WAYS OF THE RELAY-RACERS: Essays on leaders, misleaders, and the culture-strong organization

WAYS OF THE RELAY-RACERS: Essays on leaders, misleaders, and the culture-strong organization



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If you are a leader you are a culture-creator, for some kind of culture—a strong or shaky one, an inspiring or discouraging one, a vivid or fuzzy one, a healthy or toxic one—will be created and perpetuated on your watch. The only question is whether you will be an accidental or intentional culture-creator, and what kind of culture "soil" you will set out to create.

In Ways of the Relay-Racers, Brian J. Lewis explores what it means to develop a “way” that is passed forward by a team of relay-racers. What does it mean to identify "urgencies" for an organization—to be a time-teller and time-keeper? Since even successful leaders can become misleaders, how do you build a culture-strong organization that avoids the traps of the absent leader, the idealized leader, the misleader, or the leader who operates from a leadership island? What does it mean to operate with moral imagination, and lead in the area of everyday ethics? And should an organization be damaged or laid low by the fire of leadership dysfunction (a not uncommon occurrence), how do you rebuild and reimagine?

We are shaped by the questions we pose (and by how we answer them). Ways of the Relay-Racers is an inquiry into the culture-strong organization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781732126411
Publisher: Cereus Partners Inc.
Publication date: 10/15/2018
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

In an eclectic career, Brian J. Lewis has advised global Fortune 500 firms, NGOs, domestic public policy organizations, and faith-based organizations alike on message, culture, and public identity issues. A skilled communicator, his work was featured in the 2010 anthology Our Souls at Work, a collection of counsel from enterprise leaders on the geography of faith and work. He lives with his wife, Barbara, in the Pacific Northwest.

Table of Contents



One. Culture Stories -- Fluid truth

Two. The Watcher and the Chicken FarmerIt’s all about the soil

Dominant traits / Who we honor – and why / Cultures that change

Three. In the Company of Relay-Racers --The art of baton-passing

Cultural certainties / What comes first /The well-chiseled baton / The art of the handoff / What is worthy of passing on

Four. The Good Guide and the Banks of the River -- Pilgrims on a way

The banks of the river / Guides on the way: the Yodas among us / Where have all the guides gone? / A Ph.D. in garbage-collecting

Five. The Melody We Hear -- Moral imagination and everyday ethics

Moral ambitions / Everyday ethics / Grey zones / A Ph.D. in garbage-collecting / Listening in stereo / Tenacity

Six. The Lobster in the Kettle -- How organizations lose their way

The absent king / The idealized king / The misleader / Leaders without peers, teams without conflict / The peril of Denethor / What the lobster knew

Seven. After the Fire -- Leaders who rebuild

Do I stay or do I go? / Acknowledge the fire / Surviving points of strength / Unlearn and dilute / Reimagine and repurpose

Eight. The Time-Keeper’s Question -- Urgencies of the hour

The first time-keepers / The time-tellers courage / We are here now

For Further Reflection

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