American Leadership Forum Cornerstones

ALF bases its program on eight “Cornerstones.” Learn more by clicking on each below.

1 Building trust and networks among diverse leaders

Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. Francis Fukuyama. New York: Free Press. 1995. The core argument is that there are high trust and low trust societies and cultures. High trust societies tend to develop greater social capital, and consequently enjoy greater economic growth. Likewise, high trust groups and cultures accumulate greater social capital. Fukuyama sees social capital as the glue that holds the otherwise centrifugal structures of the market together.

Building Community. John W. Gardner. Washington, D.C.: Independent Sector. 1992.
The Web of Inclusion: A New Architecture for Building Great Organizations. Sally Helgesen. New York: Doubleday. 1995. Helgesen presents a vision of the postindustrial organization: the web of inclusion. Most organizations are still structured on a 19th century model: rigid, hierarchical, forcing workers into cookie-cutter roles; but the 21st century economy is fluid, technology-driven, based on creativity and relationships. For companies to thrive, they must build “organizations for everyone.” Helgesen lays out her theory of a new style of management and profiles five organizations that exemplify it: Intel, the Miami Herald, Anixter Corp., Beth Israel Hospital, and Nickelodeon.

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together. William Isaacs. New York: Currency. 1999. In this book, based on over ten years of research, William Isaacs, founder of the Dialogue Project at MIT, demonstrates that dialogue is more than just the exchange of words; it is the embrace of different points of view-literally, the art of thinking together. See also, Roberts, Paul. “The art of dialogue,” Fast Company, Oct. 1999, p. 166.

“Ethical issues in community organization and community participation.” Meredith Minkler, ed. Community Organizing and Community Building for Health. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. 1997.

The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace. M. Scott Peck. 1987. New York: Simon & Schuster.

“The prosperous community,” Robert D. Putnam. The American Prospect. 13: 35-42. 1993.

“What makes democracy work?” Robert D. Putnam. National Civic Review, 82 (2), pp. 101-107. Communities do not enjoy a more vital civic life because they are more prosperous, they are more prosperous because they have a vital civic life. How do you make democracy work better? Start by strengthening the norms of trust, reciprocity, and civic engagement that are indispensable to collective existence. 1993.

The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation. Daniel Yankelovich. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1999. “In debate, parties assume they have the right answer and try to win by proving others wrong; in dialogue the assumption is that the truth lies on both sides and that the parties can forge a better resolution by working together towards understanding.” – from a review by Daniel Goleman.

2 Motivating leaders to take responsibility and make a difference

Barrett, Richard. 1998. Liberating the Corporate Soul: Building a Visionary Organization. Newton, Mass.: Butterworth-Heinemann. Through his consulting practice, speaking engagements, and his book, Liberating the Corporate Soul, Barrett counsels leaders not to do things differently, but to do different things. “When individuals are asked to participate in transformational thinking they tap into their intuition and creativity. This type of thinking can only be maintained in corporate cultures that are built around trust, employee involvement and openness.” See also: Dorsey, David. 1998. “The new spirit of work,” Fast Company, 16 (Aug.) p. 124.

Block, Peter. 1993. Stewardship. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Block shows how the spirit of partnership and service can be made part of every business, government agency, and nonprofit institution. “Stewardship is a way to use power to serve through the practice of partnership and empowerment. This is the alternative to the conventional notions of ‘strong leadership’ for implementing changes.”

Burns, James MacGregor. 1978. Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Farson, Richard. 1996. Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster. Farson, who has worked as a psychologist, college dean, chief executive officer, and management consultant, implores readers seeking guidance on leadership to ignore the whole panoply of recurrent fads and five-step techniques. Instead, they should embrace the paradoxes and seeming absurdities that underlie everything that happens within their organizations. His central premise: “Nothing works quite the way we were taught.”

Gardner, John W. 1990. On Leadership. New York: Free Press. Leaders today are familiar with the demand that they come forward with a new vision. Gardner discusses this need and the nature of leadership from accountability to community to renewal to vision.

Greenleaf, Robert K. 1982. The Servant As Leader. Indianapolis: Robert K. Greenleaf Center.

Greenleaf, Robert K., Peter B. Vaill, and Larry C. Spears. 1998. The Power of Servant Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Halberstam, David. 1999. The Children. New York: Fawcett. As a study in leadership, The Children is unrivaled in revealing the tension-sometimes constructive and sometimes not-between traditional, hierarchical leadership and collaborative, improvisational approaches. Ethical leadership, charismatic leadership, transformational leadership, learning organizations-it’s all in this important and deeply moving chronicle of the Civil Rights movement.

Havel, Vaclav. 1990. Disturbing the Peace. New York: Vintage. Vaclav Havel is the playwright who helped found Charter 77, the anti-totalitarian movement in the former communist Czechoslovakia. In 1979, he was imprisoned for his political activity. In November of that year he helped organize Civic Forum, the first legal opposition party in Czechoslovakia in 40 years; one month later he became his country’s new president, ushering in the fall of the Soviet bloc and, soon after, of the Soviet Union itself. Through it all, Havel has steadfastly insisted that leadership must be grounded in moral principles if it is to be deserving of popular support and if it is to succeed. That is, leaders must practice what Havel calls “living in truth.” One often hears individuals who fancy themselves as hard-boiled realists remark that ethical principles are fine in theory but that in the real world “business is business” and principles must give way to expediency if anything is to be accomplished. Havel knows better.

