Finding Our Way - Leadership for an Uncertain Time -
Margaret J Finding Our Way100Wheatley

This is just to alert you to the fourth book I’ve found by Margaret J Wheatley. I devoured the previous three, read them cover to cover non-stop in around a day. With this one I’ve found I’m stopping, savoring, reflecting. So I’m not yet at the end, not yet ready to write the review.

It got me thinking about why write one, what’s the purpose. If you’re on a similar journey to mine, you’ll have bought all of her books already. You won't need a word from me, and if you’re not, if your head is not yet teeming with reasons why you should read these books, what words will change you, and what purpose is there in trying to change you?

It leads me to an interesting question about this book, my journey and the journey that Margaret J Wheatley is on.

This book is a collection of papers, written over time. It’s not just copies of papers, they’ve been rewritten, updated and shaped into a book, rather than stapled together, but they represent a chronology of her journey, twists and turns in her thinking.

I think I’ve slowed down, because I want to savour her journey, compare it to mine. But more than this, I’m wanting her journey to be a good one. I’m hoping I’m not going to be let down.

I’ve read the first couple of chapters and what strikes me about the book is that she is trying to convince the reader, providing arguments and examples, evidence and proof, in an attempt to sway the reader. To get them to question their beliefs and in their place adopt new ones.

It used to feel so right, this kind of approach. I used to try it, spend my time perfecting it, but not any more. I’m hoping that in the later papers she discovers that persuading people doesn’t work, proof is of no value, evidence illusory.

The answers, like the future, aren’t there waiting to be found, they need to be created by you. The challenge is not to persuade but to incite, not to ensnare but to release, not to provide answers but to provoke questioning.

On a sunny afternoon there are far worse uses of the time than sitting beneath a tree reading this book.

Steve Unwin
July 2009