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SYNTAX Newsletter #37: May 2002


We hope you enjoy reading the email version of the Syntax newsletter. We are experimenting and would appreciate your feedback. A special hello to Syntax graduates, and a reminder to renew the practices that you have found most valuable. Just email us at syntaxoffice@syntx.com if you want to be removed from this list. We are celebrating Syntax's 21st birthday, looking back on wonderful relationships with individuals and client organizations since our founding in Washington, DC in April of 1981, and looking forward to expanding the influence of Syntax in the workplace. Thank you for being part of our network of friends and Syntax users!

  What's inside:

Why Does Collaborative Leadership Matter… To You…NOW?

Bring Your Personal Syntax to Light

Link to the Bigger Game

Lessons Learned… the TANGO!

A Time to Be Lean

…and a few other nuggets


Dalai Lama Frames Sept. 11 Tragedy

"We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment. Let us seek not to pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause.
Unless we take this time to look at the cause of our experience, we will never remove ourselves from the experiences it creates. We must choose to be a cause in the matter."

—The Dalai Lama, after the events of September 11, 2001

Why Does Collaborative Leadership Matter… To You…NOW?

By Lucy Freedman

A simple reflection answers that question: when you hear the term collaborative leadership, do you put yourself in the shoes of the collaborative leader? Or do you read it as something that those people in leadership should adopt?

Your answer is the benchmark of the need for an essential evolutionary step. When everyone is aware of being a leader, assuming responsibility for communicating effectively, we'll have evolved to reach the potential of what collaboration can be.

Our flowing information economy replaces hierarchy with networks. "Personal power" exists in a new context. If you are reading this newsletter, you may be one of what demographers call "cultural creatives." That means that you are questioning old assumptions, seeking to improve society, and designing a lifestyle that is mobile, information-rich, and rather untraditional. You are likely to hold the ideal of workplace collaboration more consciously than many.

In a world where we need to act in concert, not to destroy but to enhance life,
whether or not this description fits you, recent events have shown us serious consequences of breakdowns in mutual understanding and collaboration
there is plenty for all of us to do just to bring forth sustainable human and natural co-existence.

The self-indulgent 80's, and I don't know what to call the 90's yet, are over. It's time to apply what we've learned, and to extend our learning well beyond where we've been.

Meg Wheatley wrote a stunning article, "Bringing Life to Organizational Change" that you can access on the web at www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/life.html, where she points out that participation by each member of an organization is the only thing that keeps both alive.

She says that you can only learn to thrive by using principles, not rules or formulas. Each person, each member has a unique role and perspective which is essential to the whole. As Meg reminds us, no one actually carries out instructions as someone else gives them anyway. We each add our bit, and even though people who run organizations may be frustrated by this, the result is demonstrably better when the right people have input to how things are done. Chaotic systems have always been the norm even when we have pretended, in our Newtonian consciousness, that we can impose linear plans on living systems.

Collaborative Leadership is an expression that describes active involvement in the new pattern of organization. It brings with it a call for the skills and capacities to bridge differences and take action. How many of us, and people with whom we work, recognize that we need practice in personal / interpersonal skills, and that we need to do this consciously, together?

The attitudes and skills of Collaborative Leadership are the underlying behavioral structure represented by Syntax. Whatever your `personality style' or `learning style' or perceptual bias, you are always called upon to PLAN, LINK, BALANCE, INFORM, and LEARN. The additional leverage of having a common language for collaborating is enormous. Syntax helps weave mutual understanding into the fabric of organizational life.

One of the most enlightening moments in our many years of Advanced Learning Institutes came when Chris Thorsen, an Aikido master and consultant, taught us the concepts of WAZA and DO. Practicing techniques, following instructions, learning a discipline these are in the world of WAZA.

The incredible experience of flow that comes in the pursuit of mastery, the in-the-moment heightened presence that cannot be summoned on demand of our conscious minds, is referred to as the DO (pronounced "doe"). We know that the conscious practice of Syntax is in the world of WAZA, and the intent of practice is to be available for the experience of the DO.

Personal responsibility, or Collaborative Leadership, is more than just an attitude. It's willingness combined with capabilities. Syntax was developed so that you can equip yourself efficiently, simply, and with lots of real-world practice to be a learner of collaborative leadership, someone who doesn't wait for others to "get it" or to change, but who says, "What do we want? What will that get us and others? How will we know when we get there?"

Thank you for being one of those people. We are grateful for the many opportunities we have to pass the message along. When you are ready to work consciously on these principles, to engage in the WAZA, and to share them with others, we invite you to join us in a learning partnership. Meanwhile, know that you have like-minded allies over here!

