The power of inviting – getting an authentic Yes

One of the key aspects of Leader as Host is the power of invitations. Whereas Hero leaders might instruct, and others might request, a Host leader will use the power of a compelling invitation to engage people. I have been thinking for a while about what makes a great invitation. Of course we need to know what we’re being invited to – both at the conceptual and practical level.

What kind of thing is this? What will be happening? What might be expected of us? And when/where? All these things are important. And one more thing, even more important… it has to be OK to say No. In order for an invitation to be really an invitation, it has to be totally OK and acceptable for the invitee to refuse. It’s the open space of genuine choice that allows an authentic Yes to emerge – with the full force and power of personal choice, acceptance and commitment. For those of us working in organisations, it will be interesting to see how the ‘soft’ power of inviting can work alongside the other dimensions of leadership.

One thought on “The power of inviting – getting an authentic Yes

  1. Arthur Battram

    good stuff, Mark

    refusable invites, hmmm.

    I knew that,tacitly, and since I got into complexity, overtly.

    I knew it, and operated it, from working with children as a playworker. years later the field invented the Playwork principles

    it is a stupid cliche to say ‘everything I needed to know I learnt in kindergarden’

    but there is some real truth in my personal saying: ‘I learnt how to work emergently with groups of people from my playwork’. Years later complexity theory helped me understand why.


    [wanders off stage left, stroking chin…]

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