11405 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781626562226

Introduction Pay It Forward The Purpose of This Book

B. Joseph White Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Purpose of This Book

We are products of our experiences. Two of mine have greatly influenced the views about governance expressed in this book. In both cases, I was there at the creation. The principals involved had high aspirations and a stewardship attitude toward governance. Results over more than two decades have been strong and positive.

My boss, Dean Gil Whitaker of the University of Michigan Business School, walked into my office in Ann Arbor with a guest. “Hi, I’m Paul Gordon,” he said with a deep voice and a big smile. “We have a little family business in Grand Rapids. I’m wondering if you could help us with governance and a few other things.”

Paul was a graduate of the school where I was a professor and associate dean. He was in his mid-sixties when we met. Paul had recently begun to think deeply about the long-term future of Gordon Food Service (GFS), the growing private company he headed with his brother, John. Gil thought I might be able to help Paul because I had just returned to the school after a six-year stint in the real world at Cummins, Inc., the diesel engine and power systems company in Columbus, Indiana.

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Eiji Tsujimoto DigitalTugboat PDF
Medium 9781576751831

13 Transformation Begins with a Visionary Leader

Lebow, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The group was enjoying their dessert when Pete asked Kip another clarifying question. “Kip, earlier today you very briefly mentioned the Visionary Leader, and you’ve spoken exclusively about the Wise Counsel. What’s the difference?”

Kip took a moment to finish his last bite of pie and turned to Pete while the ladies talked between themselves. “I’d be glad to explain, Pete. As I mentioned earlier, a Wise Counsel uses three primary strategies. First, they share a Keen Internal Vision at every opportunity.”

Pete chimed in, “Teachable moments!”

“Right,” nodded Kip. “Second, Wise Counsels become resources to people, and, third, they wait to be asked. What I mean by that is, they will not take ownership for a staff member’s or team’s job. If they did, they’d be taking accountability away from that very person or group.”

“OK, so that’s a summary of the Wise Counsel’s role, but what about the role of the Visionary Leader?” asked Pete. At this point Yolanda and Lucy began to pick up on the two men’s discussion.

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Medium 9781609947101

Tool #6: The Eagle: An Inspirational Story

Bell, Chip R. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our final tool is a poignant story about mentoring found in nature. Its primary purpose is to inspire you as it did us.

The eagle gently coaxed her offspring toward the edge of the nest. Her heart quivered with conflicting emotions as she felt their resistance to her persistent nudging. “Why does the thrill of soaring have to begin with the fear of falling?” she thought. This ageless question was still unanswered for her.

As in the tradition of the species, her nest was located high on the shelf of a sheer rock face. Below there was nothing but air to support the wings of each child. “Is it possible that this time it will not work?” she thought. Despite her fears, the eagle knew it was time. Her parental mission was all but complete. There remained one final task—the push.

The eagle drew courage from an innate wisdom. Until her children discovered their wings, there was no purpose for their lives. Until they learned how to soar, they would fail to understand the privilege it was to have been born. The push was the greatest gift she had to offer. It was her supreme act of love. And, so one by one she pushed them … and they flew!

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Oyster Books

Eiji Tsujimoto DigitalTugboat PDF
Medium 9781609948221

Nine: Financial Practices Creating Accountability with Self-Control

Block, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Creating Accountability with Self-Control

IN MOST DECENTRALIZED companies, the corporate executives give autonomy to their operating companies in all areas of operation but two: the control of people and the control of money. They understand that how you control money and how you control human resources practices are the keys to the kingdom. This chapter is about the money; the next one is about the people.


MONEY IS VITAL to how we govern because it is the universal measuring device. It does not measure everything we care about, but it is the common language we use to measure the health of the institution, as well as our promises to each other and how well we have delivered on those promises. We have created the finance function to help us become fully informed and communicate about performance. Financial functions also help people, through budgets, to document and keep track of their promises. These intentions are service oriented and a critical means for people at all levels to fulfill their stewardship responsibility.

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Medium 9781576751923

15. Watching Your Time

Barlow, Janelle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Everything takes longer in a videoconference. On many occasions, participants do not understand until they are in the thick of their conference that communication moves more slowly than when meeting face-to-face.

