9378 Chapters
Medium 9781626560819

11 Leaders: Three Steps to Meeting Effectiveness

Dick Axelrod Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.


Leaders carry a special responsibility when it comes to meetings. Because they have formal organizational power, what they do or don’t do in a meeting has a commanding influence on the meeting’s outcome.

Here are three tips for leaders to keep in mind when leading meetings using the Meeting Canoe approach:

1. Use your power wisely. Eric Lindblad (chapter 1) used his formal organizational authority to make meetings optional, trusting people in his organization to make good decisions about where they should spend their time. Rather than punishing people for not attending his meetings, he used the meeting attendance as a feedback device to help him determine a meeting’s effectiveness.

Kevin Limbach (chapter 6) used his authority to identify the meeting’s purpose and to convene a group of people when he brought people together to identify what it would take to have a great day at work. Kevin believed that if everyone had a great day at work, employees and the company would prosper. You may remember that his beliefs were well-founded.

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Medium 9781609946449

Chapter 2 Adaptive Energy

Snyder, Steven Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Okonkwo’s fear … was not external
but lay deep within himself

—Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Even though Anne Mulcahy was unprepared for her role as president/COO of Xerox, at least she was able to draw from a long history of career success. For Kate Herzog the sudden demands of a daunting new role came early. Still untested, Herzog summoned every ounce of adaptive energy to meet and conquer her challenges with ingenuity and resourcefulness.

Herzog grew up in a small village in Ghana, West Africa. When she was a child, an anthropologist visited her village. Determined to learn how to speak and read English, Herzog saw her opportunity and persuaded the anthropologist to help. He gave her an anthology of the comic The Adventures of Tintin. Herzog would travel with Tintin and his dog Snowy to all the corners of the world. She told me: “Books opened many doors for me. They took me from my world in that tiny village to an entirely magical world. It made it okay for me to dream.”

Dreaming would pay off for Herzog. When she was 27, she found her way to the consulting division of Deloitte & Touche in Ghana, where she started as a business analyst, the lowest rung on the consulting ladder. Soon she noticed that she was not like the majority of her colleagues, who were educated at prestigious universities around the world. Herzog had never been outside Ghana.

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Medium 9781576753781


Albion, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Work is a tremendous testing ground of who you are as a human being. Through the practice of Zen [Buddhism], I help business leaders become open-hearted, compassionate human beings. I want them to develop their intellectual competencies, too, but not be blind to the people side of business. The real work of leadership is to keep both sides in the service of other people.


Three personal characteristics are essential for every successful values-based small business leader. In this chapter, we’ll learn the definitions of these character attributes and the importance of developing and modeling them for the entire organization. They reflect the soft skills necessary for the hard work of building successful relationships—the foundation of the five leadership practices presented in chapters 3 through 7.

When I joined Social Venture Network in 1989, cofounder Josh Mailman asked me how we could bring the corporate social responsibility movement into the world’s business schools. I talked with MBA students and other SVN members, notably social entrepreneur and investor Richard Perl, and after four years of discussions and fund-raising, Students for Responsible Business was born, since renamed Net Impact. 34

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Medium 9781609948092

1 What Is Insight?

Kiefer, Charles F. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If you know what you’re looking for, you’re more apt to find it. That’s as true for finding insights as it is for tracking down a lost pair of socks.

Knowing that you want more insights gives clear direction for your unconscious mind to go to work and find an answer. The clearer you are about the specific insight you seek, the more regularly the insight will occur. It’s just like when you are considering buying a new car and you suddenly notice more cars on the road like the one you want to buy. Pause for a moment to pick a problem or topic you’d like some insight into and set it aside for use in the coming chapters.

Let’s begin with how insight differs from other types of thought. While what follows is what we have learned from others, what an insight means for us or them is not nearly as important as what an insight is for you. With this awareness in place, you can learn how to actively listen for insights and access the state of mind in which you are most apt to facilitate insights.

Insights are a specific type of thought. We may think we understand what thoughts are, but let’s take a closer look anyway. For our purposes, we are going to adopt a loose definition. Thoughts are ideas, opinions, mental images, cognitive activities, or any internal activities of the mind.

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Medium 9781605093079


Rabb, Chris Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

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