It is probably one of the most common icebreaker questions, if you could pick one person (dead or alive), who would you like to have lunch with? Of course this is a super hard question. I have heard people say musicians, actors, philosophers and sometimes a family member who has passed away.
So what would happen if Ronald Heifetz and Lester Brown had lunch? What would they say? Would they sit in a booth or a table? Maybe the bar? What would they order? I envision it starting out with politeness. Each one of them sharing what they do for a living and talking about their families. I think that they would have a lot in common. They would share a bottle of local, organic red wine and toast to all the leaders in the sustainability industry.
I’m sure that Ronald would talk about the Five Challenges in Leading Adaptive Change because he probably would see Lester as a great leader. Lester would ask how Ronald did his research and came up with his findings. I think Lester would ask Ronald how to help leaders get out of their own way? How do we get people to ask questions? How do we get people to be naive? I’m sure he is frustrated with how things are done and wants to know how to change it. But that is the ultimate question, how to change people’s minds? Of course that won’t be solved over one lunch!
At the end of the lunch, I think that Ronald would leave Lester with this thought…”Innocence will enable you to maintain hope when a situation seems hopeless, at least to some people. And your capacity to maintain faith will be self-fulfilling in the sense that it will give other people courage to hope that life can be better” (Heifetz, 2002).
Amanda Gourgue, CMP, LEED AP, MBA Candidate 2013
Heifetz, R., & Linsky, M. (2002). Leading with an open heart. Leader to Leader.