The spontaneity of a quick remark from one person to another sitting across the table is very difficult to duplicate in a videoconference. Not only is spontaneity lost, but the timing required to communicate naturally is compromised. Because of the lack of spontaneity and the slower conversation speed, boredom is also more likely.

Because communication will take longer, be careful with your timing. If you are to deliver a report or make a presentation, find out how much time you have. Then cut your remarks in half. And then cut them again. They will still probably take you twice as long as you anticipate.

Be scrupulous about sticking to the allotted time. Use a time keeper if you need to, and make sure everyone understands the time signals. This is particularly important if participants are using VC systems that may be scheduled for someone else’s meeting later.

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Medium 9781626568723

Chapter Two: I Am a Learner

Peterson, Kay Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When I look back on it now, I am so glad that the one thing I had in my life was my belief that everything in life is a learning experience, whether it be positive or negative. If you can see it as a learning experience, you can turn any negative into a positive.

Neve Campbell

I am a learner. True or false? Maybe? Sometimes? How would you answer? Many would answer false. They believe that they have what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a “fixed identity.”1 People are born smart or dumb. The smart ones “get it,” and the dumb ones never will. Others aren’t sure. They got through school reasonably well and have managed to accomplish many things on the job, but they are not sure this is because of any effort they made to learn. It seemed almost automatic for them. Still others might answer, “Sometimes I am a learner.” They may be specialists who can deliberately learn things about their specialty quickly and easily, but when a partner says “Let’s take a dance class,” they reply, “I can’t dance.” They adopt a fixed identity outside of their specialty.

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Medium 9780874252255

Activity 5: What does it take to be a world class salesperson?

Phillip Faris HRD Press PDF


What does it take to be a  world­class salesperson? 




• To help participants develop a practical model of a world‐class salesperson 

• To help participants assess themselves against the model and identify their 

strengths and improvement opportunities 



1. Distribute Handout 5.1 and ask participants to describe both the worst and 

best salesperson they have encountered as a consumer. Allow five minutes  for individuals to complete descriptions. 

2. Starting with the Worst Salesperson section, lead a discussion based on the 

group’s responses. You should help participants focus on what the  salesperson did that most influenced their assessment. Also, ask if  participants remember the salesperson’s name. Note: Most participants will  remember the name of the best salesperson, but not the worst. 

3. Lead a brief discussion of what a world‐class salesperson is (e.g., the best of 

the best). Salespeople should use this as a model for assessing their own  capabilities. 

4. Distribute Handout 5.2 and instruct participants to complete Part I 

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Medium 9781609949273

21. Back to work

de Graaf, John; Wann, David; Naylor, Thomas H. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Back to work

Markets flatter our solitary egos but leave our yearnings for community unsatisfied. They advance individualistic, not social, goals, and they encourage us to speak the language of “I want” not the language of “we need.”


It is illogical to criticize companies for playing by the current rules of the game. If we want them to play differently, we have to change the rules.

—ROBERT REICH, Supercapitalism

If you think your actions are too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.


The work of building and rebuilding a culture is never finished, because the context—the environment and human activities—is constantly changing. At this moment in history, it’s clear that overconsumption as a way of life can’t continue, but what will take its place? That’s the weighty issue facing us on our desks, on our blog sites, in our state legislatures. Our mission is to invent equitable and efficient ways of meeting our needs in a world of diminishing resources, a changing climate, and a still-rising global population. This is a big moment, and these changes will not be automatic.

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Medium 9780982702970

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity (SPQ)

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub


When you make an argument for or against something, you try to convince someone that it is right or wrong using reasons and evidence.

Examples: When you make an argument, provide evidence to support your perspective. If your argument is that plants and animals alter their environments to suit their needs, you might provide examples of organisms changing the environment—such as a prairie dog burrowing underground—to support your claim.


A bias is a preference for one thing, outcome, person, or group over another.

Examples: If you are doing an experiment, you might have a bias toward a particular result or outcome. To avoid bias, use objective data sources and set criteria and procedures ahead of time.


