You are previewing Reading the Room: Group Dynamics for Coaches and Leaders.
O'Reilly logo
Reading the Room: Group Dynamics for Coaches and Leaders

Book Description

Praise for Reading the Room

"If you believe, as I do, that tackling our toughest problems in organizations and societies will require significant advances in the human domain of how we think and interact, then you will find this book a wonderful resource for a healthier future."—Peter Senge, senior lecturer, leadership and sustainability, MIT Sloan School of Management; and founding chair, Society for Organizational Learning (SoL)

"A must-read for anyone truly interested in gaining access to and managing their own actions/behavior as well as all those we work with, live with, and interact with. It will shift the way you, others, and the world occur for you."—Michael C. Jensen, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, emeritus, Harvard Business School

"David Kantor is one of the very few master innovators and theorists in organizational leadership. In this combined story and practice guide, Kantor helps leaders see the hidden dynamics of the groups they lead, and the personal and social factors that shape their relationships with those groups." —Art Kleiner, editor in chief, strategy+business

"Kantor addresses the fundamental issue that leaders are surprisingly inept in conversation and in managing groups. Leaders and managers at all levels should be learning these concepts in order to improve their own ability to analyze what is going on and react appropriately."—Edgar H. Schein, professor emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management; and author, Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help

"An exceptional book in the true sense of the word. It stands alone in its grasp of what it takes to succeed as a leader. It's not simply about mastering the five forces, milking cash cows, accelerating experience curves, or even spurring disruptive innovation. It's about reading the room. Leaders who gain mastery of what David Kantor has to teach in this book will achieve true success, not just as leaders, but as people." —Diana M. Smith, chief executive partner, New Profit Inc.; and author, The Elephant in the Room: How Relationships Make or Break the Success of Leaders and Organizations

