Influences & Acknowledgements


We express our gratitude to these amazing people who accepted our invitation to review the manuscript and help get it ready for publication. This book would not be what it is without their participation: Michelle Holliday, Doug Marteinson, Salah Elliethy, Deb Pontes, Jon Jorgensen, Marai Kiele, Kert Peterson, Nicole Coyle, Todd Kromann, Diana Williams, Joe DeAngelis, Greg Wright, Niels Pflaeging, Miriam Sasse, Stacia Heimgartner, Deirdre Gruendler, Caitlin Walker, Andrea Chiou, Astrid Claessen, Harold Shinsato, and Yannick Grenzinger.


We also thank some equally amazing people who have contributed in other ways.

Mike Burrows and Darren Terrell, for encouraging employee engagement in organizations and for encouraging Inviting Leaders worldwide.

Bob Galen, for inviting us into conference events, and actively promoting the Inviting Leadership ideas inside the Agile industry. Doug Kirkpatrick, for his pioneering work with the Self Management Institute and his pioneering books and writings onthe topic of self-management.
Micheal Sahota, for being first with “Leaders Go First.”

Our wives, Roberta Mezick and Gail Sheffield, for allowing the book to happen.

Authorizing Contributors

These three authors graciously granted permission for us to include their essays in the Appendices. We are grateful for their willingness to do so.

Zachary Gabriel Green and René J Molenkamp – “The BART System of Group and Organizational Analysis: Boundary, Authority, Role and Task”

Jo Freeman – “The Tyranny of Structurelessness”

Harrison Owen – “A Brief User’s Guide to Open Space Technology”


Every author is influenced by thinkers and writers who have previously shared their ideas with the world. These are the key people who have strongly influenced our thinking and the content of this book.

Zachary Gabriel Green and René J. Molenkamp

Zachary Gabriel Green and René J Molenkamp are influential members of the Group Relations community, a community known for conducting experiential conferences for exploring leadership and authority, in the “here-and-now.” Our experience studying Group Relations and attending the conference events continues to be a major influence in our own thinking and work. Group Relations work has the potential to transform your leadership practice and your own practice of the Inviting Leadership methods.


Ed Seykota

 Ed Seykota is a highly accomplished and world famous commodities trader who pioneered quantitative trading in the 1960s. He later began publishing his ideas on personal and group psychology around 2003. A lot of this writing made reference to something called “the willingness test,” a component of what he called the “Intimacy-centric” model. He often contrasted this model with what he called “the Control-centric model.” What he was actually writing about was invitation, although we did not make that connection at the time. We are grateful for the pioneering work of Ed Seykota in the domains of individual and group psychology.


Harrison Owen

Harrison discovered and formulated Open Space, a scalable design for inspired events. This is an invitational meeting design; no one who attends an Open Space event is compelled to do so. Through our direct experience with these events, we have come to appreciate the power of invitation. To Harrison, we are grateful. Harrison is the author of 8 or more books, depending on how you count. Some of his many titles are listed in the Bibliography.


Michael Herman

Michael Herman is a management consultant, Open Space facilitator, and writer. His work and writing on invitation dating back to the 1990s was pioneering, and served to help define the domain as it applies to leadership and group process. His writing on these subjects greatly influenced our thinking on leadership invitations, and continues to do so.


Mark McKergow and Helen Bailey

Mark McKergow and his co-author Helen Bailey wrote the book Host in 2014. This amazing book is required reading for those leaders who are pivoting away from delegations and towards invitations. This book successfully decomposes the inviting style of leadership into 6 roles and 4 positions. The concepts in this book have influenced our own thinking and it continues to do so.


Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess is the formulator of Promise Theory and the author of the book Thinking in Promises. He is a data scientist and theoretical physicist who worked for a time as a professor at the Oslo University College of Norway. Promise theory was introduced as a model of voluntary co-operation between agents in 2004. The theory holds that only the agent responsible for delivering on a promise can commit to that promise and that further, no external entity can force or otherwise compel any other agent to make a promise or commit to one. The central premises of Promise Theory continue to influence our thinking.


Michele McCarthy and Jim McCarthy

Michele and Jim McCarthy worked at Microsoft in the 1990’s and were responsible for leading the C++ programming language team. After their work at Microsoft they began doing applied research on teams and teamwork. Their work on voluntary participation and consent-based decision-making continue to have a substantial influence on our thinking.