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The Power of Presence
Shifting your Awareness to Transform your Business, Your Life & Our Future

by Peter Senge, Ph.D.

      Usually when we see the word "presence" in a title, we can be fairly certain that the central topic is spirituality, self-improvement, or life enhancement. As it happens, Peter Sengeís use of the word probably does deliver on all of that, but The Power of Presence is primarily about improving business leadership skills. Yes, business.

Being present, being in the moment, being mindful - these terms are familiar to just about everyone in the Western world, and we tend to associate them with Buddhism or at least with some form of spiritual pursuit. Senge wants us to understand that presence, while central to those philosophies, is equally important in the sharp-edged world of business. He asks how many people enjoy meetings. Is there anyone who answers yes to that? But Senge tells us that meetings can be interesting, productive, even fun.

"Closed minds produce dull meetings," he says. Open minds, on the other hand, arenít afraid to expose vulnerability by admitting to not knowing. Ask questions, Senge urges, but ask real questions, then listen to the responses. Pay attention to what other people are saying and doing in that moment, rather than replaying your assumptions while doodling on the agenda.

Simply by allowing presence, we are better able to view the situation from a different perspective. By letting go of our determination and need to have the answer, we make space for creative solutions. Itís a new way to think about success, and itís long overdue.

A lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Visiting Professor at the Helsinki School of Economics, Senge is also the author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Heís also the founder of The Society for Organizational Learning, Inc., a nonprofit international membership organization that connects researchers, organizations, and consultants in over thirty countries in building knowledge for systemic change. With credentials like those, itís easy to believe that Senge knows something about business management and best practices.

While Sengeís presentation in this brief (just over 2 hours) audio work is engaging and motivational, he goes beyond pep and enthusiasm to give concrete examples of how presence has and can be used to develop a shared vision and more workable strategies for almost any workplace. The Power of Presence is a valuable resource for every leader who truly wants to accomplish goals and strengthen teams.

The Book

Sounds True
August 2008
Audio 2 CDs / 2.25 Hrs. / 4 Page study guide
Nonfiction /†Business / Mind and Body
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The Reviewer

Deborah Adams
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Deborah Adams is the Flair and Macavity Award winning author of the Jesus Creek Mystery Series: All The Great Pretenders, All The Crazy Winters, All The Dark Disguises, All The Hungry Mothers, All The Deadly Beloved, All The Blood Relations, and All The Dirty Cowards. She was also an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel.
© 2008