Announcement Archive

NEW online Host Leadership video course with Mark McKergow

We’re very excited to announce the launch of this new online learning opportunity!

You can learn about Host Leadership and how to use it with your own team, organisation or community right now with Ideas For Leaders new online Host Leadership course.

In this accessible and engaging video-based course, Host co-author Dr Mark McKergow takes us through the background to the metaphor and model of Host Leadership, and a deeper dive into the useful and innovative Six Roles and Four Positions of a host leader.

There are eight modules, each consisting of three 5-7 minute video sections. The videos contain specially created animations and graphics to help you learn, remember and apply the ideas of Host Leadership. Mark also presents some short activities for you to do to relate the ideas to your own situation. There are also further reading suggestions, links and ways to continue your development after the course.

Use code HL-LAUNCHMONTH20 to get 20% off the course until the end of November 2022.

See more information, watch Mark talk about the course, see an excerpt from one of the modules and register at:

“In Mark’s new course, he becomes the guide by your side while you’re exploring Host Leadership. I thoroughly enjoyed how he combined a sociable, motivating tone with precise wording, and luckily, his reflective questions exercises about my own practice stopped any possibility of thinking ‘I’ve-already-been-there-done-that’ dead in its tracks.”

Rolf F Katzenberger, facilitator and team coach, Pragmatic Teams

“Mark McKergow pioneered the concept of “Host Leadership”. This course is a welcome and needed enhancement to the subject. Whether you have read his book and want to embed the ideas in yourself and your organisation, or you want to dive straight into this intuitive yet (for some) elusive concept, this course is an excellent option to choose. Not only does Mark bring expertise in the subject area, he is also a skilled, good humoured and experienced communicator and trainer. I strongly recommend the course – understanding how to be a host leader will give you added impact in both personal and professional settings.”

Richard Lucas, Founder TEDx Kazimierz 

Host Leadership course logo

NEW Intro to Host Leadership in Developing Leaders Quarterly – free download

A new introduction to Host Leadership by Mark McKergow has just been featured in the prestigious Developing Leaders Quarterly magazine. The piece appears alongside articles showing the work of top leadership academics and business schools.

The article is a very good way to introduce colleagues and clients to the ideas of Host Leadership, in a short and attractively designed document. You can see the article in the online version of the magazine here, or click here to download the PDF. And please add comments and reactions below!

You can now Follow The Blog by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button at the upper right hand side of every page on this site. This will give you an email update whenever there is new context in the Blog or News sections. It’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest news of Host Leadership, other post-heroic leadership movements and interesting events around the world.

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 ( 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
  • 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! 

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 and was very good with 5.56 ammo, he also reached the ranks 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.