Issue No. 81 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting dips into the Hoopla! Bucket and a self-styled contrarian book from the president of USC. One noted reviewer called it “an intoxicating read, a bushwhacker’s delight!” And this reminder: to review the 80 books I’ve recommended in back issues, visit the archives here. Plus, take a sneak peek at my new Management Buckets website—ready for the public in April.
You Are What You Read
You have two options for learning about USC President Steven Sample’s “contrarian’s guide to leadership.” Option #1: Join 40 juniors and seniors at the University of Southern California for Sample’s popular spring course, “The Art and Adventure of Leadership,” co-taught by Warren Bennis, global leadership guru and author. You’ll study 20 historical and contemporary leaders, read 1,000 pages on leadership, interact in class with a dozen guest leaders, write a dozen four-page papers, and participate in a group project.
Option #2: Order this book from Amazon by clicking on this title: The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership. Sample writes in Chapter 4 that “you are what you read.” His contrarian approach to reading is unique. He reads 30 minutes a day along a “left to right” spectrum of newspapers, trade journals, new books and supertexts (The Bible, Plato’s Republic, Machiavelli’s The Prince, etc.). But…he rarely reads what others are reading. The short list of supertexts that have endured at least 400 years attract him the most. He engages his team in conversations about what they’re reading. Before buying a book, he prefers a five-minute conversation with someone who has already read it.
Addicted to newspapers, he once went six months without reading one—but stayed current through the art of listening. This chapter is worth the price of the book. It’s contrarian and refreshing. It changed my thinking. How often does a book do that for you? To order from Amazon, click below:
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1. What’s your philosophy of reading? Do leaders and managers read more than everyone else—or just read the right things?
2. Sample says that for the contrarian leader, most truly original ideas will often come from outside his or her established field. Do you agree? Why?
Bucket #10 of 20: The Hoopla! Bucket - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
Over a 20-week period, I’m featuring one of the 20 buckets (core competencies) from my forthcoming book, Mastering the Management Buckets (pre-order now for April delivery), in each issue. Ken Behr, president of ECFA, says that the book “…is both a great idea-generating tool and ready reference guide for the nonprofit manager. It’s a book I’ll definitely keep in my library.” Here’s the core competency in Bucket #10: The Hoopla! Bucket:
“We harness the power of hoopla! for celebration, recreation, intentional food and fellowship gatherings, and just plain fun. We thrive on knock-your-socks-off spontaneity. We believe hoopla! honors God. We budget funds for hoopla! to mitigate workplace stress and most importantly, to show our team members how much they are loved and appreciated!”
You won’t find “Hoopla! 101” listed in any business school curricula, nor a chapter devoted to the subject in the standard management textbooks. So what’s all the fuss about hoopla! and why are more and more companies, nonprofit ministries and churches taking fun so seriously?
In his book, Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job, Dennis Bakke writes, “We have made the workplace a frustrating and joyless place where people do what they’re told and have few ways to participate in decisions or fully use their talents.” Bakke is waging a war on CEOs, senior pastors and managers who keep all the fun (that is, decision-making) to themselves. His Top 10 Water Cooler Wisdom rules summarize his radical—but distinctively Christian—beliefs about the transformational changes needed between the hours of nine and five.
When Dennis Bakke reads the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, he actually believes there’s a message for us. “Enter into the master’s joy,” (Matt. 25:23, KJV) means just that: God expects there to be joy at work. Bakke’s aspirations for the workplace come through loud and clear in Rule #3 of his Water Cooler Wisdom Top 10: “Attempt to create the most fun workplace in the history of the world.” Download all ten posters at the Joy at Work website—and be sure to read the Hoopla! Bucket chapter in my book when it comes out next month.