Category Archives: leadership

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Making any experience transformational

John's reflections, leadership, Leadership training Leave a comment

In March 2013, when I was preparing to speak at EFMD’s annual MBA conference about “creating a positive group dynamic” in an MBA classroom, I first thought of the word culture. As I noted in a previous post, in today’s world we must do something in all our learning environments that goes far beyond the mere transfer of knowledge. Certainly, co-creating a culture with the members of the group is a powerful element that can help take us “beyond”. My reflection about creating a positive dynamic in the classroom then led me to think in terms of any group, and in particular about the notion of transformation. Years ago, as a student … Continue reading

Group culture in a classroom: doing things differently

John's reflections, leadership, Leadership training Leave a comment

When I first read Phil Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops in 1996, I was struck by his descriptions of the Chicago Bulls and what I have come to call their “culture of difference”. Of course, they were elite athletes playing basketball at a world-class level, but so were many of the other teams in the NBA. The Bulls  felt that they were different from other teams, that they were breaking new ground and setting new standards for the way the game could be played. The Bulls were playing the game unselfishly, with deep respect for each other, and perhaps most importantly, with their “heads in the game” at all times. It sounds obvious that … Continue reading

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 ( 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

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