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. 1999. “The enduring skills of change leaders,” Leader to Leader, 13 (Summer). “Change has become a major theme of leadership literature for a good reason. Leaders set the direction, define the context, and help produce coherence for their organizations. Leaders manage the culture, or at least the vehicles through which that culture is expressed. They set the boundaries for collaboration, autonomy, and the sharing of knowledge and ideas, and give meaning to events that otherwise appear random and chaotic. And they inspire voluntary behavior-the degree of effort, innovation, and entrepreneurship with which employees serve customers and seek opportunities.”

Loeb, Paul Rogat. 1999. Soul of a Citizen. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. A work of inspiration and integrity, this book is an antidote to the pervasive sense of powerlessness and cynicism that threaten to overwhelm public life.

Meyerson, Mort. 1996. “Everything I thought I knew about leadership is wrong,” Fast Company, 2 (April), p. 71. Muoio, Anna. 1997. “Ways to give back,” Fast Company, 12 (Dec.), p. 113. Today business is about more than just making products-or money. It’s about making a difference. Nineteen business leaders share their insights on giving back to the community. Their stories reveal areas in which people are contributing today-education, technology, environment, health, community development-as well as shared beliefs about the new philanthropy: giving time is more important than just giving money.

O’Toole, James. 1996. Leading Change: The Argument for Values-Based Leadership. New York: Ballantine Books. True leaders lead by encouraging, not oppressing. And the finest leaders have always shared leadership with their followers. Rather than dictating, they create organizations that welcome change and self-reevaluation, and they foster an atmosphere of open-mindedness and fresh thinking. This book proposes a vision of leadership rooted in moral values and a consistent display of respect for all followers.

Rosen, Robert H. 1996. Leading People. New York: Penguin. “Rather than a status, leadership is an activity. To emphasize this, I prefer to use leading instead of leadership, a verb instead of a noun, a process rather than a position. Leading … enable[s] a group of people to pursue a shared vision and create extraordinary results.”

Sherman, Stratford. 1995. “How tomorrow’s leaders are learning their stuff,” Fortune (Nov.). Leadership can’t be taught, but it can be learned. Winning companies are creating programs to help people grow.

Spears, Larry C. (ed.) 1995. Reflections on Leadership. New York: Wiley. Greenleaf was director of management research at AT&T when he retired in 1964 and where he had spent most of his career working in management research, development, and education. After retirement, he established the Center for Applied Ethics. Greenleaf felt that the role of the organizational leader was fulfilled in serving others-employees, customers, and community-in order to establish a sense of community and share decision making while, at the same time, setting high standards and leading by example. He formulated his philosophy in a privately circulated essay, “The Servant as Leader,” which has now sold more than a quarter million copies. Greenleaf died in 1990, but his word continues to be spread by the Indianapolis-based Robert K. Greenleaf Center, of which Spears is the executive director. Spears has gathered here 27 essays by like-minded proponents of Greenleaf’s ideas, including M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) and Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline).

Wheatley, Margaret. 1997. “Goodbye, command and control,” Leader to Leader, 5 (Summer). “People do not need the intricate directions, time lines, plans, and organization charts that we thought we had to give them. …But people do need a lot from their leaders. They need information, access to one another, resources, trust, and follow-through. Leaders are necessary to foster experimentation, to help create connections across the organization, to feed the system with rich information from multiple sources-all while helping everyone stay clear on what we agreed we wanted to accomplish and who we wanted to be.”

Wills, Garry. 1994. Uncertain Trumpets. New York: Simon & Schuster. Introduction; Ch. 14, Rhetorical Leader (and Antitype): Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Parris Moses. “The leader needs to understand followers far more than they need to understand him…. The followers do not submit to the person of the leader. They join him or her in pursuit of the goal…. The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers…. Leaders, followers, and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership…. Different types of leaders should be distinguished more by their goals than by the personality of the leader (the most common practice).”

3 Strengthening capacities for community change

Brookings Review, 1997. Vol. 15 (Fall). Special issue on Civil Society.

Chrislip, David D. and Carl E. Larson. 1994. Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. This book (which originated in an evaluation of ALF) offers guidance on dealing with complex issues, engaging frustrated and angry citizens, and generating the civic will to break through bureaucratic gridlock. It helps citizens and civic leaders bring together community members in efforts that lead to real, measurable change in the lives of communities. See esp. ch. 8, “Skills for a new kind of leadership.” Key points from the book are discussed in: Joe Flowers, “A conversation with David Chrislip,” Health Forum Journal, June, 1995.

Drath, Wilfred H., and Charles J. Palus. Making Common Sense; Leadership as Meaning-Making in a Community of Practice. Greensboro, N.C.: Center for Creative Leadership.

