Author Archives: Mark

New video – Host Leadership as part of a safety strategy

There’s a new and very high quality video available featuring Host Leadership pioneer Dr Mark McKergow in conversation with Andy Shone of Southpac International and HOPLAB, about how leading as a host can fit very well with the latest developments in in building safety (sometimes called ‘Safety 2’).  Mark was in Brisbane, Australia to lead a Host Leadership masterclass, and this 28 minute conversation is a great introduction to hosting as leading and also to the parallels and connections with safety leadership specifically.  Take a look!

There are more videos on our Video page – check them out.

 

The Host Leadership Field Book is available now!

We are very excited to announce that the Host Leadership Field Book is published today and available world wide in paperback and Kindle formats.  This collection of 30 chapters shows Host Leadership in action all over the world in many settings including business leadership, agile, education, social care, coaching, virtual teams, volunteer organisations, organisational change, conflict resolution, training, community building and leadership development.  

The Host Leadership Field Book, edited by Mark McKergow and Pierluigi Pugliese, Foreword by Helen Bailey. Published by Solutions Books on 12 November 2019 in paperback and Kindle formats. ISBN 978-0-9933463-3-0. 276 pages. Paperback £12.99/US$17.

“Puts Host Leadership at the forefront of leadership development approaches, where it deservedly belongs” Paul R. Scheele, PhD. in Leadership & Change, CEO, Scheele Learning Systems, co-founder, Learning Strategies Corporation

“Crystal clear distillations of a key leadership practice suited for our times” Chris Corrigan, global steward, Art of Hosting community of practice

“The key principles of hosting that will help you effectively and quickly build cooperation, trust and results” Dr Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI and NY Times Bestselling Author

 

Ronnie Scott: Host Leader! His famous club is 60 today

Ronnie Scott (photo credit Freddie Warren)

As some of our readers will know, Host author Mark McKergow is a keen semi-pro (occasionally!) jazz saxophonist.  When he was writing Host, Mark was looking for great examples of host leaders in different contexts. One of those was Ronnie Scott – saxophonist, club founder and manager, and general leading light of British jazz between the 1950s and the 1990s. Here’s the section from the Host book about him (from the chapter on the Initiator role, page 92):

Hosting around the world: Keeping going for British jazz at
Ronnie Scott’s
Ronnie Scott was a British tenor saxophonist bewitched by modern jazz. In the 1940s, he had worked his passage on the liners to New York to see the giants of bebop perform in the clubs around 52nd Street, and came back filled with a desire to have something similar in London – a place where young adventurous UK musicians could perform their edgy music without being booed off by unhappy diners, and where the best American stars could perform to a sympathetic audience.

He finally raised £1000 with his colleague Peter King and opened in the basement of 39 Gerrard Street, Soho in 1959. The club was a success, and attracted the musicians and audiences that Scott had envisaged (though they had to fight a union ban on visiting Americans to make it happen). A generation of British players grew up around the scene, with Zoot Sims, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans and many more taking up residencies. Rollins liked the atmosphere of the club so much that he asked to be locked in overnight while he worked on the music for the 1966 film Alfie, starring Michael Caine.

During the 1960s, the club moved to bigger premises in Frith Street, where it remains to this day. Despite being in perpetual financial trouble, Scott and King managed, by hook or by crook, to keep going. Scott died in 1999, but his name and spirit live on – the club still runs late-night sessions of the kind that inspired him in New York. Ronnie Scott was a good tenor saxophonist, but is remembered throughout the jazz world as a brave and persistent Initiator who managed to adjust, keep going and maintain a special place for British musicians.

Today is the 60th birthday of Ronnie Scotts! The club has produced this excellent little video narrated by Stephen Fry about Ronnie and what he ‘initiated’.  Check it out!

 

Why Gatherings and not conferences?

We at Host Leadership are very excited that the fourth international Host Leadership Gathering will be held in Vienna, Austria next year from 13-15 May 2020. I am sometimes asked why we style these events ‘gatherings’ and not ‘conferences’. This might be a good moment to share some thoughts about why this is an important distinction for a host leader.

What’s a conference for? Well, to confer, I guess. The etymology of conference shows it coming from the Latin word conferre, which means “to bring together; deliberate, talk over”. It seems to me that In the modern world conferences have become more and more talky, programmed and pre-organised. A series of speakers (often with too much Powerpoint and too little audience engagement) parade their thoughts with little time for questions, discussion or emerging topics and issues. In face, the term ‘unconference’ has been coined to promote events which value the latter engagement over the formal inputs.

The word gathering, however, comes from the Old English word gaderung, meaning “an assembly of people, act of coming together”. This is already much less talky than a conference. Firstly, to the English speaking ear at least, there is a distinction between old English-derived words and Latin-derived words. The former are earthier and more homely, the latter are higher-register and ‘fancier’. Secondly, the purpose of a gathering IS the coming-together – for all sorts of reasons, not just talking.

A ‘clan gathering’ is a term in Scotland (where I now live) for events which the ancient Scottish clans organise from time to time. These take place perhaps every few years and attract people from around the world to a varied programme of events – including dancing, music, food, social events, walks, parades, religious services, reconciliation meetings with other clans (really!), discussions, connections and re-connections and, yes, perhaps a formal Clan Society meeting. The purpose of these events is much more than simply talk – it is about meeting others with shared connection in community, about re-establishing relationships, about taking stock, about re-connecting with traditions (and perhaps forging new traditions as well).

I hope that Host Leadership Gathering will continue to be more like gatherings than conferences. Yes, of course we will have speakers and talking – but every event so far has had a social element as well, included in the programme rather than as an add-on. We started with at the first SOLWorld conferences in Bristol in 2002 and 2003 – a conference dinner for all, included in the ticket price, where we could all sit down together and eat. From 2003 we also had a cabaret, with entertainment by the people and for the people. I am still surprised by the number of events to which I go these days which seem to think that a series of speeches is a satisfactory way to bring people together.

So, a gathering is about being together, sharing, doing things that build connections, with as much joining in (co-participating) as possible. Sounds familiar? Host a gathering for your community, and see what difference it makes.

Acknowledging others in Denmark – ‘tak for sidst’

I was in Copenhagen, Denmark last week for a very enjoyable conference with the Public Funk consultancy.  I have a keynote and some workshops about Host Leadership, and was talking about how hosting is universal for humanity but it sometimes looks different depending on the culture. Public Funk’s Jens Kristian Pedersen mentioned that there is a very specific way of acknowledging people in the Danish culture – ‘tak for sidst’.  This happens after a party or some other gathering; when people see each other the following day or whatever, they say ‘tak for sidst’ to each other as a kind of acknowledgement that they were both present.

It’s like ‘I saw you and acknowledge you’ – said by both parties. What a lovely way to give and receive recognition and respect!  Now watch Kristian describing it on the video below.  What other ways do we have of mutually acknowledging people briefly and effectively?

How to use the User’s Guide To The Future as a coaching tool

The latest issue of InterAction (August 2019) contains a great article from Mark McKergow and Dr Peter Rohrig about Peter’s developments to the User’s Guide to the Future model (first described in the Host book) to make it even more useful as a coaching tool.  Well worth a read!  Check it out here. The article also includes a coaching session, with feedback from the client.

YOU can contribute to the Host Leadership Field Book – here’s how

Following a very successful Host Leadership Gathering in Munich at the end of June 2019, we already have a healthy start to the Host Leadership Field Book.  Using group writing processes in a Open Space (see the photo on the right), we are now working on an initial set of chapters/pieces including these topics:

  • Host Leadership to support a company in ‘Agile Transition’
  • Coaching and mentoring tech teams/software development teams
  • Engaging families in poverty in a social project
  • “Hearing What Is Being Called For”: What’s next in your team, organisation and life?
  • Host leadership models in child care consultation
  • The trainer as a host leader
  • How to train Host Leadership: Attracting people to the Host metaphor
  • How to train Host Leadership: Introducing the Inviter
  • Host Leader vs Manager role – what’s the difference?
  • Host Leadership as an Integrating Metaphor
  • Hosting Company-wide Process Improvements

Now, YOU have the opportunity to add your ideas and experiences to the new book, which will be published by Solutions Books later in the year in both paperback and e-book format.  We are looking for short ‘chapters’, between 1200 – 3000 words, which both share your experience of using host leadership (or some aspect of it) in a way which offers something that others can use. That might be a tool, a tip, a framework, a lesson you’d like to share, a mini-case study – anything that comes from your experience and could help others.  Detailed guidelines are below.

What to do next

Contact Mark McKergow (mark@sfwork.com) as soon as possible with  your idea.  This is to let us know what might be coming and also to make sure that we are not duplicating ideas.  Mark will help you refine your proposal to make it a great contribution.  The deadline for initial writing is Sunday 11 August 2019.  I know that’s not very long, but we are looking for short and punchy contributions which I hope you will already have in mind.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!  Go on, get involved – it’s a great way to get your name in print in a book which will receive global attention.

Detailed guidelines

Content: A practical way you have found to use host leadership ideas at work. Each piece should focus on ONE way (although it may be applicable in lots of situations). If you have more than one idea, that’s more than one piece (which is fine).

Length: 3-10 (max!) pages (about 1200 – 4000 words)

Writing: Please write in English. Don’t worry if English is not your first language, we will be editing and tidying the pieces before formal publication and you will have a chance to review the edited version. Short sentences are better than long ones.

Structure: A good contribution will contain:

  • Title and subtitle: Preferably something catchy and interesting which conveys the purpose of the piece
  • Author details: Your name, affiliation/company and country. Please share credit where there have been several people involved – it costs nothing and makes you feel good!
  • Introduction: What is this about, what does it do, who will be interested
  • Field Work: What you did, what happened, why it’s useful to others and in what ways, what you learned
  • The ‘Knack’: Tips and guidance for doing this really well, learned from your experience and reflections. What should we take care with?
  • Key words: 5-8 key words connecting to this piece
  • References: (if any) should be given in APA 6 format. We like authors who acknowledge their sources! See https://www.ukessays.com/referencing/apa/generator/
  • About the author: One paragraph (no more) about the author, their experience and qualifications, which builds their credibility as someone to be listened to.

Terminology: You may use ideas from the Host book without needing to explain them in detail, such as the six roles and four positions for a host leader. We may well add an introduction setting these out at the start. Or you may use your own words of course!

Permissions: If you name any other individual or organisation in your piece, please ensure that they are OK with this. There are ways to refer to people and organisations without naming them if you prefer. If you use content from existing sources (apart from Host) you have to ensure permission.

Rights: Solutions Books will share the rights with you. This means that they can publish your piece, and you can also use it yourself in whatever way (on your website, for example).

What’s in it for me? You will get a copy of the published paperback book, as well as the opportunity to buy further copies at a good discount if you wish. You will also get a wider international profile and a very warm feeling for having made a valuable contribution to leadership development.

Get in touch now!