Margaret J. Wheatley on organizational leadership

Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco, California) by Paula Couselo-Findikoglu

Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco, California)
Photograph by: Paula Couselo-Findikoglu

Western cultural views of how best to organize and lead (the majority paradigm in use in the world) are contrary to what life teaches. Western practices attempt to dominate life; we want life to comply with human needs rather than working as partners. This disregard for life’s dynamics is alarmingly evident in today’s organizations. Leaders use control and imposition rather than self-organizing processes. They react to uncertainty and chaos by tightening already feeble controls, rather than engaging our best capacities in the dance. Leaders use primitive emotions of fear, scarcity, and self-interest to get people to do their work, rather than the more noble human traits of cooperation, caring, and generosity. This has led us to this difficult time, when nothing seems to work as we want it to, when too many of us feel frustrated, disengaged, and anxious.
Margaret J. Wheatley in Finding Our Way: Leadership For an Uncertain Time, (San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2007), p. 1. First published (San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004).

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"Western cultural views of how best to"
Margaret J. Wheatley Posted on behalf of Margaret J. Wheatley on Monday, May 24th, 2010 under Quotations.

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