Fisher, Robert, and Alan Sharp. 1998. Getting It Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge. New York: HarperBusiness. If you have ever found yourself frustrated in the midst of a disorganized but well-intentioned group of people trying to get things done, then this book is for you.

Fisher, Robert, and William Ury. 1991. Getting to Yes. New York: Penguin Books. Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, this is the definitive book on negotiating disputes.

Gratz, Roberta Brandes. 1989. The Living City. New York: Touchstone. Inspiring case histories of determined people who are transforming their neighborhoods-building by building, street by street.

Homan, Mark S. 1999. Promoting Community Change: Making It Happen in the Real World, 2nd ed. Pacific Grove, Calif.: Brooks/Cole.

Kemmis, Daniel. 1995. The Good City and the Good Life: Renewing the Sense of Community.

New York: Houghton Mifflin. Written by the mayor of Missoula, Montana, a practitioner and political theorist, this book provides a wonderful combination of solid theory and practical examples of how civil society can be enhanced. It is an important contribution that focuses on the creation of the good society by examining the role of the “good city” and the “good citizen.”

Lappe’, Frances Moore, and Paul Martin DuBois. 1997. “Building social capital without looking backward,” National Civic Review, 86 (Summer), pp. 119-128.

Lappe’, Francis Moore, and Paul Martin DuBois. 1994. The Quickening of America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. A thoughtful and highly accessible discussion of the “arts of living democracy.” Politics is not something we watch; it’s something we do.

McKnight, John L., and John P. Kretzmann. 1997. “Mapping community capacity.” In Meredith Minkler, ed. Community Organizing and Community Building for Health. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Minkler, Meredith, and Nina Wallerstein. 1997. “Improving health through community organization and community building: A health education perspective.” In Meredith Minkler, ed. Community Organizing and Community Building for Health. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Ostrom, Elinor. 1993. “A communitarian approach to local governance,” National Civic Review, 82 (3), pp. 226-233. Citizenship has for too long been confined to voting and consumption of services. A more collaborative and functional model-and indeed, the only one suitable for the critical challenges confronting America’s communities-emphasizes horizontal relationships among the various participants in the community governance process.

Parr, John. 1993. “Civic Infrastructure: A new approach to improving community life,” National Civic Review, 82 (2), pp. 93-100. As communities undertake to renegotiate the social contract that exists among government, individuals, and private institutions, they must recognize that the capacity to change comes from within; individuals cannot be empowered by outside agents.

Wallis, Allan D. 1996. “Toward a paradigm of community-making,” National Civic Review, 85 (Winter), pp. 34-47. Six principles of practice define the new paradigm: social capital, civic infrastructure, assets-orientation, collaboration, strategic/vision-based action, and the “arts of democracy.”

Watkins, K. E., and V. J. Marsick. 1993. Sculpting the Learning Organization: Lessons in the Art and Science of Systemic Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Leadership must: create continuous learning opportunities, promote inquiry and dialogue, encourage collaboration and team learning, establish systems to capture and share learning, empower people toward a collective vision, and connect the organization to its environment.

Webber, Alan M. 1996. “XBS learns to grow,” Fast Company, 5 (Oct.), p. 113. Xerox Business Service’s approach to change is dramatically different from most others. There’s no senior change team, no formal change program, no big-budget activities, no specific performance goals. Instead, the mind-set is experimental, inclusive, organic, almost playful. Through simulations, seminars, events, and experiences-all carefully designed to reinforce a simple message to employees about the value of learning-XBS has created an environment that not only produces business results but also supports personal growth.

Winer, Michael, and Karen Ray. 1987. Collaboration Handbook: Creating, Sustaining and Enjoying the Journey. St. Paul, Minn.: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

4 Exploring the interconnectedness of communities, nations, and the world

Beinhocker, Eric D. 1997. “Strategy at the edge of chaos,” McKinsey Quarterly (1), pp. 24-39.

Coyne, Kevin P., and Somu Sobramanium. 1996. “Bringing discipline to strategy,” McKinsey Quarterly (4), pp. 14-25. This article argues that while strategic planning based on the assumptions of neoclassical models of behavior may still be valid in some sectors, that approach fails to reflect the complexity of organizations and their environments. The authors argues for a new approach-one that takes into account alternative forms of industry structure (co-dependent systems and privileged relationships), additional bases for competitive advantage (front-line execution and insight/foresight), and varying levels of uncertainty.

Goldsmith, Marshall, and Cathy Walt. 1999. “New competencies for tomorrow’s global leader.” In Frances Hesselbein et al., eds. Leading Beyond the Walls. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. A useful chapter from a volume that is better than most edited collections of toss-offs by “leadership scholars and practitioners.” Five new competencies are discussed: thinking globally, appreciating cultural diversity, demonstrating technological savvy, building partnerships, and sharing leadership.

Hawken, Paul. 1994. The Ecology of Commerce. New York: HarperBusiness. Inc. magazine’s review: “This book will challenge you to reexamine everything you believe about business as it is currently practiced, how we create meaning in our lives, and the fabric of the legacy we are weaving for our children…. The Ecology of Commerce is nothing less than a masterpiece by the poet laureate of American capitalism.” -George Gendron, editor-in-chief, Inc.

Hawken, Paul , Amory B. Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. 1999. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Boston: Little Brown. Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce, teams with Amory and Hunter Lovins, co-founders of the Rocky Mountain Institute, to lay out a blueprint for sustainable development. The authors argue that it is possible for companies to reduce energy and materials consumption by up to 90% but still increase profits, production, and employment. They outline the four strategies that underlie “natural capitalism” and, using hypercars, neighborhood land use, and super-efficient buildings as examples, show how these strategies are being applied. Throughout, the authors describe new business opportunities that will be created by natural capitalism. David Brower, chairman and founder of the Earth Island Institute, calls Natural Capitalism quite simply “the most important book of the century.”

Henderson, Hazel. 1996. Building a Win-Win World: Life beyond Global Economic Warfare. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Henton, Douglas, John Melville, and Kimberly Walesh. 1997. Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy: How Civic Entrepreneurs Are Building Prosperous Communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Civic entrepreneurs reach across traditional boundaries to build regional teams that take action. Leadership is critical in creating a high-performance economy, but so too is broad participation across the community. Henton, Melville, and Walesh describe how civic entrepreneurs manage a strategy development process that is both “top-down” and “bottom-up”-one that blends the best of grass roots innovation and experienced leadership. In a companion videotape, civic entrepreneurs from across the country share their experiences.

Kauffman, Stuart. 1996. At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity. New York: Oxford University Press. According to MacArthur fellow Stuart Kauffman, “[T]he order of the biological world… is not merely tinkered, but arises naturally and spontaneously because of underlying principles of self-organization.” These principles may be employed to analyze all manner of highly-involved patterns, from molecular biology to the rise and fall of corporations and the intricate workings of government. Kauffman outlines the characteristics and potential uses of complexity, delineating its meaning for the future of scientific thought. Although this book is among the more accessible discussions of complex adaptive systems, it is not easy going. Chapters 1, 4, 11, and 12 are most relevant to the co-evolution of social organizations.

Kellerman, Barbara. 1999. Reinventing Leadership: Making the Connection between Politics and Business. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. “The field of leadership has two 800-pound gorillas that look alike and even sound much the same, but for some peculiar reason … the two lugs have never met. One is all about creating change in the public sector, and the other all about creating change in the private one.” In the past the distinction had some merit. But times change.

Kelly, Kevin. 1995. Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World. New York: Perseus. In many ways, the 20th century has been the Age of Physics. Out of Control is an accessible explanation of why the coming years will be the Age of Biology. The executive editor of Wired magazine chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things, and the only way to create yet more complex things is by using the principles of biology. This means decentralization, evolutionary advances, and error-honoring institutions. Includes a 28-page annotated bibliography.

Kelly, Kevin. 1997. “New rules for the new economy,” Wired, 5 (Sept.). We are engaged in a grand scheme to augment, amplify, enhance, and extend the relationships and communications between all beings and all objects. The new rules governing this global restructuring revolve around several axes. First, wealth in this new regime flows from innovation, not optimization; wealth is not gained by perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown. Second, the ideal environment for cultivating the unknown is to nurture the supreme agility and nimbleness of networks. Third, the domestication of the unknown inevitably means abandoning the highly successful known-undoing the perfected. Last, in the thickening web of the Network Economy, the cycle of “find, nurture, destroy” happens faster and more intensely than ever before.
Orfield, Myron. 1997. Metropolitics: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Press. Written by an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and member of the Minnesota State House, Metropolitics is an influential and compelling explanation of the interwoven destinies of families, businesses, and communities in cities and their surrounding suburbs.
Pasternack, Bruce A., and Albert J. Viscio. 1998. The Centerless Corporation: A New Model for Transforming Your Organization for Growth and Prosperity. New York: Simon & Schuster. Drawing on a comprehensive study of current business behavior, Pasternack and Viscio (founding partners of Booz-Allen & Hamilton’s Strategic Leadership Practice) argue that the business principles and organizational models that have evolved for well over 100 years are now outmoded. Technology is tying the world more closely together; markets are becoming more global; competition is based increasingly on capabilities and knowledge; and the composition and preferences of the work force has changed forever. They propose a new structure for companies, one in which education and idea sharing are actively promoted.
Peirce, Neal, and Curtis Johnson. 1997. Boundary Crossers: Community Leadership for a Global Age. College Park, Md.: Burns Academy of Leadership Press.
Somerville, Iain, and D. Quinn Mills. 1999. “Leading in a leaderless world.” In Frances Hesselbein et al., eds. Leading Beyond the Walls. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Who will provide leadership in the next century? A possible solution comes from a new kind of partnership among private business, social institutions, and government.
Shapiro, Carl, and Hal R. Varian. 1998. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. To understand the new economy, we need a new economics. Right? Not so, argue Shapiro and Varian, both professors of economics at UC Berkeley: “Technology changes. Economic laws do not.” Their case studies offer strategies for valuing, pricing, and leveraging the gold of this new era: information.

