Finding ClarityBy: Marc Lesser


How Compassionate Accountability Builds Vibrant Relationships, Thriving Workplaces, and Meaningful Lives

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“A gift that will keep on giving, helping us find a way to work together with collaboration, care, and ‘compassionate accountability’ as we cultivate more cooperation in whatever endeavors we pursue.”
— Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mindsight
“This kind of clarity is hard to find, never mind cultivate within an organization, and so it is priceless. Anybody who puts mindfulness and the ancient ‘wisdom beyond wisdom’ practices of the Heart Sutra at the heart of their work deserves the deepest respect and attention. The invitation and the challenge then is, critically, implementation — that is, to actually live it, to do nothing less than to embody and enact it within one’s own life and the culture of one’s organization. No one has more cred and more experience in this regard than Marc Lesser. Paying attention to Marc’s approach may not only transform your business; it may literally transform your life.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) and author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses
“Marc Lesser’s skill in developing ways to make modern workplaces meaningful and compassionate, as well as productive, keeps getting better and better. His aptness in finding just the right phrase that will stay with you (helped, in this case, by Homer Simpson, the Buddha, and Alice in Wonderland) is prodigious. His wisdom about the ways we commonly work against ourselves is tempered by his gentleness. In Finding Clarity , his fifth book, Marc shows us how clarity, compassion, and accountability not only can but must go together for organizational and personal success. The book is full of clear and actionable practices for developing these skills. Thanks, Marc, for a lifetime of reenvisioning what it means to go to work.”
— Norman Fischer, poet and Zen Buddhist priest, author of When You Greet Me I Bow: Notes and Reflections from a Life in Zen and Selected Poems 1980–2013
“This important book gives the fortunate reader a clear path to the cultivation of clarity in relation to moral integrity and accountability.”
— Rev. Joan Jiko Halifax, abbot at Upaya Zen Center
“Because he is a highly trained Zen teacher, Marc Lesser resembles an expert fly-fisherman. He is mindful of the back-cast, allowing the line to unfurl before committing to a forward flick to settle the nearly weightless fly in a beguiling manner onto water, where the prize resides. The fly is insight itself; the line is mindfulness, having both feet planted in the stream; and the artistry to describe it is his training and gift. Without cant or jargon, this book offers the reader every tool they need to be more productive, efficient, and happy. And, like every good fly-fishing instructor, Marc helps them learn the patience and skill to unwrap the occasional snarls and tangles that accompany the joys of being alive. Don’t miss this book.”
— Peter Coyote, actor, author, Zen Buddhist teacher
“In clear and direct terms, Finding Clarity offers the reader powerful tools for integrating a flexible, effective, and compassionate approach to living and leading in today’s world. The author, Marc Lesser, draws from his extensive experience as a business leader, Zen teacher, and executive coach to bring two powerful ideas — accountability and compassion — together not as opposing concepts but as central components for vibrant relationships and leadership in any context. Any leader of a team or organization, any parent or friend, or anyone with a relationship where being present, accountable, and available is important — which is all of us — will find this book extremely practical, actionable, and impactful toward being the best possible version of themselves.”
— Rich Fernandez, CEO of Search Inside Yourself Global
“Marc Lesser has a unique ability to combine unlikely concepts from his ‘stealth Zen practice’ and make them accessible to read, practice, and integrate into daily life. I so appreciate this book in its wisdom and ease and highly recommend it to all leadership teams.”
— Susan Griffin-Black, founder and co-CEO of EO Products
“Marc Lesser is an extremely insightful leader, writer, and Zen teacher. Finding Clarity is a remarkably helpful and hopeful book for anyone seeking greater well-being and impact, better relationships at work and at home, and a clear sense of their path forward.”
— Deb Nelson, founder and executive director of the Just Economy Institute
“This book is a straightforward, easy-to-understand guide for how to take action and responsibility in our relationships and work environments in a caring yet courageous way. A refreshing perspective that’s much needed in today’s world.”
— Dr. Kristin Neff, associate professor at University of Texas at Austin and author of Fierce Self-Compassion
“Marc Lesser is someone who embodies his message. Finding Clarity is a clear, thoughtful, generous book. Written in an engaging, accessible style, it is both wise and down-to-earth. It helps us get to the heart of communication as well as put heart in communication. Marc teaches us how to transform conflicts and breakdowns into opportunities for alignment and true teamwork. In these times of misinformation and divisiveness this book is an invaluable guide to greater understanding and productive harmony. Highly recommended!”
— James Baraz, coauthor of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness and cofounding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
“In Finding Clarity , Marc Lesser shares his vast experience as a leader, a Zen practitioner, and a human finding his way through this world. This book offers an array of practices that support change in our work, our lives, and the world.”
— Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Life
“Finding Clarity offers us what we need most right now — the practical tools to create cultures and relationships that integrate grace and accountability. In addition to personal wellness, this is the path to organizational performance. I loved Marc Lesser’s earlier book Less , and this will be my new favorite book to give to friends and colleagues I care about.”
— Jay Coen Gilbert, cofounder of B Lab
“Marc Lesser has done it again, integrating the depth of Zen practice with immediately useful business skills. Written with humor and grace, Finding Clarity shows us many practical ways to bring heart into expecting — and getting — important results from others . . . and oneself. And he shows how to bring responsibility and strength into our friendships and even romantic relationships. I’m imagining a world in which more people bring compassion and accountability together, and it’s a really good one!”
— Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness
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