Author(s): Leslie Dashew
The world is evolving at such a rapid pace that we must be prepared to cope with change and to benefit from it, rather than fall victim to it. Most importantly, we must understand how to make changes in ourselves and to understand our limitations in changing others. This is not an easy process! I have shared some of my own experiences and reflections throughout this book (particularly in the first section) in order to illustrate that work in these areas continues throughout our lives. I have found that when we are courageous enough to share openly, others are more open as well.
Our effectiveness starts with our own integrity. For what do we, as individuals, stand? What is our purpose or mission in life? What values guide our actions and use of resources (time, money, relationships, intellect)? And what gives us joy? The clearer we are about who we are, and what we want to do with our lives, the more effective we can be. Otherwise we are reactive to the forces around us.
Therefore, the first portion of this book includes chapters to help you reflect on your life, purpose, and sense of self. Much of this portion was written at the end of the year, as I reflected on the year that had passed and the one about to begin.
At the next level, our effectiveness as humans comes from our ability to relate to others, i.e., interpersonal effectiveness. This includes our ability to communicate, to solve problems, and to work with teams and larger systems, such as the complex family business. Thus, Part Two addresses interpersonal skills and team effectiveness.
Part Three focuses on the family business, which is a specialty of my practice. The family business is one of the most complex of all human systems, composed of two sub-systems that normally operate more independently. The overlap can cause great confusion when family members/business members are unclear about which "rules" prevail. Even if you are not a part of a family business, I hope you will find insights useful in other complex systems.
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