1763 Chapters
Medium 9781626562509

Chapter 6: Create the Next New Thing

Horn, Sam Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The only danger is not to evolve.


A special double issue of Vanity Fair magazine entitled “How the Web Was Won” featured interviews with online icons about the early days of the Internet. In that issue, Jeff Bezos revealed that Amazon was successful from the start despite naysayers who predicted failure. In fact, they were quickly backlogged with orders, so Jeff and a fellow executive headed to the shipping room to help process orders. They were on their hands and knees, packing up books, when his colleague turned to him and said, “This is really killing my knees and my back.”

Jeff mulled it over, then said, “We should get kneepads.”

His friend looked at him like he was crazy. “No Jeff, we should get packing tables.”8

What a great example of how intriguing it is when someone bypasses a “low hanging fruit” answer and introduces a more innovative, evolved way to solve a problem.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781523093984

29. Dallas Willard: The Smartest Man I Ever Met

Blanchard, Ken; Broadwell, Renee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Smartest Man I Ever Met


I first met Tony Baron when he was running the Servant Leadership Institute at Datron World Communications. As I got to know him, I realized he was not only a wonderful teacher but also a great author and speaker. When Tony volunteered to write an essay about his mentor, Dallas Willard—a classic servant leader I had always wanted to meet—I was excited. I believe Tony has captured the essence of the amazing servant leader that Dallas was. When you read this, I think you will agree. —KB

THE SMARTEST MAN I ever met was my doctoral professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. He taught a class on spirituality and ministry during a two-week seminar held at the Mater Dolorosa Catholic monastery in the hills of Sierra Madre. It was a lackluster topic, to be sure, but a fairly typical one for graduate school. The title of the class did not do justice to the richness I experienced during my time studying in that beautiful retreat setting under the guidance of Dr. Dallas Willard.1

See All Chapters
Medium 9781626562356

Seven Have Clarity of Purpose

Bachelder, Cheryl Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, I developed a bit of an obsession. I started asking this question of everyone I met: “Why do you work?”

I could see them trying to figure out what answer I was looking for. Because that is what we do when we are asked a question—we try to give the right answer.

So they would try to stay calm and say the expected: “I work to put my kids through college.” “I work to pay the bills.” “I work to support my mother.”

These were appropriate responses, even noble.

But the answers gradually reveal that the person doesn’t have an answer to the question.

Awkward silence. I could sense them thinking, What if there is no purpose for my work? What if work is meaningless?

So I’d change the subject … “How was your weekend?”

I finally met someone who wasn’t stumped by the question, “Why do you work?”

That someone is Chris. He is my hairdresser.

Chris welcomes me to his chair. He is immensely interested in my day. He offers a neck massage, asks how my haircut is working, and wonders if there is anything about it I want to change? For forty-five minutes, the stressful world evaporates as Chris and I banter. I’m feeling better already. I tease him that I wish I could stop by every day.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781523097821

19 Toward Being out of the Box

, The Arbinger Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“I do?” I searched my memory about the sessions the day before. I was sure we hadn’t talked about it.

“Yes. And so did I when I was wondering how to get out,” Lou said.

“Huh?” At that moment I was really lost.

“Think about it,” Lou replied. “As I sat there regretting how I’d acted toward my wife, my son, and my coworkers, what were they to me? In that moment, was I seeing them as people or as objects?”

“In that moment, they were people to you,” I said, my voice trailing off in thought.

“Yes. My blame, resentment, and indifference were gone. I was seeing them as they were, and I was regretting having treated them as less than that. So in that moment, where was I?”

“You were out of the box,” I said softly, almost as if in a trance, trying to locate what made the change possible. I was feeling a bit like a spectator at a magic show who sees the rabbit surely enough but has no idea where it came from.

“Exactly,” Lou agreed. “In the moment I felt the keen desire to be out of the box for them, I was already out of the box toward them. To feel that desire for them was to be out of the box toward them.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576754993

CHAPTER 11 Collaborating at the Verge of Differences

Kennedy, Debbe Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“New paradigms almost always come from the edge.”

—Joel A. Barker Futurist, filmmaker, and author

Have you ever thought about how opposites work well paired together? When it comes to taste, as an example, sweet and salty is a great combination; or consider the pairing of fruit and savory meats in French cooking, or spicy Thai peanut sauce served with cool cucumber. When it comes to color, one goes to the opposite side of the color wheel to find the color that is most complementary, like blue and orange. When it comes to great collaboration, think about the depth of coverage that comes in pairing men and women, an academic with a practitioner, or a left-brain thinker with a right-brain thinker. Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, saw the great potential in the meeting of opposite ideas when he said, “Beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Joel Barker, the futurist who popularized the concept of paradigm shifts, has been looking for Rumi’s field. He thinks he has found it, but if he is right, it is not a field but the intersection between fields that are different from one another. As described in the previous chapter, he uses the term verge to describe this kind of intersection. He believes that the verge will be this century’s most important territory for innovation.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters