Announcement Archive

We want YOUR proposals for workshops at the Host Leadership Gathering 2109

Plans for the Host Leadership Gathering 2019 are coming together. We have already received some excellent workshop proposals from around the world.  These include:

  • How to host a successful agile stand-up meeting (Rod Sherwin, Australia)
  • Using the Diversity Icebreaker to explore host leadership roles with a team (Leah Davcheva, Bulgaria)
  •  Hosting ‘Change’: what if we treated ‘change’ as a guest, alongside the people (Rolf Katzenberger, Germany)
  •  Attentional practices for hosts: how to step into and out of the flow more naturally (Stephen Josephs, USA)

As you can see, the offerings so far range from the practical to the personal to the conceptual. We are very keen to hear from as many people as possible in all these domains (which all have some kind of practical element). And we would like you to come along and join us.  Please send in your proposal by email to with: 

  • Title
  • 100 word abstract 
  • Participant take-aways
  • Your biographical details
  • Desired time slot (20/60/90 minutes).

Deadline for workshop submissons is Tuesday 30 April 2019.  If you’d like to test out an idea, please email Mark McKergow ( directly and he’ll get back to you.  Now’s your chance – go on, take it! 

Host Leadership, jazz and freedom: Mark McKergow talks to Andrew Paine on Lush Player

Check out this excellent interview with Mark McKergow online – listen and enjoy.

“Sun Ra, the jazz composer, bandleader, poet and philosopher is the starting point for a conversation on Leadership and the art of Hosting. Lush’s Andrew Paine and Dr Mark McKergow, co-director of sfwork – The Centre for Solutions Focus at Work – and author of Host talk about creating space for experimentation, finding new frontiers, throwing out the rule book, co-participation and the emerging need for Leaders to take on a hosting mindset in an increasingly unpredictable and changing workplace.

Move forward by stepping back – Host Leadership in the NHS

sarah_morganSarah Morgan, Director of Organisational Development and Strategic Lead for Leadership for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has been writing about her explorations with Host Leadership.  Not only is Host Leadership a good response to the challenges of leading in a VUCA world, it’s also a way to help her achieve her overall aim of bringing more love into the workplace.

Sarah’s blog series is proving very popular both inside the NHS and with those interested in new ways to enhance effectiveness. Read the full post now at:

Host Leadership at the Game Changer Global Summit – starts 7 March 2016

GGS MARK MCKERGOWWe are very excited that Host Leadership has been selected as one of the topics for the Game Changer Global Summit 2016!  The event is online and starts Monday 7 March.  Many of the world’s top human potential and development speakers will be presenting online sessions – and it’s free to register.  Mark’s session on Host Leadership will be online on Saturday 12 March.  And in the meantime you can hear from the likes of Jack Canfield (himself a big fan of host leadership), Marci Shimoff, Martin Rutte, Roger Hamilton, Arjuna Ardagh, Michael Neill (who taught Mark some NLP decades ago) and many more – in fact over 100 speakers are lined up.

You can check out the speakers and the schedule, and register free for the event, at  Check it out now!


Hero to Host – download our Police leadership white paper

HostLeadershippolicewhitepaperTwo experts from the fields of policing and leadership have joined forces to produce a whitepaper to help educate leaders at all levels in the Police Force on the importance of moving away from traditional forms of leadership in favour of a more host-based approach. Download it via the link at the bottom of this page.

Dr Mark McKergow is an international leadership speaker and consultant. He is co-author of Host: Six new rules roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities and movements (Solutions Books, 2014). Chris Miller is a crime and social justice consultant, and mentors recently released former prisoners in the community in north London. He served as a police officer for 32 years, reaching the rank of Assistant Chief Constable for Hertfordshire before retiring in 2011.

Mark and Chris decided to produce the whitepaper after the findings of a recent College of Policing Leadership Review were published and revealed that one of the main recommendations was to move away from ‘heroic leadership’ to a more team-based and engaging approach.

