Leading Blog






06.27.08

The Offsite: A Fable to Internalize

The Offsite
The Offsite is a business fable based on the principles and practices set forth in the classic leadership book, The Leadership Challenge. And it works. Using memorable characters, author Robert Thompson, has created a story that is a great introduction not only to James Kouzes’ and Barry Posner’s work, but to the practice of leadership itself.

With our birds-eye view of the offsite and its main participants, we can see the mental struggles and the ah-ha experiences of the personalities as they begin to view leadership as a way of thinking and a choice that each individual must make. They begin by facing their reality and then learn to see a new way to get from where they are to where they want to be. They begin to see real leadership as helping people to discover what matters to them and helping them to connect to it. “Leadership is about people. Leadership is how you get management done. Leaders stretch others, not stress others.”

Through the offsite seminar leader Charlie, Thompson presents the Five Practices of Exemplary Leaders this way:

Your credibility matters so … Model the Way. How? Clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared ideals. Set the example by aligning actions with shared values.

Your voice matters so … Inspire a Shared Vision. How? Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities. Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.

Your action matters so … Challenge the Process. How? Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve. Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience.

Your gift matters so … Enable Others to Act. How? Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships. Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.

Your gratitude matters so … Encourage the Heart. How? Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence. Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community.

This is the kind of book you need to give to everyone on your team and to those your team interacts with. If you’ve read The Leadership Challenge (the new 4th edition will be out in paperback in August), then it’s a good reminder, if you haven’t, then it’s a great introduction.

Either way, you’ll find Thompson’s story a quick read, but packed full of thoughts and concepts you’ll want to reflect on and internalize. Leadership is a way of life that takes a conscious choice to build-in to everything you do, from wherever you sit. This is a great place to begin.

The Offsite

Posted by Michael McKinney at 02:35 PM
| Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1) | This post is about Books , Leadership Development



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