Wheatley, Margaret J., and Myron Kellner-Rogers. 1998. The Paradox and Promise of Community. Provo, Utah: Berkana Institute. “Clarity at the core of the community about its purpose changes the entire nature of relationships within that community. These communities do not ask people to forfeit their freedom as a condition of belonging. They … avoid becoming doctrinaire and dictatorial, they stay focused on what they’re trying to create together, and diversity flourishes within them. Belonging together is defined by a shared sense of purpose, not by shared beliefs about specific behaviors. The call of that purpose attracts individuals, but does not require them to shed their uniqueness. Staying centered on what the work is together, rather than on single identities, transforms the tension of belonging and individuality into energetic and resilient communities.”
Wheatley, Margaret J. 1999. Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. When Wheatley’s book was first published in 1992, it popularized a new view of change, leadership, and the structure of groups. Although many readers were infected by Wheatley’s enthusiasm, few came away with a clear understanding of how the complicated scientific tenets she described could be put to use within organizations. The confusion arose in no small part because Wheatley engaged in what some critics label as “cargo-cult science”-emphasizing the metaphors and surface appearances of quantum physics and chaos theory rather than their essential elements. Wheatley has now updated her original work, and the result is a clearer (though still imperfect) explication of the implications of “the new science” for organizational practice and leadership.

5 Exploring and enriching personal values

Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life. Kevin Cashman. Executive Excellence Publishing. 1999. Kevin Cashman’s message: “To be more effective with others, we first need to become more effective with ourselves.” If leadership is so important, why are effective business leaders so rare? Kevin Cashman, a Minneapolis-based leadership coach, thinks that he has the answer: “Too many people separate the act of leadership from the leader. They see leadership as something that they do-rather than as an expression of who they are.” See also: Polly LaBarre, “How to be a real leader,” Fast Company (May 1999) p. 62.

Leading Consciously: A Pilgrimage Toward Self-Mastery. Debashis Chatterjee. Newton, Mass.: Butterworth-Heinemann. 1998. Chatterjee, an international management trainer and Fulbright scholar, is a member of the faculty in behavioral sciences at the Indian Institute of Management in Lucknow, India. A popular speaker on themes of spirituality and management, Chatterjee has conducted programs for Fortune 100 companies such as Motorola, AT&T, Ford Motor Company, and 3M. He also organizes leadership retreats for diverse audiences of executives, doctors, scientists, political leaders, and social service workers around the world. Leading Consciously connects contemporary scientific research on work, organization, and leadership to matters of spiritual wisdom and self-mastery. The author weaves together insights on motivation, decision-making, communication, time management, psychology, organizational development, and self-mastery.

The Magic of Conflict. Thomas F. Crum. New York: Touchstone Press. 1987. Conflicts can be disastrous or miraculous depending on how you react to them. If you feel threatened and try to defend yourself, you will lose even if you win. If you know you will lose, you probably will. If you hope to win and work hard at winning, you may just wear yourself out and fall into bitterness and decay. Or you can take a leap from the “you or me” attitude to the “you and me” attitude, says Crum. This is the magic of conflict: that we both care so much that we are willing to talk until we learn from each other. Understanding each other’s concerns, we can see other possibilities, win-win solutions.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. New York: HarperPerennial. 1990. For more than two decades, Csikszentmihalyi has been studying states of “optimal experience”-those times when people report feelings of concentration and great enjoyment. These investigations have revealed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called “flow”-a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity. Flow reveals how this state can be controlled, and not just left to chance, by setting ourselves challenges-tasks that are neither too difficult not too simple for our abilities.

The Ethical Imperative: Why Moral Leadership Is Good Business. John Dalla Costa. New York: Perseus. 1998. Himself a former CEO, Dalla Costa argues that developing a sense of ethics involves more than following a set of rules: it means developing an ethical orientation at all levels and processes of a corporation-and not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes for good business. Drawing from an impressive range of subjects and case studies, Costa builds a compelling case for moral leadership in today’s corporations.

“The emotional intelligence of leaders,” Daniel Goleman. Leader to Leader, Fall 1998, pp. 20-26.
“What makes a leader?” Daniel Goleman. Harvard Business Review, November/ December 1998.

Huber, Nancy. 1998. Leading from Within. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Publishing. The focus of Leading From Within is not so much on determining the universal definition of leadership as it is on finding personal meaning. Huber emphasizes being a leader and doing leadership rather than learning about leading. Being a leader means recognizing passion, authenticity, integrity, and ethics as the cornerstones of effective leadership. These are personal choices and not simply what we come to know by studying about leaders and leadership. Being a leader means deeply knowing who you are.

Jaworski, Joseph. 1998. Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. See also: Alan M. Webber, “Destiny and the job of the leader,” Fast Company (June 1996), p. 40. “In my old way of operating, I was very clear about my capacity to commit to something… the kind of commitment where you seize fate by the throat and do whatever it takes to succeed. It was only later that I began to understand another, deeper aspect of commitment. This kind of commitment begins not with will but with willingness…. It is at this point that we alter our relationship with the future…. The people who come to you are the very people you need in relation to your commitment [and vice versa]. Doors open, a sense of flow develops….”

