "break free and flip to the next stage of personal development. More specifically, to complete transitions from...
1. Coping > Transforming (Pages 32-35)
2. Tension > Extension (47-51)
3. Or > And (72-75)
4. "Out here" > "In Here" (91-97)
5. Playing to Your Strengths > Strengthening Your Play (125-129)
6. Controlling > Connecting (141-146)
7. From Driving Results > Attracting the Future (171-179)
8.Read more ›
"The Zen Leader" describes ten "flips" - or changes in perspective - that help us see the "Big Picture" and your role in that picture. Dr. Whitelaw grounds these flips in Zen, but she addresses them in a straightforward way geared towards a business audience. The ten flips can be enormously helpful. By way of analogy, imagine that you are stuck in a battle and confronted with serious threats, opportunities for victory, and a slew of incoming tasks. We have all been in such situations and sometimes it is easy to feel that the best that we can do is to cope. But imagine you have the chance to jump in a helicopter that rises above the battleground and hovers from where you can survey everything: the terrain, the various players, apparent strengths and weaknesses of your position, and even you! How valuable would this perspective be? Wouldn't it be an advantage in helping you determine how best to move forward? Whitelaw's book provides advice on how to achieve just this type of "big picture" so that you can know yourself and the people and world with which you interact, and determine the best path to travel.
Along with the ten "flips", the book covers four basic energy patterns or individual styles of activity: "Driver", "Organizer", "Collaborator", and "Visionary".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. Should be a 'must-read' for anyone in business. Better yet, anyone in a leader/teacher/coach/manager situation. Well researched, well written. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dixon
Great reading and instant feedback from with the easy to follow activities in the book. Very well done.Published 14 months ago by sduffy
This book takes you past the usual buzzwords and will help and challenge you to rethink your approach to leadership and what it's really all about.Published 18 months ago by CJ
Amazing learnings for today's leaders. A must for people who will like to exercise a totally different leadership stylePublished 19 months ago by Tomas
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It improves my life chapter by chapter, flip by flip. It gives very practical "flips" you can make in how you approach life. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Theo Cade
chose this book for a book analysis for my Graduate Degree. I will refer to it for years to come. It really helps with staying calm in the work place.Published on May 30, 2014 by Pen Name
I found many of the concepts in this text to be applicable in all areas of life, not just corporate leadership.Published on May 15, 2014 by Douglas Chace