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The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable

Robert H. Thompson

Retail Price: $22.95
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Format: Hardcover, 208pp.
ISBN: 9780470189825
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: March 21, 2008

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

The Offsite

"She'd seen it before. The new guy pushes the incumbent hard for a few months, creates problems, and then brings in someone from his old company to replace the failure. Was he there to test her and teach her, or to toss her out at the first sign of trouble?"—from The Offsite

Drawing on the leadership theories from the best-selling classic, The Leadership Challenge, Robert Thompson effortlessly incorporates Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner's time-tested concepts into a winning fable of leadership and growth. This dramatic tale of transition centers on a three-day meeting of two former rival pharmaceutical companies taking the first step towards creating a joint sales strategy. Told through the perspective of participants from both camps, they come to rely on The Five Practices that form the heart of The Leadership Challenge:
  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Encourage the Heart
Exploring the dynamics of a company offsite with humor and insight, Thompson addresses the fears and concerns many participants have, especially around 360-degree feedback, the key component of The Leadership Challenge® model and workshops.

An invaluable book for anyone planning to attend (or produce) a leadership training retreat, The Offsite also provides a succinct introduction to The Leadership Challenge for professionals, at all levels, who want to hone their leadership skills.


"The Leadership Challenge is one of my all-time favorite books. The Offsite goes one step further by showing how great ideas can be put into practice. We can all lead from the heart. The Offsite shows how— it's a wonderful book!"
—Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There

"Robert Thompson has written a gem. Reading this work you are a voyeur at the best 'offsite' you've ever attended, yet he allows us to experience the true essence of leadership without ever leaving home. If you are interested in the practice of leadership rather than just theory, then you'll use every word you read here."
—Terry Pearce, author, Leading Out Loud and founder/president, Leadership Communication and Forum on Cross-Cultural Inspiration

"Robert Thompson brings a fresh, provocative voice to the leadership discussion. The Offsite is a fabulous debut, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment of Mr. Thompson's 'thought grenades.' Read The Offsite before your next offsite and prepare to emerge with a whole new level of passion and commitment."
—Steve Farber, president, Extreme Leadership, Inc. and author, The Radical Leap and The Radical Edge

"Robert Thompson nailed it! Entertaining and on point, this compelling story unpacks the groundbreaking Kouzes/Posner model in an inspiring tale that will make you laugh, cry, and understand that leadership is a choice, not a position. Read this book and be prepared to make a mark in the world!"
—Drs. Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, coauthors, BOOM! 7 Choices for Blowing the Doors off Business-as-Usual and NUTS! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

"The Offsite is an engaging, well-written fable that will enable anyone to experience what's involved in making the difficult transition from manager to leader."
—Stephen Denning, author, The Secret Language of Leadership

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About the Author

The author, Robert Thompson, is a sought-after speaker, workshop leader, and executive coach. He is the founder of Applied Performance, a leadership and personal communication services company for entry-level through chief executive officers. Through his work with the Tom Peters Company, Thompson immersed himself in the study and practical application of leadership and is a founding Master Facilitator for the highly acclaimed The Leadership Challenge® Workshop.

Table of Contents

Foreword by James M. Kouzesvii
Part One: Arrivals1
1The Revolution Begins3
2I'm Perfect; You're Perfect7
3The Lone Stranger21
4The Games Begin27
Part Two: Connections33
5Yoda is My Gardner35
6Light My Fire41
7Suck or Succeed47
8Pyramids Amid Denial55
Part Three: Sessions63
9It's No Secret65
10A Grenade for Your Thoughts77
11The Perfect Fall91
12Practice Makes Perfect97
13Burn Baby Burn105
14To Dream, Perhaps115
15Our Never-Ending Story123
16A Rope; A Hope131
17Fire Away!141
18The Brainstory147
19Embrace the Struggle155
20What's Real Matters!163
Part Four: Separate Ways171
21Success Is Assured173
22The Perfect Choice177
Acknowledgements (Gratitude)181
The Author185

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