Leadership and the New Science

After reading the “Freak Out” post my buddy Seattle Dave recommended that I read, “Leadership and the New Science, by Margaret Wheatley“. I’m almost finished it and my first reaction is wow! 😯 This is awesome ❗ Just how many exclamation points can I put in a post ❗ ❗ ❗

The concept of her book is simple — apply the concepts of 21st century science to organizational behaviour. The result is shocking and inspiring. It provides a great deal of hope for the future. This book must be read.

The key point that she focusses on is that “new science” is all about relationships and not Newtonian reductionism. Topics covered are: “Field Theory” ( provides an analogy of corp vision and EM fields ), Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (Measuring one variable more accurately comes at the expense of less accuracy in other variables. You can’t know it all at the same time. In fact knowing more about one thing ensures that you’ll know less about another.), Quantum wave/particle duality ( if the experiment looks for waves it finds waves and if it looks for particles it gets particles), Schrodinger’s Cat ( admits to not getting it, but then applies it to the common phrase “you see what you want to see — so choose something nice”), self-organizing systems, information vs. content, and more.

Quotes – There are some great quotes on the Margaret Wheatley Wikipedia page. The first paragraph ends with this sentence

She describes her work as opposing “highly controlled mechanistic systems that only create robotic behaviors.”

Warning: For some this book may come off as too “New Agey” and “difficult”, especially when she starts off by noting “Fritjof Capra‘s Turning Point (another book I loved) and reading some quotes from it. I urge all readers to to get/look past this and “listen”.


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