Something that is empirical is based on evidence that you can physically see or show.

Examples: When you make a scientific claim, especially about a causal relationship, it is important to use empirical evidence to back it up. When you are defining a design question, make sure it can be tested in an empirical way.

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Medium 9781576755648

10 Case Example #2: The “So What?” Factor

Mooney, Tim Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Most school districts are busy places. In a school district that has opened nine new schools every year for more than a decade, “busy” is an understatement. Such is the case in the Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas, Nevada, the fifth-largest district in the United States. The student population is fast surpassing 314,000. It employs more than 37,000 people, including 19,000 teachers, 11,000 support staff personnel, 1,300 administrators, 150 school police, and 6,000 substitute and temporary employees. The district has more than 160337 schools within its boundary of approximately 8,000 square miles.

In such a vast organization, with its environment of rapid growth and all of the challenges that causes, why would any one employee attempt to initiate a new approach to conceptualizing and managing training? The training delivery burdens alone were staggering. An equally perplexing question is how does any one employee go about implementing a massive organizational culture change in terms of the way people are trained in an organization this large?

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Medium 9781576751794


Levine, Stewart Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Most people receive very little training on how to live effectively and
harmoniously with themselves and others. This I believe is an unfortunate
outcome of our parenting beliefs and methods [that] emphasize academic and
vocational skills and place little or no emphasis or value on providing a person
with the essential skills to live a life of personal fulfillment, contribution and
self actualization.… Without proper training on how to make wise choices
in one’s life, the chances are very slim anyone will make them.

—Sidney Madwed

A great deal of uncertainty and insecurity for kids can be caused when parents are constantly arguing, disagreeing in response to kids requests, and allowing a child to play one parent against the other. A few years ago, I was involved with just such a family dynamic. The teenage son, Roy, had acted out self-destructively. The adults in the household were highly intelligent, super-competitive, type A professionals. Unfortunately, in front of their children, they were always competing with each other, and each of them always had to be right.

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Medium 9781605095226

Seven Good-bye Golden Rule

Zack, Devora Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.

—Benjamin Disraeli

Making-the-Most-of-It Quiz

Why do introverts tend toward perfectionism?


Combining an inner focus with the susceptibility for deep pondering leads to a propensity for perfection.

The golden rule is one of the most quoted treaties in the land of being nice to other people. There may be as many versions of the golden rule as there are languages. It can be paraphrased succinctly:


Treat others how you want to be treated.

Why not? Seems logical. Now let’s see what really happens when the golden rule comes into play when followed to the letter.

An introvert and an extrovert are colleagues in the same department. They decide to go to a networking event together. Each believes firmly in the golden rule.

Upon arrival, the extrovert, Glen, gleefully descends on a group already gathered in the center of the room. He joins in, pulling Portia the introvert along with him. He knows she can recede in a crowd. He likes Portia and wants her to have a good time. The conversation turns to presentation mishaps, and he recalls Portia’s fiasco the day before. “Hey Portia! Tell them about your hilarious faux pas yesterday!” He means well and knows the event had no lasting or important consequence. Meanwhile, Portia is inwardly mortified. The last thing she wants to do is recount to a group of complete strangers a personal, embarrassing story.

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Medium 9781576756294


Eisler, Riane Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our ideas and stories are the blueprints for our future. Of course, ideas and stories don’t arise in a vacuum. They come out of particular times and places. In the eighteenth century, a powerful idea gained momentum. People began to believe that the human yearning for a better life on Earth can be realized.

For most of recorded history, whether Eastern or Western, the vast majority of people were poor, and as they had been taught to do, accepted poverty as their inevitable lot. None other than Aristotle had declared that everyone is born to his or her station in life: slaves are meant to be slaves and women are meant to be subordinate to men. “From the hour of their birth,” he wrote, “some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.”1 Later, the Church taught Christians that suffering is God’s punishment for our evil, selfish nature. As for poverty, had not the Gospel of Matthew quoted Jesus as saying, “Ye have the poor always with you.”

But as the industrial revolution gained steam in Europe, so did the possibility that the world can change. Indeed, the world was changing rapidly, as new ways of work and life were replacing the old.

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