- 264 pages
- Black & White
- 7.0 x 10.0 inches
- Business & Economics, Human Resources & Personnel Management
- Business & Economics, Business Communication, Meetings & Presentations
- Business & Economics, Business Communication
Leadership, Communication, Corporate development, Organizational culture, Project management, Effective meetings, Change management
The Front Porch Revolution
Reclaiming the Time and Space to Slow Down, Talk to Each Other and Lead in an Over-Managed World
Robert H. Lengel
A piece of music is more than the sum and sequence of its notes. The spaces between the notes, the rests or silences, are just as essential. Without those spaces, the notes do not properly relate to each other and even the most profound composition degrades into mere noise. Front porches metaphorically represent those rest-spaces in our lives and they are vanishing. Without them we are denying ourselves access to our music and possibility – and the evidence is clear at all levels of interaction.
The social and political discourse in this country has, of late, eroded into noise and acrimony, dialogue having been abandoned for weaponized partisan monologues. Diatribes and rhetoric are gleefully accelerated like charged particles online, and on competing TV news and talk radio shows. In fact, this dynamic is experienced in meetings of any scale where diverse perspectives clash around topics we care about. But ask yourself, what is being accomplished beyond gridlock, frayed relationships and destructive polarization. We need to meet in new ways.
The Front Porch Revolution is about the need to reassert true conversation and dialogue and reaffirm an earnest commitment to genuine communication. If anything is to be accomplished (and there is much that needs to be accomplished) we must be able to hear ourselves think and be present with our personal stories that give context to that thinking. This is more likely to happen on front porches than on the floor of Congress, in board rooms, in classrooms or on Facebook or Twitter. Viewing the world from the front porch invites a new way of thinking about our communication challenges, leadership and what we have become in the absence of front porches.
Based on decades of research and first-hand experience at the Center for Professional Excellence at the University of Texas at San Antonio, The Front Porch Revolution maps out a lucid thoughtful and hopeful path forward to possibility.
Robert H. Lengel was a tenured associate professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio when he founded the Center for Professional Excellence (CPE) in 1987. His groundbreaking work at the CPE in the decades that followed has informed the writing of this book. In 1998, he co-authored Fusion Leadership: Unlocking the Subtle Forces That Change People and Organizations with Richard L. Daft. Today, after retiring from university life, Dr. Lengel continues
to work with individuals and organizations through LeaderWork Inc, a company he founded to develop capacities necessary to accomplish what he calls “leader work”. He lives in San Antonio with his wife Sandy – though even after forty years thinks of Pennsylvania and New England as home.
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