Books – Conscious Manager – Online Magazine A holistic approach to self, business and life. Mon, 29 Jul 2019 12:33:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Video: Daniel H. Pink – Drive (Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose vs. Stick Approach) Mon, 15 Nov 2010 20:52:38 +0000

A paradigm-shattering b(l)ook at what truly motivates us and how we can use that knowledge to work smarter and live better.

Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The central theme in Drive is the mismatch between what science has discovered and what businesses do when it comes to motivating people. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he examines the three elements of true motivation — autonomy, mastery, and purpose—and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

Pink presents conclusive evidence of what we already know deep down –  that what makes us want to get out of bed every morning has nothing to do with “increasing shareholder value.” It is knowing that the people who matter to us value our contribution. It is the satisfaction that comes from getting something done that required us to stretch ourselves to our limits.

The carrot-and-stick pattern of motivation, what Pink calls motivation 2.0, is giving way to the recognition that people have a stronger drive for purpose and meaning than they do for rewards, what Pink calls motivation 3.0. Bonuses and other rewards work well for short-term gains but can become an obstruction to long-term satisfaction. If your team does something for the money or the prize, you forfeit the real reason people want to work at something – as a display of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

According to Pink, people would prefer activities where they can pursue three things:

* Autonomy: People want to have control over their work.
* Mastery: People want to get better at what they do.
* Purpose: People want to be part of something that is bigger than they are.

Pink presents conclusive evidence of what we already know deep down –  that what makes us want to get out of bed every morning has nothing to do with “increasing shareholder value.” It is knowing that the people who matter to us value our contribution. It is the satisfaction that comes from getting something done that required us to stretch ourselves to our limits.
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The five languages of apology (I wish I had known that apologizing is a sign of strength.) Sat, 06 Nov 2010 16:23:54 +0000

Chapman provides expert advice on arguing, apologizing, and forgiving.

Gary Chapman: Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married, Ch.5: I wish I had known that apologizing is a sign of strength.

This is an eye-opening book on relationships recently, and I thought it would be of interest to many of you. Here is a brief summary of one of the chapters which deals with how people often misunderstand each other because

What most people want to know when you apologize is “are you sincere?” However, they judge your sincerity by whether or not you are speaking your apology in their primary apology language.

they have different ways in which they speak their apologies. The author has named these the 5 apology languages. He also has written about the different ways people express their affection to others and how to act accordingly so to make the most of your relationships. He named these the 5 love languages. Anyways the summary of the apology language chapter is as follows:

What most people want to know when you apologize is “are you sincere?” However, they judge your sincerity by whether or not you are speaking your apology in their primary apology language. When you do then they sense your real sincerity. When couples/friends/ etc learn to apologize in a way that is meaningful to each other, they make forgiveness much easier.

1. Expressing regret: this apology language is an emotional language – it seeks to express to the other person that you feel pain that with your words or behavior you hurt them deeply. If the person you are apologizing to has this language what they want to know is: “Do you understand how deeply your behavior has hurt me?” Anything less will seem empty to them. You need to say you are sorry and what specifically you are sorry for.

2. Accepting responsibility: This apology begins with the words “I was wrong” and goes on to explain what was wrong with your behavior. If the person you apologize to has this apology language they are waiting to hear you admit that your behavior was wrong. For them saying “I’m sorry” will never sound like an apology. They want you to accept responsibility for what you did or said and acknowledge that it was wrong.

3. Making restitution: This apology language seeks to “make it right.” If this is the persons primary apology language what they really want to know is “do you still love me?”Your behavior seemed so unloving to them that they wonder how you could love them and do what you did. What they request of you to make up for your mistake etc., will likely be in tune with their primary love language e.g. if their primary love language is physical touch they may simply ask for a hug.

4. Genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior: This apology seeks to come up with a plan to keep the bad behavior from reoccurring. When this is the persons primary apology language, if your apology does not include a desire to change your behavior, you have not truly apologized. Whatever else you say, they do not see it as being sincere. In their minds if you are really apologizing, you will seek to change your behavior.

5. Requesting forgiveness: The words “will you please forgive me?” are music to the ears of the person whose primary apology language is this one. In their mind if you are sincere, you will ask them to forgive you. You have hurt them deeply and they want to know, “do you want to be forgiven?” “Do you want to remove the barrier that your behavior has caused?” Requesting forgiveness is the way to touch their heart and is the way that feels sincere to them.

