When this book was first published in German, it topped Switzerland's non-fiction bestseller list. Now available in English, In the Sign of the Butterfly asks why natural selection eliminated the gigantic dinosaur from the game of evolution some 65 million years ago, yet the delicate butterfly, which already existed at the time, continues to survive. Gottlieb Guntern's conclusion: the dinosaur based its survival strategy on a maximization of body weight and size, while the butterfly responded flexibly when faced with drastic changes in environmental conditions. This takes the author to the core issue of the book: the basic leadership failures that typify present-day society. His diagnosis rings ever truer in the course of recent events: leadership failures are symptoms of a deep-seated illness - a spiritual crisis. Our greedy society has forgotten how to adapt as it attempts to survive in the sign of the dinosaur. Guntern shows us how to learn from the butterfly and succeed in abandoning the dino-strategy of maximizing single variables.
There is no question that wanting to be bigger, faster, richer, more ruthless, and more powerful, with no thought of the consequences, is mindless and dangerous - a perfect prescription for doom.
Gottlieb Guntern, systems scientist and psychiatrist, is an internationally acclaimed expert on creativity and leadership. His books have been translated into several languages. He is the author of The Spirit of Creativity: Basic Mechanisms of Creative Achievements (University Press of America), a systemic in-depth study of creative accomplishments. Guntern is the co-founder and president of the Board of Trustees of the International CREANDO Foundation on Creativity and Leadership. www.creando.org
Preface 1992 Preface 2012 Chapter One: The Complexity of the Simple, the Simplicity of the Complex The Short Distance from Unbridled Excess to a Final Requiem The Big Bang and the Evolution that Followed The Conflict between the Various Forms of Evolution A Crisis Is an Opportunity Questions and Answers Hypotheses and Postulates Chapter Two: The Real Meaning of Original Sin:The "Flail of Genesis" and the "Lyre of the Orphics" Ideas Are Not Cognac Soap Bubbles and Dogmas The Flail of Genesis On the Structural and Functional Evolution of the Human Brain The Curse of One-Sided, Analytic-Dualistic Thinking The Lyre of the Orphics Plato and the Cycle of Metamorphosis The Legacy of the Occidental Fathers Chapter Three: Totemistic Thinking The Concept of a Totem Totemism and Anthropology The Various Aspects of Totemistic Thinking The Quintessence of Totemistic Thinking Chapter Four: In the Sign of the Dinosaur We will bury you! The Ballad of the Dinosaurs' Sad Fate The Mental Dinosaurs' Mania for Dominance The Power Games of the Powerful: The Dino Look in Culture and the City Doing Healthy Business with Patients: The Dino Look in Health Care Merger Fever: The Dino Look in the Economic Sector Rabbit Hutches and Avalanche Barriers: The Dino Look in Architecture The Greedy Society: The Dino Look in Bribery Building Walls and Manmade Mountains: The Dino Look in Bureaucracy Pumping Iron: The Dino Look in Sports The Phenotype of the Dino Human Summary Chapter Five: In the Sign of the Butterfly A Self-Absorbed Dance above Radiant Meadows Buddha's Admiration and the Butterfly in Art Names for the Butterfly The Co-Evolution of Flowering Plants and Butterflies Small is beautiful: The structural principle of the butterfly Metamorphosis A Dancing Micro-Rainbow Genetic Mutation Master Strategists of Wise Adaptation The Discreet Charm of the Dino-Butterfly-Bourgeoisie Where There Are Enemies, There Is Honor? Chapter Six: Three Types of Leadership The Three Types of Leaders and Their Modes of Perception The Three Types of Leaders and How They Think The Three Types of Leaders and Their Emotions The Three Types of Leaders and the Way Their Physiological Axes are Activated The Three Types of Leaders and Their Patterns of Behavior From the Ideal to the Real Chapter Seven: The Leader of the Future: From Ice Hockey Player to Surfer The Great Metamorphosis The Cycle of Mutations The Systemic Co-Determination of Human Existence and Human Operational Modes The Syngenetic Control of Operational Modes The Mutation of the Fundamental Episteme The Mutation of Goals The Mutation of Rules in Our Syngenetic Program Chapter Eight Beyond the Crisis Bibliography