from “The Leadership Challenge, How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations”

by Kouzes and Posner

  1. Model the way
  2. Inspire a shared vision~ find a common purpose,envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
  3. Challenge the Process ~search for opportunities, take initiative, experiment and take risks.
  4. Enable Others to Act ~foster collaboration, create a climate of trust, facilitate relationships, strengthen others, 
  5. Encourage the Heart ~ recognize contributions, celebrate values and victories, create a spirit of community, get personally involved.

 Case study: Barby—- at Zeno: Fearless


-“Every single personal best leadership case involved changing the status quo.”

-You need to know what your values and guiding principles are.”

-“Innovation comes more from listening than from telling.You have to be constantly looking outside yourself and your organization for new and innovative products, processes and services.”

Key words: Innovation, change, experimentation, taking risks, support for good ideas, willingness to challenge the system. “When you take risks, mistakes and failures are inevitable. Proceed anyway.”

 Characteristics most looked-for in a leader: 


-Forward looking



For more about Kouzes and Posner, http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/about-section-our-authors.aspx

DARE TO DISAGREE, by Margaret Heffernan


from TED Talk “Dare to Disagree,” by Margaret Heffernan        



In her talk, Heffernan shared a stunning statistic — that 85% of executives had concerns with their company that they were afraid to raise, out of fear of the conflict that would ensue. Heffernan warns that this not only means that businesses aren’t getting the best work out of their employees, but that issues which could be nipped in the bud internally perpetuate themselves.

How do you foster conflict that leads to nimbler thinking rather than hurt egos? Heffernan shares her guidelines for productive disagreement.

1. Appoint a devil’s advocate. Someone whose excellence is demonstrated by the quality of questions they ask. Great questions include: “What are the best reasons not to do this?” “What don’t we know that, if we did know, would change our decision?” “If we had more money or time, what would we do?” “If this were a documentary, what would be the narrative arc?” It’s important that different people play the role of devil’s advocate: if always the same person, they’ll get tuned out and burned out.

2. Find allies. If you have concerns, try asking others privately, “Are you okay with this? Does anything about this bother you? Is there another way to frame this question?” Having allies allows you to work together to be creative and solve the problem.

3. Listen for what is NOT being said. If the conversation is being framed about money, consider what is not being talked about. If everyone’s talking technology, what have they left out of their equation? Sometimes it’s helpful to bring in an outsider to help with this. They should do nothing but listen. Then, ask for their impressions — not recommendations. They may notice trends that people embroiled in the conversation simply can’t.

4. Imagine you cannot do what you all want to do. In other words, think about what you would do if you could fire someone, if you could change the timetable, or if you were allowed to cancel the deal. If you could do any of those things — would you still proceed with your plan? What are the hidden orthodoxies nobody is challenging?

5. After a decision is made, declare a cooling off period. Ask everyone to go home and think about the decision on their own as well as discuss it with their family. Come back after a prescribed amount of time and ask the group: does the decision still look great?

Explains Heffernan, “All of these guidelines are neutral and designed to aid exploration rather than judgment. There’s never any reason not to try these — who doesn’t want to make better decisions?”





While searching the internet a few weeks ago, I came upon a Wisconsin community health initiative for 2020~ to see presentation slides and get all the details, follow the link:

If you’re like me you may be very inspired.

Here’s why Collaborative Leadership is Necessary:

“People want to be engaged in civic life. They want their views heard, understood and considered. They want to know that their involvement will make a difference, and that the public, not governments or special interest groups, defines the public interest.”


If you want to find out if you’re a KNOWMAD, check out it out at http://www.KnowmadSociety.com/
I’m going to have to write a lot more about this…but for now let me just say some doors have been opened in my mind, and I’m feeling INSPIRED!

SPEAKING WHAT’S HIDDEN ~ searching for a model of growth and development

We gather, we talk, we argue, we share. We risk it all and open our hearts, and THEN the magic happens. What is it that we NEED to talk about, and why does it feel so risky so much of the time? 

I am searching for a model for human relationship, growth and development, both in my personal life and in the organizations and communities that I belong to ~ my family, workplace, neighborhood, and church. In a way, it’s like searching for the buried treasure. X marks the spot.

Treasure lies HERE

Treasure lies HERE

Margaret Heffernan, in her TED Talk Dare to Disagree, said that 83% of CEOs are afraid to bring up concerns about their companies because of the conflict it might cause. http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree.html

This reticence to speak up or out can happen in any organization, and not just to the bosses. I am sure you are familiar with the feeling. Maybe you were like me and afraid to challenge your father until you were finally a college graduate and decided it was time to say what you really thought when he made fun of your decisions. Or maybe you had a hard time telling your employer that you couldn’t come to work one day because there were workmen in your house and you felt very uncomfortable leaving them alone there with the key. Why is it so hard to be honest?

Authority figures can sometimes be intimidating, but even authority figures themselves have trouble bringing up problems that might rock the boat.

The question, “How can we create a forum for safe and honest discussion?” is really important to me.

Well begun is half done.  

This was the topic of our conversation today with Philippe and Yoko. Speaking what’s hidden is important~ and it can be easier than you think. Making a place to share is a good place to start. You might learn something important. Realizing how sensitive your daughter is to criticism, for example, may help you change your approach to her. Knowing your students’ needs can change the focus of your lesson plan. Giving your employees the freedom to ask for what they need can motivate them to contribute more.

The leader who asks for input from her constituents is a collaborative leader. Collaborative leadership is an exciting new paradigm for me. I first encountered the term while reading about Wisconsin 2020 Health initiative. I was out on the veranda, and felt like I had just discovered the key to the universe! ( http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/hw2020/pdf/collaborativeleadership.pdf)~ A way leading to greater growth and more sustainable development.

But it takes time to find out what people are really thinking and feeling. There are reasons why they are not participating more, or coming at all, but they aren’t just going to tell you unless you make it safe for them to do so. Maybe there’s a simpler solution than we realize. If there is one, I’m on a mission to find it!

Philippe and Yoko Jacques visiting us in Liege

Philippe and Yoko Jacques visiting us in Liege

Ice-Cream cake~ a Sweet Conclusion

Ice-Cream cake~ a Sweet Conclusion