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Newsletter 119: Still going around in circles (Story)

We return to story circles. Anecdote Circles form a part of our Conversations that Count process for initiating positive, lasting culture change. See and In this newsletter we consider some aspects of story circles

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We return to story circles. Anecdote Circles form a part of our Conversations that Count process for initiating positive, lasting culture change. See and
In this newsletter we consider some aspects of story circles

Leonard Cohen's Easter/ Passover song - watch and listen here

And an interpretation: watch

A cherished encouragement from Edgar Schein, Ph.D. received quite recently:
“I have just finished your wonderful gift on the Internet about Ancient Wisdom. It is a great collection that has put in one document so many separate thoughts and insights that are scattered in our literature. I love all the stories and quotations that you provide. My own efforts along these lines with many stories are in my recent book Humble Consulting (2016) and will be elaborated in the book I am doing with my son which will be called Humble Leadership.
I would love to meet you sometime and discuss the dilemma of how to get more of these ideas implemented in the business world that still operates by a strong culture of competitive individualism and bureaucracy that creates unnecessary distance between people”.

Ed Schein’s career first took root with his studies of coercive persuasion (interviewing returning American prisoners of war), he was Sloan Professor of Management Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at the MIT, received a Life Time Achievement Award from the International Leadership Association, and is widely respected as the doyen of organizational culture.

Another cherished response arrived after last month’s newsletter ‘Return to Story’. It came from Karen Dietz, Ph.D.
"Masterful essay Graham! Absolutely love it. Thank you"
Karen, one of the top story practitioners world-wide specialises in transformational storytelling for impact and influence. See She co-authored the bestselling Business Storytelling for Dummies

And a Prof of Economics serving on an organisation's planning committee has offered the following in response to the Shift Happens newsletter released in February this year: "Most stimulating. Suggests to me ways in which we might contribute positively and not just bewail our circumstances. In fact, I can imagine us spending a profitable evening just discussing Graham Williams’ thoughts".

There has been a resurgence of servant leadership in business. Please contact or should you require to know more about the Flourishing Leadership programme and its leadership, purpose, mastery components.

A new article on the role of HR in Servant Leader organisations, and in the H&N member archive is on LinkedIn


A ground-breaking, practical compass for future leaders and their organisations who wish to move beyond simply 'doing good and doing well' - find out more


You understand so little of what is around you because you do not use what is within you - St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179),

I’ve learned first- hand that the more leadership principles get concise, the more you can put them into action - David Rock is cofounder of the Neuroleadership Institute

Our pragmatic culture that’s all about – get the work done, don’t bother me with feelings and relationships – is working less and less well – business culture doyen Edgar Schein

I dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold service was joy - Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet

Where there is unity there is always victory Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian philosopher and writer


May I forget myself, remember my speech, and touch my audience - Craig Valentine, 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters

God made man because he loves stories - Yiddish proverb.

Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent - Stephen Fry

...imagine .... where you genuinely turned up to listen and to converse around a shared purpose; just think of how different those meetings would be…and imagine how much more effective they could become – Mark Cole, Leadership Development Programme Manager, London Leadership Academy, NHS.

Micro-affirmations are "tiny acts of opening doors to opportunity, gestures of inclusion and caring, and graceful acts of listening….” - Mary Rowe, Sloan School of Management, MIT


After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box - Old Italian proverb

The wound is the place where the Light enters you - Rumi

There is a crack in everything) That's how the light gets in - Leonard Cohen

Our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says - Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams

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