Critical Doer Book Review: Leadership And The New Science

A Critical Doer is willing to lead




Note:  I posted on this topic a few weeks ago.  If you read the post this may be a little repetitive but I recently reviewed the book for Amazon and thought I’d share the text with you.  For anyone looking to write, doing customer reviews for Amazon is a good way to get started and share your experiences with fellow thinkers and shoppers.

Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World is Margaret J. Wheatley’s effort to correlate principles of physics to the human dynamics that drive organizational effectiveness.  Overall I thought the book was a worthwhile read and you may as well…depending upon what you’re hoping to find.

Many times when you hear an author or songwriter, it occurs to you that they’re not saying anything that you’re not already thinking or feeling…they simply find the words to express those thoughts where most of come up short.  Most of Wheatley’s conclusions won’t be viewed as revelations, but the thought process of getting there is rather novel in using principles of science to show how we can use them for benefit in dealing with people and organizations.

Here is one example, and I thought it was the most effective part of the book.  The Laws of Thermodynamics tell us about open and closed systems.  A closed system consumes its own energy and eventually reaches a state of equilibrium where all things are equal and in balance…no change, no progress.  It’s nice and orderly, but nothing is happening.  An open system on the other hand is chaotic because it is interacting with the environment around it.  The chaos is what allows the system to grow and change in order to thrive in its environment.

I’m sure you’ve seen these principles played out in organizations.  The organization that closes itself to new ideas and new talent reduces chaos but in the long term also reduces the capability to create new opportunities or react quickly enough to environmental changes to survive.

If you’re willing to wade through some lengthy physics lectures to get to the conclusions, you’ll find some genuine nuggets that will increase your understanding of organizations and help you find your own words to articulate key messages with your people.  By the end of the book, it should be clear from the examples in the natural world that willingness to lead, willingness to embrace new ideas and opportunities, and willingness to communicate with people are essential for long term success.

I encourage you to read the book, and I further encourage you to make reading a regular part of your efforts to accomplish deeds of significance.  The body goes where the mind takes it, and reading is the vehicle that puts it all in motion.  Get started today; it’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: April 6, 2015 — 9:22 am