Kanungo, R. N., and M. Mendonca. 1996. Ethical Dimensions of Leadership. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage. This book argues that effective leadership is that in which the leader’s behavior is consistent with ethical and moral values; that there should be a separation between personal and public morality; and that the ethics of leadership is consistent with the spirituality of different religious traditions.

Kidder, R. 1995. How Good People Make Tough Choices. New York: Fireside Books. Based on his experiences at the Institute for Global Ethics, Kidder provides a good overview of ethics and has sound advice for the application of ethics in our lives. The book is intended for non-specialists and is intended to help us make better ethical choices.

Lasch, Christopher. 1991. The True and Only Heaven. New York: Norton. A disquieting commentary on the inevitability of tragedy, the illusion of progress, and the ethic of persevering in a spirit of hope, regardless.

Neck, Christopher P., and Charles C. Manz. 1999. Mastering Self-Leadership: Empowering Yourself For Personal Excellence. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Self-Leadership involves “leading oneself” via the use of behavioral and mental techniques. Effective self-leadership is not a cover story for engaging in narcissistic behavior with total disregard for the group. Rather, it involves an ongoing interplay between the preferences of the individual and the needs of the group.

Palmer, Parker. 1990. The Active Life: Wisdom for Work, Creativity, and Caring. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Palmer outlines a spirituality for those who lead active lives, successfully integrating contemplation with action.

Palmer, Parker. 1994. “Leading from within.” In Jay Conger, ed., Spirit at Work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Schumacher, E. F. 1989. Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. New York: HarperPerennial. Ch. 4, “Buddhist economics,” and Epilogue.

Quinn, Robert E. 1996. Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Vaill, Peter B. 1996. Learning as a Way of Being: Strategies for Survival in a World of Permanent White Water. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. In his 1989 book, Managing as a Performing Art, Vaill coined the phrase “permanent white water” to describe the turbulent environment in which we work. In this follow-up, Vaill couples the concept of the learning organization–continual, on-the-job education and training for managerial leadership–with the continual change that permeates the modern workplace to craft his approach to “learning as a way of being,” based on self-direction, creativity, and expressiveness.

6 Understanding and empowering self and others

Ackoff, Russell Lincoln. 1999. Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations for the 21st Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Oxford University Press. This comprehensive guide to understanding and improving organizations is written by one of the world’s foremost management thinkers. For a work of this genre, Re-Creating the Corporation is unusually accessible to the non-specialist.

Allen, Kathleen, Juana Bordas, Gil Hickman, Larraine R. Matusak, Georgia Sorenson, and Kathryn Whitmire. 1998. “Leadership in the twenty-first century.” In Bruce Adams et al., Rethinking Leadership: Kellogg Leadership Studies Project, 1994-1997. College Park, Md.: Burns Academy of Leadership Press.

Bower, Marvin. 1997, “Developing leaders in a business” McKinsey Quarterly, (4), pp. 4-17. Bower joined McKinsey & Co. in 1933. This article is abridged from his book, The Will to Lead (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1997). Abandon command-and-control structures and adopt a program to develop leaders, starting with yourself. The attributes of leadership: be trustworthy, fair, broad-minded, flexible and adaptable, and open-minded; be unassuming in your behavior; be sensitive to people and to situations; listen, take initiative, exercise good judgment, foster a capacity to make sound and timely decisions and a capacity to motivate; embody a sense of urgency.

Collins, James C. and Jerry I. Porras. 1997. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. New York: HarperBusiness. Drawing on a six-year research project at the Stanford Graduate School, Collins and Porras find that exceptional companies are driven by a cluster of core principles, of which making money is only one and ordinarily not the primary one. Furthermore, visionary companies recruit workers who share their vision rather than making room for employees whose values aren’t aligned with the organization’s. At the same time, organizations that are built to last encourage experimentation, risk-taking, and even failure; and they avoid the tyranny of “either/or” and embrace the genius of “and.” For a summary of many of the key ideas in the book, see: Collins, Jim. 1996. “Aligning action and values,” Leader to Leader, 1 (Summer).

Covey, Stephen R. 1990. Principle-Centered Leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Covey, Stephen R. 1999. “The mind-set and skill-set of a leader.” In Frances Hesselbein et al., eds. Leading Beyond the Walls. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. If you’re not interested in plowing through all of Covey’s Principle-Centered Leadership, this chapter covers the key ideas.

de Geus, Arie. 1997. The Living Company. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. Arie de Geus, a retired Royal Dutch/Shell Group executive, maintains argues that the most enduring companies operate as “living work communities” rather than as pure money-making machines. A useful companion to Built to Last, by Collins and Porras. Key ideas are found in de Geus, Arie. 1997. The Living Company. Harvard Business Review (March-April), 51-59.

de Pree, Max. 1989. Leadership is an Art. New York: Doubleday. Leadership isn’t a science or a discipline, it is an art. As such it must be felt, experienced, created. The art of leadership is liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective and humane way possible.

de Pree, Max. 1992. Leadership Jazz. New York: Doubleday. De Pree draws a compelling and illuminating parallel between leadership and jazz-both art forms in which freedom and technique, improvisation and rules, inspiration and restraint, must be precisely and expertly blended.

