Since 1992, I have published nine books, each of them an invitation to explore world views that offer very different insights and perspectives, an invitation to see the world with new eyes. I have learned that with a shift in vision, we see more clearly what’s going on in the complex systems and lives we’ve created. This clear seeing gives us the capacity to better serve the people and causes we care about. And we develop the confidence and strength necessary to persevere in our right work.
These invitations to new seeing began with Leadership and the New Science (1992), a voyage of discovery into an orderly universe where relationships are the basis of everything, a world that organizes itself according to unchanging laws that modern humans hope to ignore. A Simpler Way (1996) continued that journey, asking how could we organize–following life’s example– so that our lives and work would be less difficult, more delightful. With Turning to One Another (2002), I invited readers to explore the power of conversations to create strong relationships and meaningful change. Finding Our Way (2005) offered a variety of new roadmaps for how to navigate many aspects of our lives, from nations to organizations to family, as the world grows more uncertain. When I observed how difficult it was becoming for good leaders to stay the course and not lose their way, I wrote Perseverance (2010), a daily guide for maintaining our commitment, presence and energy no matter how hard the work is. Walk Out Walk On (2011), co-authored with Deborah Frieze, described communities daring to live the future now, in conditions much harsher than ours, bright beacons illuminating what’s possible when we humans commit to working together. In 2012, I offered So Far From Home where I detailed the dynamics of global society that have emerged to create a world far distant from the one we were working so hard to create. I strongly encourage us to notice what’s going on, and to counter this downward spiral by standing up as Warriors for the Human Spirit. How Does Raven Know? invites you to see the world anew informed not by science but by sacred wisdoms.
My latest book is Who Do We Choose to Be? Facing Reality | Claiming Leadership | Restoring Sanity. Several years ago, in the face of irreversible global problems and the devolution of leadership, I began to challenge every leader I met with these questions: Who do you choose to be for this time? Are you willing to use whatever power and influence you have to create islands of sanity that evoke and rely on our best human qualities to create, relate, and persevere? Will you consciously and bravely choose to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil?
This book summons us to be leaders for this time of profound disruption, to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil by creating Islands of Sanity.
Opening Quotes of Books
I list them here because for me they’re one way of chronicling my explorations as a writer.
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.
—Eudora Welty, Writer
A Simpler Way
Some go first, and others come long afterward.
God blesses both and all in the line,
and replaces what has been consumed,
and provides for those who work the soil of helpfulness…
—Rumi, Sufi poet (13th century)
Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future
You must give birth to your images.
They are the future waiting to be born.
Fear not the strangeness you feel.
The future must enter you long before it happens.
Just wait for the birth,
for the hour of new clarity.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, German Poet
Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time
When the forms of an old culture are dying,
the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.
—Rudolf Bahro, German Activist
I stand among you as one who offers a small message of hope…there are always people who dare to seek on the margin of society, who are not dependent on social acceptance, not dependent on social routine, and prefer a kind of free-floating existence under a state of risk.
—Thomas Merton, Christian Mystic
Walk Out Walk On:
A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now
The whole globe is shook up, so what are you going to do when things are falling apart?
You’re either going to become more fundamentalist and try to hold things together, or you’re going to forsake the old ambitions and goals and live life as an experiment, making it up as you go along.
—Pema Chödrön, Buddhist Teacher
So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World
the source of vivid memories for a place we’ve never been,
the yearning for return to a place we’ve yet to find
the sense of true belonging
when we know that we’ve been found
the confidence to journey through this life
How Does Raven Know? Entering Sacred World | A Meditative Memoir
. . . to see the ordinary as the extraordinary, the familiar as strange, the mundane as sacred, the finite as infinite.
—Novalis, German philosopher, late 1700s