Category Archives: leadership

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Creating a group culture

authenticity, John's events, John's reflections, leadership, Leadership training, Leading by autobiography 1 Comment

This week, I am teaching a two day seminar to MBA students in Grenoble. As I am working far less in business schools now than in previous years, coming here got me thinking again about how I like to run my classroom and interact with students. Almost exactly one year ago, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD.org) invited me to speak at their 2013 MBA conference, on the subject of “creating positive group dynamics” in an MBA classroom. At that time, one of the first words that came to my mind was culture. In all the varied situations where I work, be it in business, in teaching or elsewhere, I always try … Continue reading

Reflecting on boredom

authenticity, leadership, Leadership in the news, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling Leave a comment

A funny thing happened to me this week on a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam. We were all set to go, the cabin door had been closed, all electronic devices were turned off for takeoff, and then the captain announced a “small technical delay” of 15-20 minutes. Perhaps because of considerable prior experience with such events, I tend to get a bit concerned that one delay might lead to another, and that each one will take a bit more time than anticipated.    In this particular case, our 30 minute wait for the technical repair engendered the need to de-ice the aircraft a second time. We waited for the de-icing … Continue reading

Reflections on talent and character

leadership, Leadership in the news, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling 1 Comment

  Sometimes, when I go on a speaking tour, I can get a bit tired from talking and doing interviews all day. Since the hotels where I stay often have television from around the world, and since I rarely watch television at home, at times I simply relax in the evening by flipping through the stations, finding interesting stories and listening to the different languages.  One such evening last November, I came across a French news channel that was playing a conversation between a reporter and former national soccer team star Marcel Desailly. To explain something of the context of the interview, the French national team was in crisis, struggling … Continue reading

The pope’s remarkable stories of inclusion continue, as he takes the church to the streets

John's events, leadership, Leadership in the news, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling 1 Comment

  One of the themes of my coaching of leaders and in my seminars for the past 15 years has been the importance of telling stories of collective identity. These are the “stories of us” that define our group, by explaining who we are, what we stand for, how we see the future, and what we can accomplish together. A shared narrative can be a powerful force that clarifies a group’s culture, inspiring members by providing a sense of meaning and direction. Beyond inspiration, though, these stories of who we are and where we are going have the most impact when they become veritable stories of co-creation. In my best … Continue reading

The remarkable stories of inclusion continue

authenticity, leadership, Leadership in the news, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling Leave a comment

Again this week, I caught myself thinking that I was writing a bit too much about Pope Francis and that I should move on to some other topics, several of which have been floating around in my head, waiting patiently for their turn. It seems that each week, though, or even each day, this pope does something to surprise us, and it is often an event or announcement so noteworthy that I am again compelled to discuss it on this blog. It is reassuring to see that I am not the only one “obsessed” with the stories of change within the Catholic Church, and with the man who is driving … Continue reading

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