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  • Who Do We Choose to Be?

  • Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity
  • By: Margaret J. Wheatley
  • Narrated by: Margaret J. Wheatley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Who Do We Choose to Be?

By: Margaret J. Wheatley
Narrated by: Margaret J. Wheatley
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Summary

Who Do We Choose to Be? is a book that offers a path for leaders to engage wisely with the destructive dynamics of this time that manifest at every level, from individual to organizational to global. We enter the path by facing reality, wanting to see with clarity and discernment where we are and how we got here. Because of her own studies and experiences, Wheatley has chosen to use the lens of new science to understand where we are and why we ended up here.

Wheatley focuses on eight dynamics common to all living systems, each given its own section. For each dynamic, first there is an essay detailing what new science teaches about this dynamic. Next there are short essays applying this lens to today's culture, illuminating the causes of many of our most troubling and perplexing behaviors and trends. The last section is Wheatley's personal recollections of leaders who used this dynamic in healthy and life-affirming ways.

The book is a form of exploration that offers a relaxed and fruitful process of inquiry. To understand how we got here requires more than rational analysis. It requires a dwelling mind where a multiplicity of influences and factors are considered before any insight can reveal itself. Finally, it presents the question to leaders: who do you choose to be as a leader for this time?

©2017 Margaret J. Wheatley (P)2017 Margaret J. Wheatley

What listeners say about Who Do We Choose to Be?

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Dim but reflective

That I can use 14 words for this review, confirms most of what Wheatley writes.

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Invaluable insight to making a good difference

Great thanks to Margaret J. Wheatley for another wonderful piece of work on teaching us about human nature, the state of the world, and how we can build an island of sanity in an increasingly insane world.

I loved the story of the Nuns, so inspiring!

I shall keep Margaret in mind as one of the most timely and relevant authors of this time.

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Gripping and inspiring

It opened my mind to the truths of the world in a non-threatening manner. I feel gripped the whole way through the learn more. I ordered the hardback to further contemplate the subject matters. It’s a finely tuned piece of writing that will continue to have an impact on me. Highly recommend.

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Wonderful timely book

Full of ideas, so right for this time of our existence. Books like this are an oasis in our / my world of madness and self-centredness. I really learnt from MJW.
The mournful music doesn’t fit the uplifting text.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-17

Timely. Scary. Ultimately Inspirational.

Would you listen to Who Do We Choose to Be? again? Why?

Yes to revisit some of the history and context of evolution of civilizations.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Who Do We Choose to Be??

The notion that all civilizations collapse. And that we are now in a time of collapse. And most people are not noticing. And this takes warrior leadership holding vision, history, compassion and action.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

It is always hard to listen to a book that is narrated by the author. I think the author is too close to the subject matter. I would have preferred a different narrator to bring the stories in this book to more vibrant life.

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  • Gail O'Sullivan
  • 18-01-21

So disappointed by harping on technology

I thought I'd enjoy this book as I've read essays by Margaret Wheatley that led me to believe we had common ideals. If she had stuck with "claiming leadership and "restoring sanity" we might have seen eye-to-eye. But every single chapter she harped about the use of technology - and especially the internet - which really bothered me. Combined with the fact that she narrates this book herself using her old woman's voice... it comes across like the worst scolding of your life. She obviously has no context for understanding that the internet IS A COMMUNITY SPACE TOO. All she does is lament the alienation of people who are separated from their tribes and nature due to this horrible network. It pissed me off that she's not just missing out on it herself, but leading others to miss this opportunity for connection and organizing. So very disappointed by her tone and blindness. Other than that, she did include some gems on developing leadership, or I wouldn't have finished the book. But the crap I had to wade through to find those gems wasn't worth it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lucian Siedler
  • 27-06-20

Absolutely Outstanding Information AND HUMONGOUS HEART!!!

I NEVER, I mean never, write a review and I have been listening to superb books on Audible for 12 years. This time I have to do it. Margaret J. Wheatley’s calming voice, rigorous ideas and humongous heart are forged with decades of astute observation and first hand challenging work with global business and spiritual leaders. She includes miraculous stories of common women, men and children too. Leadership according to Wheatley does not mean “saving the world,“ appeasing an anxious enthusiasm to right all wrongs, but rather leadership is a private understanding within oneself where you find the grace, purpose, humility and backbone of resolve and courage to help ameliorate the suffering and injustice where you are, with what you have, to the best of your ability. You don’t need to move to L.A., New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C. or Omaha. You don’t need to cultivate the rich and famous, to curry favor or borrow creditably. Leadership in Wheatley’s growing “Warriors of the Human Spirit” movement is not unlike the story of Dorothy Gale and those ruby slippers. You begin where you are and actively dedicate yourself
to helping eliminate suffering and want by courageously lifting the veil that covers your own understanding of the resolute, resilient, wondrous and ancient spiritual social inheritance within your heart. Wheatley’s “Warriors of the Human Spirit” armed with foreknowledge and discipline are willing at all costs to protect, nurture, Shepherd, honor and defend the best in humanity. Her message is unique because she doesn’t believe in false hope.” She writes, in 2017, that the human species has so fouled its own nest and biosphere that as a species we are now beyond remedy. Wheatley is a scientist of history, culture and human development. She recalls the self destructive patterns in other civilizations that have vanished and highlights their similarities to our world. She doesn’t believe in a techno fix and foresees a bleak and devastating common future. She does believe ardently in the human spirit and this book is an exercise in reclaiming your own spirit. Highly recommended. Favorite line, “when you want to get it done find a nun.”

2 people found this helpful

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  • MJ
  • 12-12-19

Outstanding, not just for "leaders"

Margaret Wheatley is widely known as an author/teacher in the field of leadership and service, which I suspect somewhat limits her readership. This is unfortunate, because Wheatley's recent books So Far From Home (2012) and Who Do We Choose to Be? (2017) are both outstanding resources for anyone seeking to restore balance and sanity to their worldview in this soul-destroying era we're now living through. Two points of advice: 1) read So Far From Home first, as it lays the essential groundwork for everything Wheatley discusses here, and 2) do heed her request to get a hard copy of this book; it contains a lot of extras (footnotes, suggested reading, quotes, poems, photos) and is great to have on hand for reference, reflection, or just a brief sanity break when you need it.

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  • Cly Maxx
  • 25-08-22

Things Fall Apart

An eloquent and clear eyed examination of where we presently find ourselves. Thank you, Margaret Wheatley.

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  • Kindle Customer from Seattle
  • 24-08-21

What better way to think of leadership?

I enjoyed this book so much in Audible. It felt like an intimate conversation with the author, hearing her voice read her words. The reality of where we are in our world, our country today (further magnified by the current evacuations in Afghanistan in August 2021, although this book was published in 2017) makes her guidance so relevant. We must each look inside, come to know ourselves, then do what we can, where we can, when we can. Yes, I would like to be a warrior of the human spirit.

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  • Susan Z
  • 23-05-19

Important and wise book

Over the years, I have found Margaret Wheatley to be an insightful and wise teacher. This book does not disappoint -- although it is jarring and at times disturbing, it is still inspiring and instructive. I want to buy this book for every leader I know who is mature enough to face reality and open-hearted enough to do this hard and necessary work of leadership.