Bring Your Talent to Asilomar Learn and Exchange Ideas with Top-Notch Corporate Internal and External Consultants
Advance Your Coaching / Consulting Career

Syntax Advanced Learning Institute: July 21-26, 2002

Rich schedule of sessions, one-on-one and group coaching and demonstrations, personal relaxation and renewal, process skills based on Syntax's twenty-one years working with major corporations. Act Early to Save $$! Visit www.syntx.com for descriptions and past participant reviews.

Bring Your
Personal Syntax to Light

What could people know about your personal patterns that would help them to work well with you?

What could you know about your own personal syntax that would help you solve nagging issues such as regularly getting overcommitted, or creating some other communication breakdown over and over?

What are the core skills that you need to be a great coach for yourself and others?

These and other questions are the substance of Lucy Freedman's radio webcast on Bringing Your Personal Syntax to Light, originally aired January 29, 2002. She was interviewed by Dee Kinder, host of the weekly program "Success Becomes You!" Each week Dee introduces a guest who specializes in a particular aspect of personal and professional success.Lisa Marshall, former Syntax VP, is one of the guests, as are Syntax consultants Karen Bading and Karen Lam.

Highlights of Lucy and Dee's Webcast

Knowing and sharing insights about your own personal syntax will get you a lot farther than focusing on other peoples' syntax!

- Talking about what you do want brings it much closer to reality than talking about what you don't want and hoping for change.

- If you ask "what and how" rather than "why" when you want to learn about someone else's knowledge or experience, you will get higher
quality information.

- Clear requests and agreements and being able to say yes and no are the keys to life balance.

Knowing your personal syntax and expanding the choices you can make to upgrade the results you get seems not only to be a responsibility, but a privilege. Every once in a while, go to the Syntax "observation deck" to gain insight on what's going on between you and others.

How to listen via your computer

The Success Becomes You programs are archived so you can listen at your convenience. If you have an audio player, you can tune in on your PC or laptop. You can get there through our website, www.syntx.com, or go directly to Dee's site, www.Omahasuccess.com, for the full program schedule as well as information on her courses and services contributing to success.

Tune in as the next 13-week series begins at www.voiceamerica.com at 5pm Pacific Time on Tuesdays.

"Love is...

...the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your knowledge, networks, and compassion with your business partners."

- Tim Sanders, author of "Love Is the Killer App" in Fast Company Fast Take E-Newsletter, April 3, 2002

Talk About Manifesting….

Our business manager, Madeleine Wyke, has been expanding her sights to find ways to use her experience in managing chiropractic offices to help others. This spawned her Success in Practice programs for health care professionals and coaches. Once she set her foot on that path, she was suddenly offered an opportunity to reach her goal more rapidly to work with an already-successful chiropractic practice and help open more offices.

Since it was a perfect fit, though a surprise, she has regretfully resigned from Syntax. We will miss her outstanding support, willingness to learn, and joyful presence. Our wish is that the time she's spent at Syntax contributes to her continued success.

Congratulations, Madeleine!

A Time to Be Lean

Sustainability is an important concern in all aspects of business today. Researchers Steven Spears and H. Kent Bowen, authors of Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System in the Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1999, captured the four rules which serve as a foundation for "lean" operation. Here are the four rules, which are both profound and challenging.

The Four Rules

1. Structure every activity.

2. Clearly connect every customer / supplier.

3. Specify and simplify every flow.

4. Improve through experi- mentation at the lowest level possible towards the ideal state.

We see at least PLAN, LINK, INFORM, and LEARN.

You can learn more about "lean" at www.leanlearningcenter.com, where we found a strong resonance with the principles of Syntax.

Lessons Learned from Learning How to Tango

I think they apply generally!! Take a look!

- Perfect execution is less important than perfect communication

- Don't anticipate, be ready for what- ever comes

- After 3 songs, you're free to change partners

- Always maintain your own balance. If you lean too heavily on your part- ner, he won't be able to dance with you for very long

- You'll never dance to any song the same way twice

- Keeping some space between you and your partner allows both of you more freedom to maneuver

- Body language tells you everything you need to know

- It IS possible to dance your way out of a corner

- Always wear the right shoes.

Just for your information!

From our good friend Mari Novak of KNO Worldwide, who tangoes all over Eastern Europe and the world.
Link to The Bigger Game

Colleague Laura Whitworth (co-author of Co-Active Coaching and
co-founder of the Coaches Training Institute) has embarked on a project that invites you into "the bigger game." Working with team leaders Giles MacMillan and Mandy Birks, she is leading fundraising workshops to support taking coaching skills into prisons. Check out www.thebiggergame.org. Once again Laura inspires us to reach farther into our potential and into the world. What's your bigger game?
The Next Economy

"Leadership. Technology. Work. Innovation. Brand.

These will be the tools for growth in the next economy."

- Fast Company, FastTake
E-Newsletter March 20, 2002



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