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Author: Jaworski, Joseph
Copyright: ©1998
Publishers: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Book Review by: Cathy Bernatt


There are three key quotes that capture the essence of what I believe Synchronicity is about.
The first comes from Demian, by Herman Hesse.

"Each man had only one genuine vocation-to find the way to himself... . His task was to discover his own destiny-not an arbitrary one-and live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one's own inwardness." (Synchronicity, p.73; a quote taken from Demian by Herman Hesse)

When we each discover our own destiny, synchronicity enters our journey and assists us in realizing our mission. Until Jaworski found his genuine vocation, he lived life in the fast lane-a would be existence-as a top corporate international lawyer. Making loads of money, earning a great reputation, having girlfriends in every city and gambling- he blindly believed that he was making his contribution. The day his wife asked him for a divorce was the beginning of his long journey down into "darkness". The moment synchronicity entered was the day he quit his law firm to follow his heart and a dream to start the American Leadership Forum.

Lao Tzu said that, "The Way to do is to be." (Jaworski, p. 58) Eric Fromm defines being as a mode of "...aliveness and authentic relatedness...a call to service...to leave what we have and move out, not without fear, but without succumbing to that fear. It is a call to define what is possible, to see a vision of a new world and to be willing to undertake, step-by-step, what is necessary in concrete terms to achieve that vision. (Jaworski, p. 58)

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Fromm's definition reminds me of Haw's struggle and Hem's choice to remain stuck and caught in fear. The fascinating part of Jaworski's destiny is that when he finally decided to leave law and begin the ALF, he knew nothing about leadership curriculum and development. He had much fear and uncertainty. Yet he forged onwards. And things began to happen synchronistically that assisted him in actualizing his dream. When we have found what our calling is, how do we know whether or not our daily actions are aimed towards fulfilling our destiny? Robert Greenleaf, in Servant Leadership, provides the key question "...do those served grow as persons; do they while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? (Greenleaf, p.13)

When I left the company I worked for to begin Creating... synchronicity entered and all kinds of amazing experiences unfolded. Last fall, Creating... was awarded a big contract that would challenge and cause a quantum leap in my professional skills. In the beginning, I was full of fear and uncertain whether I could do this job. The job was to design, deliver and collate the results of a culture survey given to 300 staff and top management. I was then hired to design, implement and facilitate a 3-day experiential program for the 16 top managers of this multi-national cosmetics company that would be integrated into the business objectives they had for a 3-day offsite meeting. I remember well, the feeling I had when I stepped in front of them on day 1 to begin my part. I knew that within the first few minutes, I would have to convince them that I could challenge and push them to a higher level of awareness professionally. In the final debriefing with the President and HR Director, they told me I did an outstanding job. The President and HR Director had trust and faith in me that I could rise to the professional challenge. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you may help them to become what they are capable of being".

I think that Joseph Jaworski took to heart the mission statement of the Czech Republic Outward Bound School: All the problems and conflicts of the world are reflected in each of us and the world is a reflection of ourselves. Therefore, we must seek the key to their solutions from within. If we can come from the self first, then we can find our destiny and strive to be the Servant Leaders that Greenleaf thought we should all be.

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