Our book Host has another review – this time from Kevin Barham of Ashridge Executive Education, one of the leading business schools internationally and now a part of the Hult group. The review is on an internal website for Ashridge people so I can’t link to it, but here is what he says:
“Host offers a genuinely original approach to leadership which, while it is new to contemporary management, is based on a philosophy with ancient roots. It is founded on the metaphor of the leader as host – someone who receives guests. Rules will not deal with the complexity and uncertainty that face leaders today. There are no simple answers, and no one individual can possibly know what to do. Engagement is key – getting people together to work on the issues. This demands a shift of mindset from the leader as hero to the leader as “engager” – someone who engages fellow participants in a worthwhile endeavour. Instead of rules we need to think of “roles of engagement”. Six roles for the Host Leader are described: Initiator, Inviter, Space Creator, Gatekeeper, Connector, Co-Participator. Host Leadership may become one of the most pioneering concepts in 21st century management. The book is definitely inspiring reading.”
Reviewed by Kevin Barham
The Australian teaching magazine Principia – published by the Queensland Secondary Principal’s Assocation – has published a feature about host leadership. The article, by Nick Burnett and Jason Pascoe is entitled ‘Getting the balance right – a new metaphor for school leaders’. You can read it as a pdf by clicking on the image or via this link.
We’re thrilled that Coaching At Work saw fit to give Host a five star review! Check it out below.
Jenny and I are just back from a week in Finland, where we gave a well-received two day Host Leadership workshop in Helsinki. I had an email afterwards from Marike Tammeaid, who gave me the traditional Finnish greeting song for when a guest arrives. It’s from the Finnish national epic poem Kalevala. Finland is known as one of the very few ‘silent’ cultures in Europe, where people are happy to keep their own company most of the time. In this context, having a guest around is even more important than it is in other cultures.
Let the door’s lintels rise
with the guest not taking hat off
let the door’s thresholds lower
without the boot heels them touching
Let the door frame give him way
Open the door without touching
when the guest shall step inside,
when the big man pays us visit.
We don’t meet each other often
rarely we see each other
In the wide fields of Väinölä
forestlands of Kalevala.
So be welcome to my house
you, the great guest of mine
to brighten our celebration
to honor the day’s passing.
(You can read the original Finnish words here.)
Our chums at the Huffington Post are running a series of articles on the challenges facing us over the next 10 years. One of the things they identify is the need for more and better post-heroic leaders. Host leadership is a new kid on the post-heroic block alongside the more established servant-leadership, and we are all seeking to gain traction and influence.
This piece looks specifically at mindfulness as a key to post-heroic leadership. We’re very keen on mindfulness too – see the section on creating space for yourself as well as your guests in the Space-creator role chaper of our book Host.
The Huffington Post article is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-next-ten-challenge/mindfulness-the-making-of_b_7442248.html
Pierluigu Pugliese has written a very interesting article on why he is finding the host paradigm useful in working with agile teams – more useful than the servant metaphor, indeed. Check it out at http://www.infoq.com/articles/host-leadership-agile.
Host author Mark McKergow is featured on the latest BNI podcast. In conversation with BNI founder Dr Ivan Misner, Mark talks about leading as a host and how it can help build flexibility and awareness at work by tapping into resources we already have, but hadn’t noticed.
Host author Dr Mark McKergow is the featured guest on the latest Sunday Assembly podcast, out today. For more information and to download the podcast go to
Or just search on ‘Sunday Assembly’ in iTunes podcasts.
Mark appeared as the special guest on Cutting Edge Consciousness with Barnet Bain and Freeman Michaels this week – talking about host leadership and human dignity. It’s a great show and a fun walk around how hosting can transform our understanding of leadership.
We have new videos on the Host Leadership community site! Mark talks about how William Shakespeare’s quote that ‘a good welcome can make good people’ is very relevant today, and he talks to Géry Derbier about how host leadership is a good fit for agile software development and project management.