SCARPINO: . So when you start looking at multiple causes that lead to something very visible like poor leadership or the return of command and control leadership or the incredible march of measurement in thinking that numbers describe reality, all of which is only increasing in the world now, where did that come from? And, in fact, you had some at least published remarks . And now that’s not even, kids don’t want to be singled out as academic achievers because it’s not part of the culture, and there’s a whole culture now with students of sort of putting down achievers. SCARPINO: There is that thing about writing and publishing that it’s out there and if you change 20, 25 years later, it’s still there. It’s all made up and you can change it through discipline and practice and awareness. SCARPINO: Okay. In that lunch, we took on the topic of information; like what happens now that 18-year-old soldiers in tanks can see the field of battle on a screen? . So I want to go back to something that you said earlier. WHEATLEY: This is great. I graduated in ’79 and then went into consulting full time, then spent five years teaching at Cambridge College from maybe ’81 to ’86, then went back to consulting full time, and then got the offer to move out west and teach at BYU. That’s how it happened. So what’s in my heart right now is I just wish we would start to think systemically about where all these effects come from because we’re still caught in the belief that if we just fix this or we fix this or we fix this or we get a new heroic leader in, it will all be fine. But then we destroy each other. 34 quotes from Margaret J. Wheatley: 'It's not differences that divide us. We live in a time of chaos, rich in potential for new possibilities. So what did you learn sitting around the campfire? As my totem and protector? We were called peace thugs wearing, no thugs wearing peace masks. WHEATLEY: That goes back to creating the conditions for self-organization to happen. SCARPINO: . I never talked to him again actually. I did that in a very experimental, wonderful way. They shared desks. Marguerite Wheatley was born on July 31, 1981 in South Africa. Very difficult language, though. What remains important to you? SCARPINO: It’s the same thing? WHEATLEY: My grandmother did. Well, they got the leader they wanted and that didn’t work out well. WHEATLEY: It was for all of Westchester County at that point, but the same population. These are kids who are in state custody and have had really harsh lives. I got a lot of, though, compliments or I guess more than compliments. This is in the beautiful countryside of Australia in North Victoria, I think it was. Those were just comments. I really love learning about what their life is like. So you had your Ph.D., doctoral degree in hand. We are in great fear of the other. WHEATLEY: Thank you. . I think this is an important part of my story, especially as a woman writer. She didn’t treat me as a child. SCARPINO: Carole Schwinn also described you as a keen observer of the world around you. I actually wanted to burn it, but I thought, ‘well I’ve got 10 copies out so that’s kind of a stupid gesture.’ And I decided I’m just going to play with my kids all summer. Chaos theory shows you that there is such a thing as deterministic chaos which does form into patterns of incredibly exquisite shapes, unending order. They don’t want to go to kindergarten. WHEATLEY: No, I did. SCARPINO: Okay, all right. It’s just the push for speed, very little ethics because there’s no thinking going on. 34 quotes from Margaret J. Wheatley: 'It's not differences that divide us. They have two children and four grandchildren. . She has worked for more than forty years as a consultant, speaker, writer, teacher, and poet. I was always able to see trends ahead of time, where things were going. Her decision and her subsequent excommunication aroused controversy in the areas of medical ethics and Catholic theology. You went camping on vacation. And then she gave us these beautiful little rocks, these polished water stones, as prizes. SCARPINO: But they elected not to stay in Israel? The book proposes a shift from a mechanistic Newtonian view of organizations and management… Margaret Wheatley is a writer and management consultant who draws upon systems analysis, chaos theory, and other diverse fields of study to inform her work. . Our willingness to have I know what the military is like, and there are two militaries. As we left, my colleague there, Beverley, and I, as we got in the train to come home and we were sobbing. But the second reaction I had was, “Don’t listen to me. Menu. Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future San Francisco: Berrett-Koshler Publishers, Inc., 2002 “Willing to Be Disturbed” As we work together to restore hope to the future, we need to include a new and strange ally—our willingness to be disturbed. SCARPINO: You did. What's on TV & Streaming What's on TV & Streaming Top Rated Shows … So my Harvard advisor, all my friends were saying, “This is great, don’t change a word.” But, of course, I didn’t believe them or give them any credibility, even though they were corporate leaders, some of them. I had to just sit through these presentations, and I wasn’t making any sense of it at all because this is the first time I’d been in the military. WHEATLEY: It was just an interest and appetite for being with other cultures rather than my own, which has stayed with me. I was so well taken cared for and pampered and loved. She didn’t want me in the program. I don’t particularly love it at all anymore, but it was a very beautiful book and certainly educated me also about design and experimenting with voice. For me that was kind of like an aha moment. . WHEATLEY: Her name was Irma Lindheim. All of those end up in the child that ends up in their classroom. They had no idea what they were doing around organizational behavior, but they had gotten this big federal grant with the Great Society affluence. There’s a place in the book, and I didn’t write down the page number but you probably know this better than I do, where a woman named Tuesday Ryan-Hart and then Phil Cass are inviting people who are involved in various systems in Columbus, Ohio . Margaret Wheatley earned her Ph.D. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. . But in 2000, because I had started working with a lot of younger leaders and just been woken up to the fact of how many of them are out there around the world in business, we completely shifted our mission to a global focus about supporting younger leaders who were trying to do things differently. . But you went to a good school. It had become all Puerto Rican and black; changed greatly from my life as a youth there. We got really excited about the Arab Spring and look what’s happened. So I think the word scout is like cute, you know, or that’s a nice metaphor. WHEATLEY: Well, that book came directly out of Leadership and the New Science. These are the best soldiers we have, and the Army has been training more and more of them because they work best in the new war fields. You need to look at how the whole system now operates against people doing quality work; time to think, learn from experience. SCARPINO: What put you and the Dalai Lama on the same stage and what did that mean to you? . Margaret Wheatley offers the reader a spiritual reference guide to help navigate through emotional journeys and creating a contemplative space for transcendence. And we realize now when we are at celebrations that we are the oldest standing members of Berrett-Koehler. of Leadership and the New Science. SCARPINO: And you were both there, both on the stage together. Proposing that "real social change comes from the ageless process of people thinking together in conversation," she describes her work as opposing "highl… . I have the privilege to be interviewing Margaret Wheatley at the annual meeting of the International Leadership Association at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, which is the ILA conference headquarters. I wrote it. SCARPINO: That’s where I wanted to go with this, yes. And whenever anyone comes up to me and says, “I feel really affirmed,” then I feel fine. It was a perfect name for us. SCARPINO: I’m going to use his question. It seeks order, and we can participate in that. This is, I have to say, what disturbs me most about some of the thinking that’s out there, especially in the field of leadership: There’s no sense of the greater societal dynamics that are impacting, let’s just stay with education for a moment. WHEATLEY: She contacted me. That is the one thing I still regret. WHEATLEY: . That’s good. So I was teaching full time, I had my family, my little ranch, and I sat down and wrote Leadership and the New Science in that context in seven weeks. WHEATLEY: Yes. They had tried to poison him with radioactive substances, but everyone was really gloriously feeling wonderful when they re-did the election and he came in. But he’s just walking around looking at all these mistakes that are being made down below and shows up on your screen when you just got hit or whatever or got ambushed, and he is just rubbing his hands saying “a lot of learning going on down there; a lot of learning going on down there.” And I have often told this story to groups. You had to. I enjoyed it a lot talking to them, so it was kind of a gift. SCARPINO: In ’79, okay. WHEATLEY: In that school we actually, it was junior-senior high school so I started in seventh grade. WHEATLEY: That’s right. WHEATLEY: Yes, and we are just a gigantic Italian-American, very loving, very close family at this point. I want us to redefine what the problem is here. Only now, well a few years ago, I realized this is the pattern of my life; I teach myself. SCARPINO: So when you went to Rochester, you went there as a history major? SCARPINO: One more sort of general question and then we will switch the tenor here a little bit, but I talked to Juanita Brown. First of all, it’s one of the grayest places in America, which nobody knew about SAD, the seasonal affective disorder, and it was very competitive and I was under enormous pressure, self-created. It’s the whole dynamics of the system that are making good leadership harder and harder. She was one of those great Edwardian ladies. But my Harvard advisor said, “This is the self-indulgent ramblings of a 21st century mind.” Yes. The next day I got a call back from the New York agent because I had used a very big name to get in, with permission. Other Works So I think this will prompt me to do that. . SCARPINO: You had a strong grandmother, you had…. So just for the benefit of anyone who is listening to this recording or looking at the transcript, we have