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A Place for T cover

  • Keywords
    • Tortoise and Hare,
    • front porch philosophy,
    • broader conversation,
    • dialogue,
    • innovation,
    • danger of technology,
    • people connections,
    • culture of dialogue

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A Place for T
Giving Voice to the Tortoise in Our Hare-Brained World
by Robert H. Lengel

Dr. Lengel offers a thought provoking twist on Aesop’s Hare-Tortoise fable reframing it as a Human Race pitting our Hare-brained heads against our Tortoise-inspired hearts. As we run faster and faster in our Hare-like pursuits of wealth, power and status, we are leaving no place for the slow and steady Tortoise to speak for our humanity. As a result, the author poses the possibility we are creating a world with our intellects and technology that we can’t relate to emotionally and spiritually. We might be outrunning our humanity and setting the stage for the Hare to win this human race by default. Our inability to engage each other in civil and respectful conversations, the hate and violence infecting our culture and leadership failures in organizations might be evidence this sinister end is fast approaching. This book is a hard hitting and at times poetic invitation to step back from our busy lives, sit with the author on his front porch, and question our lives and work. It is an inspirational reminder of Mahatma Gandhi’s warning that “there is more to life than simply increasing its speed.” In a conversational format, Dr. Lengel guides us down a hopeful path forward – a path illuminated by what he calls divergent thinking. His words are a ‘siren call’ to wake up and realize we can’t afford Hare- brained progress at the cost of our souls. We need A Place for T in our lives ‘now’, to account for the unaccountable while we still have time!

“Beneath the world’s current ailments is an unconscious war between economic bottom lines and our humanity. This book is a powerful and timely “peace offering” that is creative, practical and precise.” Peter Bromley — CEO, Clearlight Evolution “This book reminds us we need to be ‘more’ as human beings in a world that constantly rewards us for being ‘less’.  What a refreshing and hopeful read -  it is time to step back from the ‘human race’, remember who we want to be, and imagine a better future.”     Jeff Zwiebel, retired school district superintendent

Robert H. Lengel photo

Dr. Robert H. Lengel holds a BS and MS in aerospace engineering, an MBA, and a PhD that blended oceanography, environmental management, leadership and organizational dynamics in business. His career began designing jet and rocket propulsion systems, and meandered through fluid computer design and industrial sales, a stint on Wall Street, time in an environmental think tank, academics, consulting and now writing. In his 32-year tenure in the College of Business at UTSA, he founded and directed the Center for Professional Excellence and the UTSA Executive MBA (EMBA) program. The Center served as what he calls a ‘front porch’ where academics and executives could engage in dialogue to align their research and practice interests for their mutual benefit. His research work in developing the concept of ‘media richness’ has been referenced over 10,000 times in scientific and practice journals. Building on this research and his eclectic background, he has been a pioneer in blending the first-person languages of the arts and humanities with the third-person languages of the sciences and engineering to deepen our understanding of leadership and communication theory and practice. Over the years, he has worked with thought leaders as varied as management gurus Stephen Covey (author of 7 Habit of Highly Successful People) and Tom Peters (author of In Search of Excellence), poet David Whyte, pianist Michael Jones, and actor Richard Olivier (Lawrence Olivier’s son). The EMBA that he led for 18 years was a creative approach to combining the technical aspects of business with the human aspects of living a meaningful life. He is the co-author with Dick Daft of “Fusion Leadership: Unlocking the Subtle Forces that Change People and Organizations ” (Berrett Koehler 1997) and author of “The Front Porch Revolution: Reclaiming the Time and Space to Slow Down, Talk to Each Other, and Lead in an Over-Managed World” (Friesen Publishing 2018). Currently Dr. Lengel is Associate Professor emeritus at the University of Texas at San Antonio and president of his consulting firm LeaderWork Inc. He lives in San Antonio with his wife of 51 years, Sandy. When not writing or working with clients, he can be found on the tennis court enjoying a sport he has loved since childhood.


Robert H. Lengel
Cindy M. Teske
Linda Curtis

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