Permission to Experiment with Appreciative Leadership

Permission to Experiment with Appreciative Leadership

Permission to Experiment with Appreciative Leadership

These resources are recommended by Center for Congregations staffer Doug Hanner. Hanner facilitated this workshop in November 2016. For more resources, contact the Center at 866-307-2381 or check out the Congregational Resource Guide at

Blanchard, Ken. Leading at a Higher Level, Revised and Expanded Edition: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2009.
Positive change leaders will find the whole book a great resource. Chapter 5 specifically of Leading at a Higher Level provides a great introduction to the concept of matching the right leadership style to the readiness of those being led. 

Cherney, Jay, Ron Fry, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, and Diana Whitney. Appreciative Team Building: Positive Questions to Bring Out the Best of Your Team. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2004.
This book is for those interested in fostering a sense of team among co-workers and volunteers. It is filled with questions, processes and suggestions for building a high performance team. The book is easily adaptable to the congregational setting, and pastoral leaders will find that utilizing even one of the questions in a team meeting can have transformative results.

Lindberg, Katie. “Doing Change Differently: An Appreciative Inquiry Approach.” Indianapolis, IN: Center for Congregations, 2014.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is based on two assumptions: something in the target area is working or it wouldn’t exist and whatever we focus on grows. This article provides an introduction to how AI works. It presents a compelling argument for focusing on and appreciating congregational strengths and positively reframing congregational issues that need to be addressed. 

Rader, Kay, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, and Diana Whitney. Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2010.
At the heart of Appreciative Leadership are five core strategies: inquiry, illumination, inclusion, inspiration and integrity. Pastoral leaders interested in exploring Appreciative Inquiry from a leadership perspective will find this a practical guide.

Shriver, Sam and Jim Duncan. Creating the Stage. Podcast Audio. The Center for Leadership Studies – The Global Home of Situational Leadership. MP3. 3 minutes 18 seconds. Accessed July 2015.
Giving permission to experiment or create a stage for one to exercise individual skills can be one of the most positive things a leader can do for a congregation. This three-minute podcast interview with Jim Duncan may inspire listeners to recognize and release the creativity of their teams. 

Whitney, Diana. Diana Whitney on Appreciative Leadership at NHPCO, 3/31/12. YouTube video. 1 hour 6 minutes. March 31, 2012. Accessed July 2015.
In this video, Dr. Diana Whitney gives the closing plenary titled “Appreciative Leadership: Building a Thriving Organization” at the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s 27th Management and Leadership Conference. Pick up at 4:10 into the session to skip the formalities of NHPCO’s conference.