Principles for our journey from self to Self, from we to We

As human beings, we are on an open-ended life journey full of breakdowns and breakthroughs. It’s a journey that is about becoming who we really are. This journey requires us to move although we cannot fully see. It takes courage to leap into the unknown.

Here is a summary of twelve principles and practices that can help help us in our individual journey ”from self to Self, from me to We”. They are from the book Leading from the Emerging Future by Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer, pp. 169—172:

  1. Practice, don’t preach. Start by listening. Listen to others, to yourself, and to the whole. Listen to what life calls you to do.
  2. Observe, observe, observe. Let the ”data” talk to you—through your open mind, heart, and will. The impact of this deep observation is profound.
  3. Connect to your intention as an instrument. The more you can connect to what is essential for you, and clarify what you want to be in service of, the better you can act to bring the future into being.
  4. When the crack opens up, stay with it—connect and act from the now. When opportunity presents itself, act from what wants to emerge. Say yes, then do it, before asking whether it’s possible.
  5. Follow your heart—do what you love, love what you do. It’s the only reliable way to connect to your way, your emerging future path. Otherwise you are in danger of living someone else’s life.
  6. Always be in dialogue with the universe. The larger context that surrounds you always provides useful feedback. Listen and evolve your idea based on the feedback.
  7. Create a holding space of deep listening that supports your journey. The most important leadership tool is your Self. Filter out all the noise and focus on what’s essential for you. Do it every day.
  8. Iterate, iterate, iterate. Practice and adapt what’s emerging. Explore the new by doing.
  9. Notice the crack to the field of the future. All change takes place in a context. Explore the edges of the system and the self at these edges. Sense the emerging future.
  10. Use different language with different stakeholders. Be multilingual. Single-focus approaches are almost certain to fail. Involve all who are needed.
  11. If you want to change others, you need to be open to changing yourself first. Build and strengthen your relationship with others. Be open to change yourself first.
  12. Never give up. Never give up. You are not alone. Always learn from failure. Getting discouraged by failed efforts is a waste of energy. Don’t get trapped in judgment, cynicism, and fear.  Courage connects you with who you really are. Go to the edge and leap into the unknown. You are not alone.

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