Power and Love

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-12-26
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

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War is no way to resolve our most problematic group, community, and societal issues, but neither is a peace that simply sweeps our problems under the rug.

To create lasting change we have to learn to work fluidly with two distinct, fundamental drives that are in tension power the single minded desire to achieve one’s solitary purpose and love the drive towards unity. They are seemingly contradictory but in fact complimentary. As Martin Luther King put it, Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Using revealing stories from complex situations he has been involved in all over the world the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, India, Guatemala, the Philippines, Australia, Canada and the United States Kahane reveals how to dynamically balance these two forces. Just as when we are toddlers we learn to shift from one foot to the other to move ourselves forward, so we can learn to shift back and forth between power and love in order to move society forward.

"Adam's Solving Tough Problems helped me understand that all of our pressing problems be they strategic issues inside a company or societal challenges like conflict, poverty, or climate change require that those with a stake and the power to act come together in open dialogue to create a joint diagnosis and a deep commitment to moving forward together. In Power and Love, Adam goes further and deeper, into the kind of leadership that it takes to do this."-Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India

"It isn't eitheror it's both and In this deceptively brief and clearly written book, Adam Kahane takes us through his own learning process to a way of acting in and on the world that is both effective and caring. Intelligent, insightful, satisfying and inspiring."-Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing a Life and Willing to Learn

"Kahane is a master practitioner and thinker who knows the highs and lows of solving some of the toughest problems of social discord. Power and Love is both instructive and inspiring."-Patrick Dodson, winner of the Sydney Peace Prize and Founding Chairman, Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation

"This book is a must read for business leaders who are coming to recognize that to continue to thrive, business must join forces with interest groups, communities, and government to address the wicked sustainability challenges of our time. Kahane shows us how."-Diane Osgood, Vice President, Business for Social Responsibility

Author Biography

Adam Kahane is a partner in Generon Reos LLC, an international consulting and capacity-building firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Generon Reos is a member—together with colleagues in Johannesburg, London, and Sao Paulo—of REOS Partners, a global partnership that supports innovation in complex social systems. Adam is a designer and facilitator of processes and has worked in more than fifty countries, in every part of the world, with executives and politicians, generals and guerillas, civil servants and trade unionists, community activists and United Nations officials, clergy and artists.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Beyond War and Peacep. 1
Two fundamental drivesp. 2
Our full worldp. 4
Two pitfallsp. 7
An imperativep. 9
The Two Sides of Powerp. 11
Generative powerp. 12
Degenerative powerp. 15
Love is what makes power generativep. 26
The Two Sides of Lovep. 29
Generative lovep. 29
Degenerative lovep. 38
Power is what makes love generativep. 50
The Dilemma of Power and Lovep. 53
Fallingp. 57
Improving child nutrition in Indiap. 57
How to fallp. 71
Stumblingp. 75
Bridging divides in Israelp. 75
Building democracy in South Africap. 87
How to stumblep. 100
Walkingp. 103
Growing sustainable food in Europe and the Americasp. 103
Mitigating climate change in Canadap. 113
How to walkp. 121
Conclusion: To Lead Means to Step Forwardp. 127
Becoming aware of both our power and our lovep. 129
Balancing ourselvesp. 129
Practicing moving fluidlyp. 134
Stepping forwardp. 139
Notesp. 143
Bibliographyp. 151
Acknowledgmentsp. 155
Indexp. 160
About Reos Partnersp. 168
About the Author and the Artistp. 170
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Power and Love June 11, 2011
Adams book delivers a wise and illuminating message about the exacting partnership of power and love. The textbook is both theoretical and at the same time extremely practical for anyone working in the fields of group facilitation, large-scale systems change, or mediation. The textbook is a must read for all levels of management and those looking to make a difference.
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Power and Love: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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