The College of Policing Leadership Review takes a wide-ranging look at leadership throughout the police forces of the UK. It contains 10 key points for progress. The first of these is about leadership culture – in particular the desirability of moving on from a heroic leader position. For example, section 5.2 says:

We heard that in a command orientated world there is a tendency to shift towards the ‘heroic’ model of leadership in which an individual acts as a figurehead and followers are there to ensure the leader’s will is carried out. We advocate more emphasis on a model in which leaders are there to ensure the success of their teams.
Taking command remains an essential part of the leadership repertoire, but the overuse of command as a leadership style risks disempowering those who are being commanded. Overuse poses an obstacle to the culture of candor and challenge that is necessary to succeed in the future context and it diminishes the qualities of personal resilience, creativity and risk taking that helps teams to develop in the good times and survive in the bad.

In the whitepaper, McKergow and Miller discuss the various issues surrounding leadership and policing and provide practical suggestions on how to move away from the traditional leadership styles that are simply not compatible with the evolving requirements of 21st Century police management.

Chris Miller says:
“We want to move forward from a heroic leadership style to one where the leader is responsible for their team’s success. There is a long-term challenge for the police force here – initial selection tends to test for heroic skills, whereas engagement and consensus-building become more important. The development of officers capable of such a shift is therefore even more vital given the prevailing promote-from-within culture. The paradigm of leading as a host offers an accessible yet rich and flexible notion to help leaders to quickly expand their skills and mindsets in this direction.

The need to be able to take command in an authoritative way is clear – the wider question is whether that is always the best thing to do, and how this option can sit within a wider coherent set of leadership behaviours.”

Mark McKergow adds:
“Modern leadership writing shows a broad distinction between ‘hero’ leaders who get results by authority, hard work and expertise, and post-heroic leaders who see their role as being about getting results though bringing others together in a way which allows maximum contribution from the others, not treating them as foot soldiers.

This is a journey of development and increasing awareness. Most people start out assuming that hero leadership is the way to do it – after all, the idea is woven through our culture, our movies and our stories. The police context reinforces this starting point. However, leaders who want to succeed at higher levels will need to learn to develop their style, to get the most out of others in terms of creative and constructive input, as well as hard work.”

Click here to download the White Paper.

New download article in German: Gastgeber statt Hero

Mark clarinetMark was pleased to be invited to give a workshop on Host Leadership for a group of consultants in Cologne, Germany at the end of last year.  This event was attended by Sylvia Lipkowski who writes for the German language magazine Training Aktuell.  She has written of her experience on the day, of the host leadership metaphor and how it was recieved by the German audience, including an insight into how one particular manager found the ideas helpful in thinking about a challenging situation.  And she also mentioned Mark’s clarinet playing in the workshop!

The article is available for sale through Training Aktuell, but is available to members of the Host Leadership community as a free download.  Just go to the downloads page and get hold of the PDF.

The Art of Asking – interesting TED talk

I’ve just been sent this TED talk by Amanda Palmer about the ‘Art of Asking’.  Palmer is a musician and performer, was dropped by her label despite some early success and turned to crowd-funding (specifically Kickstarter) to raise money.  By inviting her supporters to join her at gigs, even come on stage for a few numbers, she has grown a community of 25,000 people and raised $1.2 million (even though she only asked for $100,000) – the biggest Kickstarter yet. Continue reading

Leadership in the age of complexity: from hero to host

Margaret Wheatley has been writing about leadership in connection with complexity with some time now, and I am delighted that she sees a connection between working with a complex world and hosting.  I just came across her new article (co-authored by Deborah Frieze) as the featured article at the Berkana Institute website – Leadership in the age of complexity: from hero to host.  I particularly like the way she looks at why we continue to yearn for heroes – even if we know that it’s more or less a forelorn hope. 

Read the article at, or download the pdf from

The host and the manager – keeping inbetween in an emergent world

I (Mark) run an online course with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Solutions Focus Business Professional.  Over 16 weeks we cover all kinds of aspects of the SF approach relating to management and coaching, with a worldwide group – it’s a fantastic experience.  One of the readings is my Leader as Host, Host as Leader paper.  Krassimir Yanev, one of our participants from Bulgaria (pictured right), offered this great summary connecting the manager as host with the idea of ‘Inbetween’ from The Solutions Focus book: Continue reading