Re: Fadism LO163

Mariann Jelinek (
Sat, 18 Feb 1995 17:33:04 -0500

Cathie Leavitt wrote in LO136:

> Challenging my deepest assumptions about work and people is
>scary. These assumptions have formed the ground of my life until now; if I
>challenge them, I start to feel the ground shaking beneath me. Who will
>save me then? (We are so accustomed to believing in an external source of
>salvation: a new theory, belief, system of government, way of doing
>business, the right job, the right relationship.) Unless I have some inner
>source of courage to confront my pain and see what is true, I will retreat
>to the comfort of my illusions. The real question is, how do I develop
>this kind of courage? Can I help my friends, co-workers, and my child to
>develop it?

Right on, Cathie ! Your observation is on target, and your
question very much apropos. One answer to this dilemma is to teach others
to learn: build learning organizations (a learning culture). As a business
school prof., I'm determined to push in this direction - though it is
sometimes hard, because of so much we think we know. I'm fascinated by the
possibilities that our net raises: we converse from various corners of the
world, share widely different perspectives, and converge around powerful
concepts (like yours) that begin to point to what we must attend to.
IMHO, those who are least afraid are those who believe they can
make a contribution, can learn, can change: they're not looking for
external salvation, but rather for a path on which they can save themselves
and others around them. They're active, rather than passive, and
interested, rather than resentful. They do make mistakes (& cheerfully
acknowledge that), learning from them as they go. And rather than "the
right one" way, they typically envision "many routes to Heaven, all being
one way" of self-awareness and self-improvement.
I hope we all can help ourselves and others develop in this
direction - because it feels better, works better, and treats ourselves,
our fellow humans, and our planet better in passing: a legacy worth leaving
behind us.


Mariann Jelinek
Richard C. Kraemer Professor of Business
Graduate School of Business,
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Tel. (804) 221-2882 FAX: (804) 229-6135