Gharajedaghi, Jamshid. 1999. Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture. Newton, Mass.: Butterworth-Heinemann. This book is a direct result of the author’s work with the systems methodology first introduced by the author’s partner, Russell Ackoff. Clients asked the author to write a book to take them “further down the Senge trail.” This book does that, and more.

Heider, John. 1986. The Tao of Leadership: Leadership Strategies for a New Age. Humanics Publishing. Clear advice on how to be the very best kind of leader: be faithful, trust the process, pay attention, and inspire others to become their own leaders. Heider’s book is a blend of practical insight and profound wisdom, offering inspiration and advice. This book is used as a Management/Leadership text by many Fortune 500 corporations, including IBM, Mitsubishi, and Prudential.

Heifetz, Ronald. 1994. Leadership Without Easy Answers. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press. The role of the leader is changing, Heifetz argues. The new role is “to help people face reality and to mobilize them to make change.” Leaders certainly provide direction. But that often means posing well-structured questions, rather than offering definitive answers. Imagine the differences in behavior between leaders who operate with the idea that “leadership means influencing the organization to follow the leader’s vision” and those who operate with the idea that “leadership means influencing the organization to face its problems and to live into its opportunities.” That second idea-mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges-is what defines the new job of the leader. For a summary of key ideas from the book, see: William C. Taylor, “The leader of the future,” Fast Company (June, 1999), p. 130.

Hock, Dee W. 1999. Birth of the Chaordic Age. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. This is Dee Hock’s book-length (and somewhat uneven) manifesto on behalf of “chaordic” organizations-ones that are simultaneously chaotic and orderly. The book shows how chaordic concepts are being put into practice in a broad range of business, social, community, and government organizations. “If you don’t understand that you should be working for your mislabeled ‘subordinates,’ you haven’t understood anything. Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia.” See also: M. Mitchell Waldrop. 1996. “The trillion-dollar vision of Dee Hock,” Fast Company (Oct.), p. 75. ; M. Mitchell Waldrop. 1996. “Dee Hock on management,” Fast Company, 5 (Oct.), p. 79. ; and M. Mitchell Waldrop. 1996. “Dee Hock on organizations,” Fast Company, 5 (Oct.), p. 84.

Katzenbach, Jon R. 1997. Teams at the Top: Unleashing the Potential of Both Teams and Individual Leaders. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.

Kouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posner. 1996. The Leadership Challenge: How to Get Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. A comprehensive book on leadership for leaders. Includes a detailed explanation of the five leadership practices common to successful leaders: challenging the process, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act, modeling the way and encouraging the heart.

McCauley, Cynthia D., Russ S. Moxley, and Ellen Van Velsor, eds. 1998. The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Morgan, Gareth. 1997. Imagin-i-zation: New Mindsets for Seeing, Organizing and Managing. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Owen, Harrison. 1999. The Spirit of Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Harrison Owen calls for a new kind of leader who flows with rather than fights against change. He presents the radical notion that spirit is the most important ingredient of any organization and that leadership means opening space for that spirit to show up in powerful and productive ways.

Pascale, Richard. 1998. “Grassroots leadership-Royal Dutch/Shell.” Fast Company, April (14), pp. 110-115. “In the past, the leader was the guy with the answers. Today, if you’re going to have a successful company, you have to recognize that no leader can possibly have all the answers. The leader may have a vision. But the actual solutions about how best to meet the challenges of the moment have to be made by the people closest to the action-the people at the coal face.”

Peters, Tom, and Nancy Austin. 1985. A Passion for Excellence: The Leadership Difference. New York: Warner Books. “The management systems, schemes, devices and structures promoted during the last quarter century have added up to distractions from the main ideas: the achievement of sustainable growth and equity. Each such scheme seemed to make sense at the time. Each seemed an appropriate response to growing complexity. But the result was that the basics got lost in a blur of well-meaning gibberish that took us further and further from excellent performance in any sphere. We got so tied up in our techniques, devices and programs that we forgot about people.” In his signature gung-ho style, Peters leads the revolution against “controlling and arranging and demeaning and reducing” in organizations. What we need instead is leadership-“unleashing energy, building, freeing, and growing.”

Peters, Tom. 1987. Thriving on Chaos. New York: HarperCollins.

Senge, Peter M. 1990. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. New York: Currency/Doubleday. Organizations that will excel in the future are those that will master how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn. Five concepts are explored: systems thinking, personal mastery, team learning, mental models, and building a shared vision.

Senge, Peter M., et al. 1994. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. New York: Currency/Doubleday. A companion manual to Senge’s Fifth Discipline, this fieldbook is a treasure chest of resources, exercises, ideas, and stories, for practitioners, learners, and leaders.