just moved locations and I’m continuing the interview with Margaret Wheatley in San Diego. WHEATLEY: Well, she was the very active world citizen, speaker, writer, fundraiser for Palestine in the State of Israel. It was so far removed from what classrooms are like these days, in general. WHEATLEY: No. WHEATLEY: Yes, this would have been ’93 and ’94. WHEATLEY: Where I was going to Harvard. I don’t think that experience gave me . It is for certain things and not others, like in all of us. We’re people. For them, it’s a very ancient process. It was lovely. I remember reading that on a plane flying to the first Pegasus Conference that I was speaking at and presenting that idea because I just thought it was so startling. I also pulled out the letter from Steve Piersanti and read it again. But my feeling about it was—and it is what’s expressed in So Far From Home and my work generally—is we do need to see ourselves as warriors for this time on behalf of the human spirit and, therefore . SCARPINO: And this was training through Berkana? SCARPINO: What did you take away from that Peace Corps experience that stayed with you? WHEATLEY: Raven is my totem, protector, guide, and introduced me to the fact that there’s a lot more going on in the world than our five senses let us know. Biography Margaret Wheatley earned her Ph.D. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. And it took many years to get over the negative ones. SCARPINO: In what ways did it turn out to be better for you? I developed some really good educational programs for kids and got into community work with a very skilled community developer. But the basic shift in perception that I learned from the new science and thereafter taught is that the world is inherently orderly. I need to understand this isn’t about me. Margaret Wheatley, Ed.D., is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. I mean we just don’t care about the information if it’s different than what we are already opinionated about. He called me in for several hours to talk about it, and we were with the Army historian and maybe one other General and himself. She did a brilliant job with it. WHEATLEY: Oh, you’re talking about chaos. After being kidnapped from West Africa and enslaved in Boston, Phillis Wheatley became the first African American and one of the first women to publish a book of poetry in the colonies in 1773. SCARPINO: . She has yet another book manuscript underway. He’s been dead since 1987. So his senior students who had been very well trained wanted to make a contribution to the field of leadership, and Trungpa Rinpoche described authenticity, authentic behavior, that it creates a field of power around you. We can take our management metaphor, not from machines, but from the ways living systems organize and reorganize and manage themselves.” So when we take our management metaphor not from machines but from the way living systems organize . Did you grow up in Yonkers? I don’t know what happened there, why I never even applied. Margaret Wheatley. SCARPINO: What causes were you outspoken about? It was the first learning organization I was ever in and probably the only one still where learning is the primary value. I think our egos are just smaller, and we do understand the power of relationships, and we do care more about people’s inner life. WHEATLEY: Absolutely. All civilizations have a flowering of culture, high culture. And once learning to live comfortably in that, I became skilled at and desirous of just wanting to be with people in whatever their culture is. WHEATLEY: Well, I came home and I, after just teaching for January to June because I got home in December or November, then I got a position leading an afterschool program for poor income youth in Yonkers. There’s also nothing that exists in isolation as a fixed self. WHEATLEY: I’ve been asked this question a lot and I’ve recently said that my tombstone needs to read—I use this phrase a lot—“We were together. So that is the high point of my life, that event. Bio MARGARET (MEG) WHEATLEY, Ed.D. All right, so we can reconvene here in a minute. So for the next year, maybe, I traveled around in the greatest of style. My new book, which is coming out in two weeks, is poetry. But even when you get 99% of the world’s best scientists telling you, “you have to get serious about climate change” several years ago, what happens? SCARPINO: All right, our main one is live as well. That was MS DOS days, clunkiness. And the fact that it’s global this time because of globalization and the impact of being under the thumb of global financial markets and global leaders, we’re in very dire circumstances. We’ve talked about it so that they’re bored with it. Anyone who works with the military and with these men and women, you develop the greatest respect for them, even if your values are different. WHEATLEY: No, no, no. WHEATLEY: Yes. . Some people still love it. How did you get hooked up with them and what kinds of work did you do? Margaret Wheatley (1992), as quoted in 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself (2004) by Steve Chandler, p. 123; Change always involves a dark night when everything falls apart. ', and 'Change always involves a dark night when everything falls apart. . And those circles, some of them, gave rise to the more organized efforts that started that are covered in Walk Out Walk