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Chapter Thirteen

Marshall Sashkin Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When people forget the principle of how things work they are faced with paradoxes… . Understanding the way things happen resolves paradoxes.

Tao Te Ching, Chapters 18 and 21

Although we have only begun our journey of a thousand miles, we believe that we’ve taken several important beginning steps. Those who write about leadership, researchers and scholars as well as popular authors and consultants, have many disagreements. These quarrels are sometimes vehement. However, we see most such differences as superficial. Our understanding of leadership points to a fundamental, underlying agreement, which we’ve called the “new paradigm” of transformational leadership.

In Chapter Three we expressed dissatisfaction with the notion of transformational leadership as a set of behavioral skills. As we looked for other answers, we began to see more of the underlying nature of transformational leadership. Our explorations led us to examine the personal characteristics of the leader (Chapters Four, Five, Six, and Seven). We then added to our approach an understanding of the situation, of leadership in context (Chapter Eight).

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Chapter 8 Conclusion The “Vital Few” for Boards and Directors

B. Joseph White Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The “Vital Few” for Boards and Directors

When Kaoru Ishikawa, Japan’s great quality expert, visited Cummins to share his thinking with senior management, he introduced me to a term I’ve never forgotten: the vital few versus the trivial many. Quality, Dr. Ishikawa told us, always depends on focus on the former and not being distracted by the latter. This is as true for boards as any other work group.

In the preceding chapters, I have shared my thinking on how corporate and nonprofit boards and directors can be good stewards and achieve great governance. To summarize my vital few messages:

• Be great cathedral builders in addition to competent bricklayers.

• Maintain the organization’s ability to control its destiny (i.e., its right of self-determination).

• Maximize long-term economic value creation (companies) and efficient mission achievement (nonprofits).

• Insist on a foundation of broad excellence and pursue high aspirations and vision.

• Understand the role of directors and the board. Practice stewardship thinking. Govern rather than manage. Help as well as monitor.

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STEP FOUR: DANCING: Keeping the Magic in Motion

Chip R. Bell Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

126

STEP FOUR

W

hat is world-class partnering “magic in motion”? It encompasses that state of ecstasy when partners find themselves so completely “in the groove” their ideas blend without stirring. It is a oneness so pure that partners complete each other’s sentences and seem able to almost read each other’s minds. It is rare, it is distinctive, and it is an unmistakable, exhilarating high.

There are many ways to label this special feeling.

Athletes call it “playing over your head,” dancers refer to it as being “hot” or “on,” artists call it “flow” or being in sync with the muses. We call it

“partnership squared”! To the outside observer, it truly is

“magic in motion.”

MAGICAL ENERGY

Regardless of the label, the feeling is an energetic, sparkly magical current of energy which propels you to your highest levels of excellence.

And the output of “partnership squared” is generally the

stuff of which broken records, new standards, and bar-raising are made.

“Partnership squared” in action yields a state of tingly exultation and blissful joy. As the president of a prominent

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5 Question Conventional Wisdom: Practice 5: Don’t Limit Your Market

Chip Conley Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

5

Question conventional wisdom

PRACTICE 5: DON’T LIMIT YOUR MARKET

Are you satisfied with the status quo? Has your business maxed out with respect to growth? We doubt it. Imagine your business ten years from now and four times larger than it is today. Where will all those new customers come from? If you’re concerned that growth means you’ll have to turn your back on being socially responsible—don’t worry. The two are not mutually exclusive. In this chapter we’ll show you why.

The reality is that most businesses underestimate the size of the market for their product or service. If you do this, you’re in good company. John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole

Foods Market, estimated that just one hundred appropriate store locations existed in the United States for Whole Foods when the company went public in 1992 (at the time, it had twelve stores). Now it’s closing in on two hundred stores.1

Clearly, he underestimated the market for organic and natural foods. And thus far, Whole Foods’s track record proves that such growth can be achieved while remaining true to one’s core values and socially responsible roots.

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16 A Gift in Wartime

The Arbiner Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“So, how was everyone’s evening?” Avi asked with a big smile once the group had seated themselves in the room.

Lou looked around at them and was surprised to discover that he felt at home in the room, as if among friends. Yes, that is what they have become, he thought. Pettis, the fellow vet and clear-minded student. Elizabeth, the high-minded Brit with subtle humor and surprising self-honesty. Ria and Miguel, the oddly matched couple with an ongoing battle over the dishes. Jenny’s quiet and timid parents, Carl and Teri. Even Gwyn, Lou’s blustery counterpart, who had accused Lou of being racist. Lou started chuckling at the realization that he was even glad to see Gwyn.

“Lou, what’s so funny?” Avi asked.

“Oh nothing,” he smiled. “It’s just good to see everyone this morning, that’s all.”

“Even me?” Gwyn asked with a wry smile.

Especially you, Gwyn,” Lou laughed.

In the comfort of the moment it was easy to forget how much had changed since the morning before.

“So how do we get out of the box?” Avi asked rhetorically. “How can our hearts turn from war to peace? That is the question for today.”

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