Questions at the end of the chapter:

1. Do you remember the last time you apologized? If so, what did you say?

2. Do you remember the last time someone apologized to you? Did it seem sincere? Did you forgive the person? Why or why not?

3. Discuss with each other what you expect to hear in a sincere apology.

4. Presently, is there anything for which you need to apologize? Why not do it today?

Written by: Mirabelle Mansel

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Video: Mark Albion’s More Than Money Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:50:14 +0000

MORE THAN MONEY: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer

What are you going to do with your lucky lottery ticket? That’s a  question every MBA faces. A lot of time and money has been invested in  you, and once you graduate you’re supposed to cash that ticket in for as  much money and status as you can. Your parents and peers expect it. And  you may feel that there’s really no other choice. You can’t risk  wasting that expensive education. It’s the safe thing to do. Isn’t it?

Not  necessarily. Mark Albion doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but  his unique perspective can help you find yours. There are other ways to  look at potential risks and rewards, even when you have thousands of  dollars of student loans to pay back. Money is important but it’s not  the key to fulfillment. The “safe” choice, the most monetarily rewarding  one, can carry enormous psychological and spiritual pain. As Ralph  Waldo Emerson put it, “Sometimes money costs too much.”

“Sometimes money costs too much. – Ralph  Waldo Emerson”

In More  Than Money, Albion redefines the typical way the risk/reward equation is  written, using his own life story and those of the many entrepreneurs,  executives and MBAs he’s met as both cautionary and inspirational tales.  He introduces a framework of four crucial questions to consider when  thinking about your career choices, as well as “lifelines,” principles  that can help you answer these questions and guide you to construct your  personal, strategic destiny plan.

A consciousness-raising book  as well as a career guide, More Than Money encourages MBA students to  give themselves permission to be who they really want to be and find  their path of service. For, as Albion says, in the end “we won’t  remember you for the size of your wallet as much as the size of your  heart.”?

more than money

"The Good Life" takes you to a chance meeting between an MBA and a fisherman on a small island. As the MBA tries to teach the fisherman about business, the fisherman teaches him about life.

Mark Albion

Mark Albion

About the author: Mark Albion spent 18 years as a student and professor at Harvard University and its Business School. A seven-time social entrepreneur, he left Harvard to develop a community of service-minded MBAs, co-founding Net Impact in 1993. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Making a Life, Making a Living (2000), CD-Series Finding Work That Matters (2002), True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business (2006), all at, and More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer (2009), at, along with the animated movie, “The Good Life: An MBA Meets a Fisherman.” Profiled on 60 Minutes, his work praised by leaders as diverse as Ronald Reagan and Mother Teresa, Dr. Albion has spoken at more than 125 business schools on five continents, for which Business Week magazine dubbed him “the savior of B-school souls.” Known to his two daughters and silver-anniversary wife as the man who rode across Afghanistan on horseback, Mark’s 2008 video interview in Ukraine explains his philosophy.

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The Conscious Manager: Zen for Decision Makers Tue, 07 Sep 2010 18:03:09 +0000 The Conscious Manager: Zen for Decision Makers

The Conscious Manager: Zen for Decision Makers

For many of us with Western educated and disciplined minds, Zen is alluring but mysterious. To comprehend Zen requires that the Western mind unlearn much and spend years in dedication to its study and practice. This book is the best I’ve read at helping to understand how Western minds might benefit from Zen. It is aimed at managers, and all you need to do to appreciate the need for “conscious managers” is read the news about the state of business management. But, not only do we need conscious managers, we need conscious people. The US has never faced the complexities of the current environment. And, all the signs say that life and business are just going to get more complex in the future. Despite all our efforts to return to simplicity, I’m afraid our burden is complexity.

Phillips begins his book with a quote from an overwrought manager, “Wear a lot of hats?” complained the over-tasked manager. “I have to wear a lot of faces. And I hate it. I wish I could be the same person at work, at home, and with friends. I want my life to all of one piece, not a lot of fragments working against each other. Isn’t that what integrity means? How can I make choices and decisions without feeling torn.”

In eight chapters, the author covers beginnings, practice, opening, support, test, mission, recipe and perspective. Using his expereince in Aikido (5th degree rank and 25 years as an instructor) and his practice of Zen as a layman, Phillips writes an insightful and sometimes moving explanation of what he has gained from his experience. He also describes accurately some of the problems of being a manager is today’s environment and how Zen can help people and organizations.