On. WHEATLEY: I’ve got grandchildren up to age 25 now. WHEATLEY: I went on to graduate school while I was doing that work. And then we started working on the book. So what was going on in your profession at the time that caused you to be critical or pessimistic or both? Today is Friday, October 31, 2014. Contact All American Speakers Bureau to inquire about speaking fees and availability, and book the best keynote speaker for your next live or virtual event. SCARPINO: We have such a range of what we are capable of. SCARPINO: Okay. Download file to see previous pages Margaret J. Wheatley, an American writer and consultant, is often considered as a preeminent scholar in current organizational behavior and theory. WHEATLEY: No. And the pattern of history is that we’re a very good, kind, generous to our own clan, when times are good, we get along with other clans. WHEATLEY: So, having turned 70 in August and really thinking forward of: So what is the next probably final contribution, I am defining my niche as wedding together what I know about the dilemmas and challenges of trying to lead in this time, what I see and know about the pressures and dynamics that work against us as leaders, and what I’m learning constantly through my own practice about how to maintain stability, awareness, compassion, and generosity. I was already teaching it. I have photos of me from that time, helmet and everything. Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Biography submission guide. So when I wrote So Far From Home, that book really brought together everything I could see as societal dynamics that are intersecting. I got an incredible education there, which I didn’t even realize for many years, but I was also very depressed. I asked him if he was doing the interview, what would he most want to ask you. Grassi was his last name; wonderful renaissance scholar kind of man. . SCARPINO: Actually my niece or nephew told me that. And we’re stepping out with a program called Gathering Friends. I have been meaning to write General Sullivan, who is still alive, this is 20 years later, and thank him for all of this. The community of Warriors expands and deepens May 23, 2019 - 10:20 pm; National Park Advisory Board, including Meg, resigns en masse February 5, 2018 - 5:59 pm; New Book in 2017: Who Do We Choose to Be? And so you are going to be misrepresented, misinterpreted, patted on the head, or just not visible at all because it’s so threatening to people when you are dealing at the level of paradigm, world views, fundamental beliefs. Certainly in local elections it makes a big difference, a big difference around who’s been bought by developers in your local community, what happens to the poor. WHEATLEY: That’s right; 60 days every year. SCARPINO: As I got older and reflected on my own life, I realized what a gift my junior high school English teacher had given me. WHEATLEY: Sixty-five students to a room. WHEATLEY: Because at that time my husband was a consultant, I was a consultant, our youngest kids were five and eight, and we were just going crazy. SCARPINO: What do you think some of the elements are that contribute to those dire circumstances? WHEATLEY: And that idealism of service. WHEATLEY: Jewish. What did you think your future would hold? They have been married for fifty-four years. . But, I recalled in fifth grade the game my teacher—and her name—played with us to teach us multiplication tables. It’s not. SCARPINO: So if I had not used the term quantum mechanics when I asked you the question and I just played your answers back without my questions, this could sound like spirituality. Then he wrote another book the opposite, Teaching as a Conservative Activity. SCARPINO: And that was your master’s or your doctorate? She is the author of dozens of articles and essays and numerous poems, and seven books, beginning with Leadership and the New Science (1992) and most recently So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World (2012). . Margaret Wheatley earned her Ph.D. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. I think we still have to vote, but I think they’re right. But I still remember the shock of sitting on my back deck looking at the mountains and my horses with all this free time. WHEATLEY: And I’ve thanked him several times. The problem is not lack of good leadership models. That will be interesting. WHEATLEY: Yes, I do now. WHEATLEY: Okay. SCARPINO: I’m going to ask that you say that name again because our transcriber will never get it. . SCARPINO: Yes. I have told that story many, many times. WHEATLEY: Yes, but the misuse of the term is everywhere. . Because I and my roommate, another Peace Corps volunteer, we both signed up to extend and they sent us home for six weeks. First of all, and I have said to many of my Peace Corps friends, what a privilege it was to live in a traditional culture before globalization. Bio Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. I also have a Tibetan teacher, which in my tradition you need a true Tibetan. WHEATLEY: Well, it was a challenge because we knew we were disappointing our colleagues, but we felt we were just overstretched. I remember that. In Korea, we were the first group so they really didn’t know how to train us. See also. 1999 Y2K Home Preparedness - Year 2000 Crossroads (Video documentary) (thank you - as Dr. Margaret Wheatley) Hide Show Self (2 credits) 1999 Y2K Home Preparedness - Year 2000 Crossroads (Video documentary) 1999 12 Angry Men: Teams That Don't Quit (Documentary short) Edit Personal Details. SCARPINO: What makes for the terrible trouble? Her approach includes systems thinking, theories of change, chaos theory, leadership and the learning organization: particularly its … SCARPINO: What did you learn from having to switch majors and fate? WHEATLEY: I just sat there and thought ‘what am I doing?’ This is where I need to be. SCARPINO: What did you take away from that work that stuck with you? The book did make you famous. WHEATLEY: Yes. SCARPINO: Did Peter Senge’s work have a significant influence on your intellectual development? So you know that you hit that bedrock belief when you’re scared if it isn’t true. No, it’s not that at all. Margaret J. Wheatley Quotes. SCARPINO: Also among the people I talked to was Phil Cass. He really is. WHEATLEY: Oh, absolutely. Did you have any brothers or sisters? But it was a fun program and it was just so eye opening and fresh. SCARPINO: So Peace Corps was relatively new then? And, so I would define myself clearly as a global citizen and someone who—I rely on my own skillfulness at looking forward. SCARPINO: So you had a grandmother who was independent, bold. Our unwillingness to be an adaptive species and to simply charge ahead and think that we can get away with creating the world we want, violating natural laws, misperceiving the human spirit, we’re just hell-bent—and I mean that literally—hell-bent now on living through a misperception of how this place works. . The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions. And it was just a great blessing. Well, of course, he meant it literally. It was wonderful. And it was a brand new school. A leader can make significant change, but most of it these days is quite negative. And I’ve been promoting this now for about four years as one of the great essential acts you must take; reinstitute regular times to think. I know what I want to support. WHEATLEY: Yes, with Neil Postman who was one of our premier thinkers and educators. Indiana University And the calls that I’m on, particularly with one woman leader, it’s like every so often I just have to pick her out of the basement where she’s collapsed because of all of the insanity, and yet she is doing incredibly wonderful work. WHEATLEY: It’s the description of the room; gentle and persuasive movement into new forms that starts with self. Wheatley has an impressive bio, and this book could only be written, authentically, by someone with her background, education, and experience with leadership training and systems thinking. See, I don’t want to look at any one system and say, “Well, it’s gone to hell,” because they all have basically. I knew it was different, but I thought it was so enticing and so demonstrably more effective that people would just love it. . He said, “Nothing; it’s fine.” Another scientist read it and said, “I learned a lot reading this.” I thought, well, that’s a little scary. . SCARPINO: That’s a common response to your writing, isn’t it? I’ve just spent five days in Florence, Italy, to refresh myself. All of them are coming together nicely for me. His girlfriend was jealous of me. And then we put them in a severe testing environment where even five-year-olds now cry. WHEATLEY: It gave me a lot of feminine confidence. . Margaret Wheatley (2006) "Leadership Lessons for The Real World". - Margaret J. Wheatley quotes from BrainyQuote.com "I think a major act of leadership right now, call it a radical act, is to create the places and processes so people can … WHEATLEY: I learned that early on. SCARPINO: I always wished I had gone back and thanked Miss Baldwin and I never did. So when I actually went to write the acknowledgements, I gave it to the head of the physics department at BYU and said, “Please check this.” He checked it. SCARPINO: So how do you think that tension shaped you as a person? SCARPINO: Do you think that one of the measures of a creative person or an effective thought leader is pushing that edge? There were like 2500 males and me, which was great because had I been assigned to a woman’s school I would have been the second class citizen. So we can form one right now. I was incensed by that. She’s a citizen. SCARPINO: Perceive the world the way we want it to be and then create it. I’ve never liked the word, but I’ve gotten used to it. Then I took it to the book agent in Boston and she said—what was devastating in ’91—she said, “I can tell this book is written by a woman. So we bought a property that I still miss, which had five acres and a beautiful horse barn and we had a gorgeous fruit orchard, and I loved it. I want to just ask you one more question about growing up, though, while it’s still on my mind. WHEATLEY: No, no. It had a very powerful mission statement about that we would create communities of support and inquiry for those seeking their salvation in the marketplace, so it had a spiritual tone. To believe that you could change the system to believe that you can’t? Where did that come from? I mean, it’s not high-achieving the way kids are now at all. And that’s when Willis Harman said to me, “Meg, don’t give the science too much credit because spiritual traditions have known this forever.”. 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