Senge, Peter M., et al. 1999. The Dance of Change. New York: Doubleday. Senge’s best-selling The Fifth Discipline converted readers to its innovative principles of the “learning organization,” personal mastery, and systems thinking. The Dance of Change shows how to make his programs stick. Using examples from organizations ranging from Harley-Davidson to the U.S. Army, the book outlines potential obstacles and proposes practical ways to turn these obstacles into sources of improvement. For a summary of some of the key ideas, see: Webber, Alan M. 1999. “Learning for a change,” Fast Company, 24 (May), p. 178.

Senge, Peter M. 1999. “Leadership in living organizations.” In Frances Hesselbein et al., eds. Leading Beyond the Walls. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. This is another version of key ideas presented in Senge et al., The Dance of Change.

7 Exploring, understanding, and valuing diversity

Bateson, Mary Catherine. 1995. Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way. New York: HarperPerennial. In her earlier works, anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson has written about her parents, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and in Composing a Life (1989) about the elusive phenomenon of creativity. Here she turns the to the crucial and often misunderstood process of learning, a lifelong process. To live well and responsibly in a diverse and dynamic world, Bateson explains, we must learn not only to accept but to treasure a multiplicity of viewpoints, the persistence of ambiguity, and the constancy of change. We must learn to see the big picture, be attentive to subtleties, absorb “peripheral visions,” and excel at improvisation. To illustrate these theories, Bateson relates intriguing stories from her life, especially her experiences living in Israel, Iran, and the Philippines. She also frees “multiculturalism” from its superficial and political trappings and altogether invigorates her readers with her faith in our adaptive abilities.

Bragg, Rick. 1997. All Over but the Shoutin’. New York: Vintage Books. This is a deeply moving recollection of a life on the margins in America. Rick Bragg grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary. He became instead a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times.

Selection: ch. 29, “Perfume on a hog.” Chene’, Roberto. 1999. “Teaching the basics of intercultural leadership: some reflections.” In Cutting Edge: Leadership, (Barbara Kellerman and Larraine Matusak, eds. College Park, Md.: Burns Academy of Leadership, 2000). We are not in conflict because of our racial, ethnic, gender, religious, linguistic, and other differences. We are in conflict because these differences are structured into relationships built on dominance. The conflicts between us could be worked out rather easily absent the domination-subordination structure and conditioning in which they are embedded.

Cortes, Ernesto. 1993. “Reweaving the fabric.” In Henry Cisneros, ed., Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation. (New York: W. W. Norton, pp. 295-319). The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) is the largest and oldest national network of broad based, multiethnic, interfaith organizations in primarily poor and moderate-income communities. Created over 50 years ago by Saul Alinsky and currently directed by Ed Chambers, it provides leadership training for over 30 organizations representing nearly 1,000 institutions and over one million families. The central role of the IAF organizations is to build the competence and confidence of ordinary citizens so that they can reorganize the relationships of power and politics in their communities to reshape the physical and cultural face of their neighborhoods. See also Cheryl Dahle, “Social justice – Ernesto Cortes Jr.” Fast Company, 30, Dec. 1999.

Cose, Ellis. 1997. Color-Blind: Seeing Beyond Race in a Race-Obsessed World. New York: HarperPerennial.

Gilligan, Carol. 1993. In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (reissued edition; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press). The author provides helpful insight into “the ethic of care” as an equally valid alternative to “the ethic of justice.” This “different voice” has been popularly interpreted as the feminine perspective in moral reasoning, but the author suggests that the difference is not so much a matter of gender, but of theme. Both women and men have an often underexpressed voice of the ethic of care inside of them.

Labonte, Ronald. 1997. “Community, community development, and the forming of authentic partnerships.” In Meredith Minkler (ed.), Community Organizing and Community Building for Health. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, pp. 88-102.

Medoff, Peter, and Holly Sklar. 1994. Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood. Boston: South End Press. At a time when others are writing off our inner cities and … inner city youth, Streets of Hope challenges and inspires us with the brilliance of the Dudley Street neighborhood example. This eloquent book reveals the respect, dignity and love of people for their neighborhood, their diverse cultures and their shared vision of change. (The dramatic and inspiring story of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is also told in an award-winning video, “Holding Ground,” available through New Day films at 888-369-9154.)

Muoio, Anna. 1998. “Women and men, work and power,” Fast Company, No. 13 (Feb.), p. 71. More than ever-and in more companies than ever-men and women are working together, swapping ideas, sharing power. In fact, more people in the U.S. now work for women-owned businesses than for the 500 biggest public companies. So why is there still so much tension between men and women at work? Do men and women really lead in different ways?

Rivera, Felix G., and John L. Erlich, eds. 1998. Community Organizing in a Diverse Society, 3rd. ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Transcultural Leadership: Empowering the Diverse Workforce, by G.F. Simons, et al. Houston: Gulf Publishing. 1993. The authors utilize the North American experience to better understand global development and leadership. Practical examples and case studies illustrate global citizenry.

You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, by Deborah Tannen. New York: Ballantine Books. 1990.

8 Inspiring leaders to a lifetime of active public engagement

Gregory B. Markus, professor of political science and senior research scientist at the University of Michigan, has developed a resource list of recommended readings for ALF’s Cornerstones.