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Book details
  • SubGenre:Decision-Making & Problem Solving
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • Paperback ISBN:9781735927404

The Surprising Power of Not Knowing What to Do

Discovering Creativity and Compassion in a Time of Chaos

by Jay Cone

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In times of chaos, creativity and compassion are often the first causalities of our search for answers. We want to know what to do, yet we struggle to make sense of all the statistics, opinions, hype, and outrage competing for our attention. Coping with our increasingly complex and unpredictable lives takes a toll on our mental fitness. When we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and rudderless, we make bad decisions. We settle for simplistic answers. We become susceptible to disinformation and the rantings of absolutists. We find ourselves avoiding people whose opinions we disagree with. The Surprising Power of Not Knowing What to Do is like a fitness regimen for your mind. The book explores the counterintuitive idea that being at a loss for what to do is an opportunity, not a problem. You will learn how to develop the mental stamina to deal with your most daunting challenges. You will discover strategies for accessing insights and options when you feel stuck. Most importantly, you will gain renewed faith in the possibility of a more creative and compassionate future.
Do you know how a vaccine works? A vaccine doesn't eliminate the disease or cure those who have been infected. A vaccine trains the immune system to make us less susceptible to a disease. Recent events have infected us with a malaise against which we need inoculation. It feels as though the foundations of civil society that anchor our identities and our aspirations have come unmoored. When our bedrock assumptions are threatened, we become susceptible to arrogant leaders, conspiracy theorists, and purveyors of snake oil. Adrift, we are grateful for any port in a storm. We look outside ourselves for answers—any answers—when what we need is a way to fortify our ability to access creativity and compassion amid the turbulence. This book is not a prescription for what ails us but more like a fitness routine for thinking and feeling. You'll read about techniques that protect you and those you serve from becoming paralyzed by limited and misguided thinking. Many of the examples and stories in this book are drawn from decades of experience helping leaders and their organizations overcome challenges and pursue opportunities. But leaders aren't the only people who become stuck. The book opens with insights into how and why we get stuck. Part Two makes the counterintuitive claim that in uncertain times, focusing on what to do limits creativity and com- passion. Part Three describes four thinking disciplines that, when consistently practiced, help us form insights and dis- cover options even in turbulent and chaotic times. I wrote this book for people who are feeling disoriented and stuck. I invite you to embrace the surprising power of not knowing what to do—to become not like a beginner but to become a true beginner, one who can see abundant possibilities because you are no longer a captive of assumptions the world has left behind.
About the author
Jay Gordon Cone teaches people how to think together and solve problems together. Jay has spent the past 35 years supporting leadership development and organizational change. He has worked with leaders and organizations around the world. Jay is a founding partner of Unstuck Minds, a firm focused on helping people access creativity and compassion when they feel stuck. Before starting Unstuck Minds, Jay spent 20 years as a senior consultant for Interaction Associates. Before joining Interaction Associates, Jay held a number of talent development, human resources, and organizational development roles in the food service industry. Jay served for five years as adjunct faculty for the Executive MBA program at The University of Texas at Dallas. He has written extensively about organizational leadership and strategy. His articles have appeared in Training Magazine, The Training & Development Journal, and The Journal of Global Business and Organizational Excellence. Jay authored the chapter, "Authentic Accountability" appearing in the 2011 International Leadership Association's collection: Leadership for Transformation. His article, "How to Cultivate an Unstuck Mind" was featured in the Fall 2019 issue of Rotman Management Magazine. His current and past clients include: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dell Technologies, Exelon, GE, Nokia, Fluor Corporation, The TJX Companies, and W.L. Gore and Associates. Jay and his wife Katherine live in Dallas, Texas. He and Katherine have three adult daughters: Abby, Hannah, and Bekah.

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