General Archive

It’s Midsummer! Good time for a Finnish hosting poem

finlandJenny 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.)

Mindfulness: The making of post-heroic leaders

colorful-round-mandalaOur 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

Great feedback from our first in-house event!

tearfundHelen and I were invited by Tearfund to do an in-house workshop on Host Leadership at the end of 2013.  Tearfund is a Christian development agency, passionate about ending poverty.  We went down to their base in Teddingon and had a fantastic day exploring what it means to lead through hosting, our new six roles for a host leader and other new developments (more soon).

The feedback was very good indeed on the day.  Afterwards, I recieved an email from one of the participants, a Campaigns Officer, who wrote:

“Thank you for leading such a brilliant, inspiring, thought provoking and deeply practical day yesterday. I loved it and it resonated so much with both my working and non working journey and stage of life. Just Brilliant.

I found it both amusing and fascinating that yesterday’s Thought for the Day was on the very theme we were exploring!  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01mflzq ”

The Thought for the Day is well worth a look!  We will be offering more workshops next year, so please sign up here for information and also join the Host Leadership Community for lots of discussions and new book chapters coming soon!

Metaphors for ‘leadership’ – from the World Open Space on Open Space

A couple of weeks ago I joined in with the World Open Space on Open Space (WOSonOS) 2012 here in London.  People came from all over the world to Stoke Newington Town Hall in North London for three days of Open Space activity – about using Open Space.  Open Space originator Harrison Owen was there, and it was excellent to meet him again over 15 years since I first came across him and Open Space. Continue reading