“My favorite comment of Zen was given to me by my teacher when I asked him, Sensei…what is Zen? After a long pause, eye contact, and a smile he replied, If I say…it is not Zen.

Yes, any time you freeze reality in black and white words, it’s no longer Zen. Many fine Zen books have been written before this one. Their pages have inspired readers, wrapped sandwiches, and lined kitty litter boxes. May this book serve you well!

Now here is a more serious way to answer your question. The highway sign pointing to Detroit is not itself Detroit. This book is not Zen, but it is a pointer. Like the highway sign, it might help you slow down, and turn in the direction you already want to go.”

So, here’s the difficulty I have as a reviewer. This book is not Zen. It’s pointing to Zen. Using the author’s analogy, I’ve got to write a review about the directions to a place. I’ve never taken the journey and I’ve never experienced the place. Hmm…
I can comment on what’s in the book and excerpt some quotes I think might be valuable. The book contains the characteristics of a conscious manager. It also describes the steps along the Zen path of responsible decision making.

The book is loaded with quotes, all insightful and supportive of the ideas in the writing. It is written in a style that makes the concepts accessible to Western managers who think.

The author explains the connection between what is essentially a pacifist approach and it’s many militaristic applications:

Zen Meditation

Phillips writes an insightful and sometimes moving explanation of what he has gained from his experience. He also describes accurately some of the problems of being a manager is today's environment and how Zen can help people and organizations.

“Buddha’s teaching was in no way war like, and in many ways pacifistic. Yet its connection to martial arts, centuries later, was logical, as its connection to business today. Martial analogies serve the conscious manager well when he* focuses on war’s imperative for strategic action, instantaneous response, and dealing with fear and compassion. However, war is destructive and tragic. Business and politics can involve `creative destruction’ that sweeps aside the old in favor of the new, but business and politics also construct wonderful new products, organizations and institutions. Analogies that focus only on the destructive aspects of war and management fail. In fact, we know that something is seriously wrong when a company’s president (as actually happened in one firm known for indiscriminate downsizing) earns the nickname ‘Chainsaw’. ”

* The author generally alternates the use of he and she.

At the heart of this approach is the concept of non-attachment. According to the author, we are all already enlightened. But our attachments are what prevent us from recognizing our enlightenment. (He warns about becoming attached to the pursuit of enlightenment.) Before you can get rid of our attachments, we must first become aware of what we are attached to. Then we can begin the work of understanding the attachments and ridding ourselves of them.

“How can a manager become aware of attachments? Through meditation, through mindful practice, through the support of other students of conscious management, through challenges and tests, and through instruction from a qualified, compatible teacher” he writes. This book provides guidance and clues as to how to accomplish this.

What is a conscious manager? Phillips provides these characteristics:

  • Attends to detail but looks at context; tries to see the big picture
  • Doesn’t believe everything he or she is told
  • Rejects any labels
  • Constantly hones personal skills
  • Is committed to lifelong learning – for everyone in the organization
  • Exercises respect and compassion, but not indulgence, in all dealings
  • Is flexible but not wishy-washy
  • Spares no effort to match the right people with the right jobs
  • Lets employees put their best foot forward
  • Controls the organization loosely
  • Gives employees the chance to stretch themselves
  • Tries to see the adversary’s point of view
  • Shows a creative imagination
  • Is focused and steadfast in pursuit of a mission
  • Uses every tool at his or her command

The ingredients necessary for becoming a conscious manager are:

  • Hunger
  • An opening experience
  • A practice
  • Support
  • Tests
  • A mission

But enough from me describing the directions pointing the way to Zen. Buy the book and read the directions yourself. It’s a great read!

Fred Phillips is an educator and executive who has taught Zen martial art for more than 25 years. As head of the management department at Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and technology, he has built the Northwest’s most admired management degree program for high technology leaders. He is the author of the textbook Market Oriented Technology Management: Innovating for Profit in Entrepreneurial Times, and Associate Editor of the Journal Technology Forecasting & Social Change. A longtime Texan, Fred now lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with his wife and daughters. He holds fifth-dan rank in akido.

Review written by: Paul A. Schumann Jr. (The Innovation Road Map Magazine)

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