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The Witches' Brew

By Barry Oshry

CAUTION! If sleep is more important to you than power, read no further. The Witches Brew is powerful medicine. It may take between three and five wake-ups in a single night for the best strategies to fall into place. Do not mix with alcohol.

The Ingredients:

1. CENTRALITY. Be very clear that you are a central player in your organization. You can make a difference. The fact is you already do make a difference...as much by the things you don't do as by the ones you do. Your choice is only about the size and quality of the difference to make. (Conversely, the secret to sound sleep is to convince yourself that others are the central players, not you.)

2. RESPONSIBILITY. Be very clear that you should make a difference in this organization. Not as a burden to be suffered, but as a challenge to be welcomed. (Usually we think that only the Tops are responsible. That kind of thinking allows us to sleep through the night.)

3. SYSTEM SIGHT. See the system as a whole. What is IT’s current condition? How did IT get there? What's missing in IT? Where does IT need to go now? [Reading all of Oshry’s writings can be a big help here; experiencing his workshops can help even more.]

4. SYSTEM SENSE. Know that the system passes through you. Your feelings are a reflection of IT. Your anxiety or apathy or feelings of incompetence may be less a message about you than about IT and your relationship to IT. Change IT by changing your relationship to IT. You get better. IT gets better.

5. WILL. When the strategy falls into place (4 AM is a good time), you will recognize it as just the right move to make. All that is left is your willingness to move past your internal barriers to power -- your fears, your resistance, your resignation -- and do it.

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