Saturday, October 1, 2016

What Would Grace Enable Our Board to Be?

Oh, my.
If it’s been a while since you’ve read Max De Pree’s powerful book (excuse the pun), Leading Without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community, maybe this is the nudge you need.

De Pree was chairman and CEO of Herman Miller, Inc. (the office furniture manufacturer) and served many years as board chair of Fuller Seminary (check out the Max De Pree Center for Leadership).

In his chapter on the importance of measurements (worth the price of the book!), he seemingly exits the outcomes highway for a profound detour into grace. He writes: 

“I once posed the following question to a senior vice president of sales and marketing during a performance review:
‘What would grace enable us to be?’

A strange question in a profit-making organization, but I repeated it to the five people for whom I was accountable.  The man to whom I first put the question responded with a four-page essay on what grace could enable a corporation in the capitalist system to be.  It was an astonishing response.  I couldn’t measure it, but it gave us such a foundation for a future, such a wonderful forum in which to discuss potential.”

I hope De Pree’s insights will whet your appetite to read this masterpiece.  De Pree adds, “It’s so easy to fall into the trap of measuring only what’s easy to measure.”  Then he suggests you measure the “tone of the body” in your organization. Not easy—but he gives you clues on how to do it, like gauging a team’s sense of urgency.  Good stuff!

And speaking of grace, check out this perfect companion book with a unique look at grace. Read The Cure: What If God Isn’t Who You Think He Is and Neither Are You, by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall.

QUESTION: What would grace enable our board to be?

1 comment:

  1. Grace is a powerful concepts.
    After a couple decades of positive psychology research, grace remains neglected.
    As a psychologist, I have engaged in efforts to study grace. Our work shows five dimensions: God's grace, costly grace (someone pays, but not me when I receive grace), grace to self, grace from others, and grace to others.
    It seems like there is much more we can learn. But grace is difficulty to measure and it will take persistent effort.
    Rodger Bufford