"There are only a few wise masters in the world when it comes to any real understanding of leader-ship, and even fewer who share their secrets. David Kantor is one of them, and in Reading the Room we have brilliantly laid out before us both a unique lens and a highly practical method that will change for good the way you lead, and more, the way you think. Not to be missed!" —William Isaacs, author, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together; and senior lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. APPLE NAME: 4-PLAYER MODEL
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. Dedication
  6. PREFACE: GETTING TO THE MODEL
    1. STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS: EVOLUTION IN THREE CONTEXTS
    2. EIGHT YEARS AT MONITOR GROUP
    3. WHERE FROM HERE?
  7. Chapter ONE: Reading the Room
    1. A CEO CHANGES JOBS
    2. STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS: A LENS ON THE NATURE OF HUMAN DISCOURSE
    3. THE BASIC CHALLENGE OF ALL CONVERSATION
    4. LEADERS AND COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCY
    5. REAL LIVES AND REAL LIFE STORIES
    6. THE COACHING PERSPECTIVE
    7. HOW THIS BOOK WILL WORK
  8. PART ONE: A Complete Language for Understanding Leader Behavior
    1. Chapter TWO: Level I: Action Stances
      1. FOUR ACTION STANCES
      2. ART’S UNEXPECTED OUTBURST AT CLEARFACTS
      3. BEHAVIORAL TENDENCIES AT LEVEL I
      4. ACTION STRUCTURES, ACTION SEQUENCES, AND STRUCTURAL PATTERNS
      5. BYSTANDING TO READ THE ROOM
      6. GHOSTS AND OUTBURSTS AT CLEARFACTS
    2. Chapter THREE: Level II: Domains of Communication
      1. THE LATEST CLEARFACTS WEEKLY MEETING
      2. THE DOMAIN OF AFFECT
      3. THE DOMAIN OF POWER
      4. THE DOMAIN OF MEANING
      5. THE VALUE OF ALL THREE DOMAINS
      6. STANCES AND DOMAINS ACROSS THE CLEARFACTS TEAM
      7. PROPENSITIES TOWARD DIFFERENT DOMAINS
      8. COMMUNICATION AT THE INTERFACE
      9. AN INSIGHT INTO IAN’S CHOICE OF DOMAINS
      10. SURPRISE AT THE MEETING’S END
      11. RON STUART: NEW HELP FOR RALPH?
      12. WHERE COACHES CAN GET STUCK
    3. Chapter FOUR: Level III: Systems in Control of Speech
      1. RALPH’S BOMB
      2. NOT JUST A BAD MEETING: A SYSTEM OUT OF CONTROL
      3. LEVEL III: OPERATING SYSTEMS
      4. THE OPEN OPERATING SYSTEM
      5. THE CLOSED OPERATING SYSTEM
      6. THE RANDOM OPERATING SYSTEM
      7. RALPH’S RANDOM-SYSTEM PREFERENCE AT CLEARFACTS
      8. AS FOR RON . . .
      9. HOW LEADERS BENEFIT FROM SYSTEMS THINKING
    4. Chapter FIVE: The Behavioral Profile
      1. A CLEARFACTS MEETING IN RALPH’S ABSENCE
      2. A FUNCTIONAL TEAM IN A LOW-STAKES CONTEXT
      3. THE VALUE OF BEHAVIORAL PROFILES
  9. PART TWO: Identity and Leader Behavior in High Stakes
    1. Chapter SIX: Level IV: Stories, Identity, and Structured Behavior
      1. IDENTITY IS LINKED TO LOVE
      2. PERSONAL STORIES AND COACHING
      3. STORIES
      4. STORIES BEHIND A BEHAVIORAL PROFILE
      5. TWO CHILDHOOD STORIES (PERSONAL MYTHS) OF LOVE
      6. MARTHA AND LANCE—THE RITUAL FIGHT
      7. A CHILDHOOD STORY’S NARRATIVE STRUCTURE
      8. SHADOWS
      9. RON’S STORY AND SHADOW
    2. Chapter SEVEN: Narrative Purpose
      1. ASPECTS OF NARRATIVE PURPOSE
      2. PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF NARRATIVE PURPOSE
      3. HOW TO BUILD AND SECURE A NARRATIVE PURPOSE
      4. RALPH’S AND CLEARFACTS’S NARRATIVE PURPOSE
    3. Chapter EIGHT: Leader Behavior in High-Stakes Situations
      1. MARTHA’S ERUPTION
      2. VOICES, THEMES, AND TRIGGERS
      3. FROM HIGH-STAKES BEHAVIORS TO SYSTEMS IN CRISIS
      4. ANOTHER DONNYBROOK BETWEEN MARTHA AND HOWARD
    4. Chapter NINE: The Heroic Leader in Crisis
      1. THE CRISIS MOUNTS AT CLEARFACTS
      2. ENEMY AND “OTHER”
      3. POSTURES OF MORAL JUSTICE: PROSECUTOR, ADJUDICATOR, ADVOCATE
      4. HEROIC MODES OF LEADERS IN CRISIS: FIXER, SURVIVOR, PROTECTOR
      5. THE FIXER
      6. THE SURVIVOR
      7. THE PROTECTOR
      8. HEROIC SQUARE-OFFS IN TIMES OF CRISIS
      9. SHADOW WORK AND WHY IT’S NEEDED
    5. Chapter TEN: Sources and Signs of Moral Corruption in Leaders
      1. SONIA WATERMAN CALLS A SHOT
      2. MORAL CHALLENGES AND MEANS OF CORRECTION
      3. AN HOURGLASS OF MORAL CORRUPTORS
      4. COMPREHENDING THE FRAUDSTER: SOME INSIGHTS INTO HOWARD GREEN
      5. THE LITTLE WE KNOW
      6. GOOD MODELS THAT GO BAD
      7. SUMMING UP AT CLEARFACTS
  10. PART THREE: Models and the Ultimate Leader
    1. Chapter ELEVEN: From Personal Model to Leadership Model
      1. RALPH’S PERSONAL MODEL AND CURRENT FUNCTIONAL AWARENESS
      2. ONWARD
    2. Chapter TWELVE: Building a Leadership Model
      1. AN OVERVIEW
      2. MODEL BUILDING AND THE MODEL OF MODELS
      3. FINDING RALPH “ON THE GROUND”
      4. ART’S DEPARTURE AND A NEW APPROACH TO HIRING FOR THE TEAM
      5. RALPH BUILDS HIS LEADERSHIP MODEL
      6. THE ESSENTIAL MESSAGE FOR LEADERS
    3. Chapter THIRTEEN: A Model for Living
      1. THE MODEL FOR LIVING
      2. MODELS FOR LIVING AND THE BREAKDOWN-BREAKTHROUGH STORY
      3. BUILDING A MODEL FOR LIVING
      4. RALPH, SONIA, AND A LIFE WORTH LIVING
    4. Chapter FOURTEEN: Beyond the Behavioral Profile
      1. MUST WE REALLY?
      2. RAISING THE BAR: TWENTY LEADER CAPACITIES
      3. THE CLEARFACTS TEAM: INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES AND CONTRIBUTIONS
    5. Chapter FIFTEEN: A Structural Dynamics Analysis of Barack Obama
      1. OBAMA’S BEHAVIORAL PROFILE
      2. OBAMA’S FORMATIVE STORIES
      3. OBAMA’S IDENTITY QUEST
      4. OBAMA’S HIGH-STAKES TENDENCIES
    6. AFTERWORD: WHERE STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS GOES FROM HERE
  11. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  12. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  13. Index