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The Way of Council

The Way of Council by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle

Here are a few of my notes…

Turning into the skid…

The spiral… four to eight places are set in the centre of the larger circle. When the person who speaks after you has finished, you leave the inner circle and return to your place on the outer one. Then another person from the outer circle takes the empty seat. The talking piece in the inner circle passes in the sun direction.

Practice non-anticipation diligently. Wait until you have the talking piece to look as deeply as you can at the interactive field.

When the interactive field is well defined and expanding, enter more lightly and express yourself fin a way that illumiates the field for others in the circle.

When the interactive field is undefined or dim, enter more vigourously to give the circle additional energy with which to work.

Take the risk of speaking more personally and passionately when others in the circle lack inspiration to speak from the heart.

Don’t forget that every organization has shadow aspects. Be alert to such patterns as: unacknowledged animosity between two executives, hidden inconsistencies in the treatment of male and female employees, and denial that a company’s products or services are no longer in demand. Otherwise these shadow patterns may arise spontaneously and dominate the agenda.

Image that we are going to close down the Ojai Foundation, disburse our assets, and bring all our projects to a close. Is there anything you haven’t done or would regret not doing? What do you need to accomplish to feel complete? This is not merely a hypothetical exercise. Shutting down is a real possibility….. the next morning we held a “visionary council” from which the foundation’s purpose and direction emerged more clearly than ever before.

Every leader has a sacred side and a shadow side. The sacred side governs as a “steward of the realm”, devoted to the well-being and empowerment of the entire community. The sacred leader is willing to face any personal obstacle in fulfilling that intention. On the other hand, the shadow leader is interested in personal power. We may thing we’re devoted to empowering others, but the shadow-leader-part-of-us is out to strengthen its authority and bask in the glow of admiration.

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