Relational Leading – Practices for Dialogically based Collaboration
by Lone Hersted and Kenneth J. Gergen
Taos Institute Publications, 2013
Price: $22.00 US plus shipping and handling
Paperback, 197 pages
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The focus of this book, Relational Leading, is on how the vitality and viability of the organization rely on communicative practices. In contemporary world conditions—where rapid flows of information, ambiguity, and risk prevail—relational process becomes pivotal. New practices of leadership are required, most significantly, skills in dialogue. After sketching the emergence of relational leading and key concepts in dialogue analysis, the book provides a rich range of practical dialogic challenges. The authors work with the reader in deliberating on “best practices,” thus sharpening the reader’s consciousness and preparing him or her for efficacy in relational leading.
Born in Denmark, Lone Hersted was initially educated in the field of theater, as an actress and a dramaturg. Later she became an organizational consultant and a specialist in leadership and organizational development. She is currently a lecturer and Ph.D fellow at the Institute of Learning and Philosophy at Aalborg University.
Ken Gergen began his career as a social psychologist at Harvard University. Currently he is Senior Research Professor at Swarthmore College, and serves as the President of the Taos Institute. His major works include An Invitation to Social Construction, the Saturated Self, and Relational Being.
Enjoy these two videos introducing the book Relational Leading: Practices for Dialogically Based Collaboration:
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"Hersted and Gergen have written a book that we need now more than ever. With all the literature on the qualities of strong leaders including recent interest in mindful leaders, we have fallen prey to a limited view of leadership as an individual character trait or skill. Focusing instead on collaborative practices and coordinated meaning, Relational Leading is a game changer. When we realize that the art of leadership is the art of dialogue as Hersted and Gergen illustrate here, we will have re-discovered fire."
— Frank J. Barrett, Author of Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz Improvisation, Harvard Business Review Press, 2012
"The authors begin with a simple yet profound idea, that organizational life takes place in conversations! As this idea unfolds, a new landscape of opportunities opens to view. This landscape challenges our taken for granted assumptions about leadership and organizational life, and focuses instead on the power of collaborative practices.The book offers intriguing down-to-earth guidance for leaders, and will serve as an integral part of leadership training for the organizational challenges of the 21st century."
— Jacob Storch, PhD, Director of Ramboll Mangement Consulting: ATTRACTOR
"Leaders, and the followers and peers with whom they participate in the creation of leadership, will benefit from this book that may challenge many of their foundational assumptions. It is a splendid contribution to the continuing construction of the relational way of understanding leadership."
— Bill Drath, author of The Deep Blue Sea: Rethinking the Source of Leadership