American Leadership Forum Cornerstones
American Leadership Forum, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to joining and strengthening leaders for the public good, bases its program on the following "Cornerstones:"
- Building trust and networks among diverse leaders
- Motivating leaders to take responsibility and make a difference
- Strengthening capacities for community change
- Exploring the interconnectedness of communities, nations, and the world
- Exploring and enriching personal values
- Understanding and empowering self and others
- Exploring, understanding, and valuing diversity
- Inspiring leaders to a lifetime of active public engagement
Gregory B. Markus, professor of political science and senior research
scientist at the University of Michigan, has developed a resource list
of recommended readings for ALF's Cornerstones. Click the links above to access the reading lists for Cornerstones #2-7.
1. Building trust and networks among diverse leaders
Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. Francis Fukuyama. New York: Free Press. 1995. The core argument is that there are high trust and low trust societies and cultures. High trust societies tend to develop greater social capital, and consequently enjoy greater economic growth. Likewise, high trust groups and cultures accumulate greater social capital. Fukuyama sees social capital as the glue that holds the otherwise centrifugal structures of the market together.
Building Community. John W. Gardner. Washington, D.C.: Independent Sector. 1992.
The Web of Inclusion: A New Architecture for Building Great Organizations. Sally Helgesen. New York: Doubleday. 1995. Helgesen presents a vision of the postindustrial organization: the web of inclusion. Most organizations are still structured on a 19th century model: rigid, hierarchical, forcing workers into cookie-cutter roles; but the 21st century economy is fluid, technology-driven, based on creativity and relationships. For companies to thrive, they must build "organizations for everyone." Helgesen lays out her theory of a new style of management and profiles five organizations that exemplify it: Intel, the Miami Herald, Anixter Corp., Beth Israel Hospital, and Nickelodeon.
Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together. William Isaacs. New York: Currency. 1999. In this book, based on over ten years of research, William Isaacs, founder of the Dialogue Project at MIT, demonstrates that dialogue is more than just the exchange of words; it is the embrace of different points of view-literally, the art of thinking together. See also, Roberts, Paul. "The art of dialogue," Fast Company, Oct. 1999, p. 166.
"Ethical issues in community organization and community participation." Meredith Minkler, ed. Community Organizing and Community Building for Health. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. 1997.
The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace. M. Scott Peck. 1987. New York: Simon & Schuster.
"The prosperous community," Robert D. Putnam. The American Prospect. 13: 35-42. 1993.
"What makes democracy work?" Robert D. Putnam. National Civic Review, 82 (2), pp. 101-107. Communities do not enjoy a more vital civic life because they are more prosperous, they are more prosperous because they have a vital civic life. How do you make democracy work better? Start by strengthening the norms of trust, reciprocity, and civic engagement that are indispensable to collective existence. 1993.
The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation. Daniel Yankelovich. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1999. "In debate, parties assume they have the right answer and try to win by proving others wrong; in dialogue the assumption is that the truth lies on both sides and that the parties can forge a better resolution by working together towards understanding." - from a review by Daniel Goleman.