Bring Meaning to Work and Purpose to Spirituality

Yan Song
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  • Chicago
  • United States
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Yan Song's Discussions

Lead with Power and Love - A Transformative Leadership Development Program
4 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Yan Song Feb 25, 2012.

The Story

Started Jan 10, 2010

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Something About Me

Warning: "Every reminiscence is colored by today's being what it is, and therefore by a deceptive point of view." - Albert Einstein

But here it goes ...

My journey started more than 30 years ago in the People’s Republic of China. From a young age, I was compelled to seek an intellectual and spiritual alternative to Maoism, the equivalent of a state religion in the West. In those days, “hard” science is just about the only resource available. Studying Quantum Mechanics and Relativity meant far more to me than merely intellectual exercises. However, such almost “religious” faith and experiences came to an end by the early 1990s when it dawned on me that “pure” science couldn’t possibly fulfill my deepest yawnings. I then had a personal Epiphany – a period of deep depression and despair followed by a profound sense of liberation and hope. Various works in psychology, philosophy and, especially, the writings of Albert Einstein, helped me tremendously. For the first time in my life, I understood the human condition in a realistic and inspired way and felt a strong connection to this day with all the great minds and spirits in history who have made tremendous strides lifting themselves and the human race out of ignorance and towards hope and prosperity.

I have lived in the Chicago area for almost 20 years after spending several years in Europe, married twice and have two lovely children - a 18 year old daughter starting college this fall and a 5 year old son keeping my wife and me occupied ... I enjoy reading, writing, and conversation with friends and public speaking. I am an ocassional golfer and gardener, neither very good ...

I received my PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Wales in 1989, MBA from the University of Chicago in 2002. I have worked for several major institutions in the Chicago area, including the University of Chicago, GD Searle (acquired by Pharmacia and then Pfizer), GE Capital and Abbott (my current employer). In the past decade, I have increasingly focused on organizational change management (people, process and technology) as the key lever of maximizing the value of implementing business information systems. I am certified and proficient in multiple project and change management methodologies (Project Management Institute, Accelerating Implementation Methodology, Spiral Dynamics, Skilled Facilitator, etc.)

My personal goal of founding this organization is to fulfill my passion and gratitude for the real American Dream – a fine tradition of pragmatism in the face of overwhelming adversity as experienced by the first settlers and our founding fathers and countless others from all ages and places, all with a pioneering spirit. I realize that we are living in a tumultuous time but am also very excited and deeply optimistic about the eternal mystery that continues to unfold before us. I am not a poet but feel deeply in my heart that the day is still young and full of promises. I look forward to making more friends who share the same passion and commitment.

Yan Song's Blog

Swim Free – A Community Program to Regenerate Work Vitality

Before Diving In


What Is Work Vitality?


Simply put, how alive do we feel on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons? Does our work excite us? If you are like most American workers, the answers are decidedly mixed. There may be better days than others but in general finding joy in one’s work has become as rare in Corporate America as winning a…


Posted on April 23, 2017 at 1:47pm

Faithful in the Routine

That is the title of Joel Osteen’s preach on ABC this morning. He used an interesting metaphor of God as the potter molding clay (us) into objects of art all the while we (clay) feel as though life is pretty routine and even grow resentful about being spinned around for no good reason!


I have had numerous conversations with busy professionals who are dissatisfied with their experience at work, complaining about…


Posted on April 23, 2017 at 1:30pm

Growing Forever Young

This is an alchemy of several moments in my life over the past a few days.


An old college friend of mine shared a memo by a well known Chinese philosopher (Deng Xiaomeng) of his mother who received no formal education and began writing and publishing assays of her life stories in her late seventies until her death last year at the age of 93. Some of her assays have been highly praised and published by top…


Posted on March 26, 2017 at 8:11pm

The Evolution of the West: What's Next?

I just finished reading an excellent book by Nick Spencer, titled “The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values”.

For a naturalized citizen born in a very different culture like myself, this book provided a sweeping overview of the Western history from an important (Christian) perspective that I find very helpful and persuasive. It is contextual, interpretive and open minded versus argumentative or…


Posted on December 4, 2016 at 10:57pm

Comment Wall (3 comments)

At 8:08pm on August 24, 2008, Paul Caswell said…
Hi Yan,

I reduced the wave file to 6.6 Meg and have uploaded it here.


At 6:55pm on January 5, 2009, Andrea Henning said…
Hi Jan,

I would like to do that. I applied to your groep but saw later that you are fysically comming together on a regular basis? Or do you communicate also through conference calls? I live in Holland. I love Chicago though. I did the half marathon there last september.
At this moment I am following a course all week. I come back to you to tell you more about my experiences next week.

By the way: is authentic swing coming from the movie: the legend of Bagger Vance? I use that in my workshops.

Warme regards, Andrea
At 9:21am on January 6, 2009, andrewcampbell said…
Hmmmm;-)...there is something i read some years ago, -- that the more complex any 'thing' is - symphony or embryo, the longer is the gestation time.
I think it will be a while still before i will be in a position to put anything substantial here to share.
But maybe, having just taken a picture of a red rose in full bloom on the side of my cottage in midwinter, and temperatures here last night were, for example, minus 5 degrees C, i can offer a tiny insight into one conversational thread emerging here the other day? About the big problem Adam Kahane grapples with, between power and love.
I know already he grapples with it because he sent me a copy of a recent speech last year ahead of speaking the words, and i sent him something back, about love, power and justice, pointing to Paul Tillich.
Then a few days ago i read some equation Gandhi made, or an observation, if you prefer.
Love + Power = Justice

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