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Book Preview: Stewardship by Peter Block


We run businesses in a patriarchal, colonial way, and there's a better way of doing things. This, from my early reading of this (2 chapters in), is the core tenet of Stewardship.


I wish I had started this book earlier. Published in 1993, it's been on my radar since 2009 when I took an intensive training workshop in The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter.


In the early chapters of this second edition, Peter Block looks at how the world has changed since the first publication. Corporations have become more powerful. Employees are more afraid of their bosses. Individualism is championed as the key to innovation and the answer to our greatest problems. Those are some of the negative ways the world has changed. There is good news, too. We are more environmentally aware than ever, which at least makes the topic of caring for our planet a normal thing to talk about.


I can feel that this will be a deeply challenging and affirming book. Challenging business-as-usual structures that appear so fixed that they're impossible to change, and affirming in that they bring awareness that change is possible.


What I'm looking forward to is the steps from here to there. This is the beauty of books. They can take us on a trip.


I was listening to this audiobook on my morning walk with my wife. My wife was powered along by a music soundtrack including the song "Gimme Hope Jo'anna". Listening to the lyrics, I think we were channeling the same vibe in our own way:


Well Jo'anna she runs a country

She runs in Durban and the Transvaal

She makes a few of her people happy oh

She don't care about the rest at all

She's got a system they call apartheid

It keeps a brother in subjection

But maybe pressure will make Jo'anna see

How everybody could live as one


I love that this song is radical, it asks for change, but it is not angry. Its goal is simple: "Everybody could live as one". This is so powerful.


More to come! Meanwhile, what's on your bookshelf? Please comment below or join me on Goodreads. Let's get smarter together.




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