Bob Stone
Author & Speaker


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 Latest News
Bob and his partner, Mick Ukleja, just finished a new book,The Ethics Challenge: Strengthening Your Integrity in a Greedy World.  Read more about it by clicking the link above.


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If you would like me to send you a chapter from either book via email, just email me and tell me which chapter from which book you'd like.
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Bob Stone's Workshops & Seminars

1.  NEW! The Ethics Challenge

This is a three-hour highly participatory workshop that teaches how to apply the ethical principles that we all know to the work of government. It’s very different from the usual ethics training that mostly just warns against misuse of government assets, bribery, and conflicts of interest.

Participants will learn what ethical behavior means and how it differs from merely behaving legally or in compliance with the rules.  They will gain experience by working in small groups on ethical dilemmas that public servants face.  Finally, they will learn what special ethical demands are made of bosses and subordinates.

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2.  Personal Leadership and Change

I believe that organizational leaders can make HUGE changes through their behavior—how they spend their time, how they trust and empower people, how they focus on their vision, how they "walk the walk." And I love to help leaders transform their organizations through their personal behavior. Only a very few come by this personal leadership naturally; the rest of us are shy, uncertain, and modest but we can learn it. I did.

This program is built around my book, Confessions of a Civil Servant: Lessons in Changing America's Government and Military, especially Chapter 15, "Ten Lessons in Leadership."  I've conducted it many times for audiences of federal and local leaders, and for senior executives of the British and Scottish governments. It never fails to grab the audience and to send them away determined to make specific changes in their behavior

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3.  Change: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why

This workshop uses my personal experience in leading successful and unsuccessful change efforts at the Pentagon and White House. I describe the efforts with vivid stories, then explore with the participants the lessons from the experiences. We finish by drawing some generalizations about why some transformation efforts succeed and some fail.

I recently conducted two seminars on this subject, and got extraordinarily high evaluations from participants. One was with a group of Boeing executives at the University of Southern California. They rated my session 9.7 out of 10 for its usefulness, and 9.5 out of 10 for enjoyability. The instructor who led the course wrote me the following:

“Thanks for your fascinating presentation.  Your experiences in changing the giant bureaucracy of the federal government were very well received and, I think for many participants, quite inspirational.  After all, if such dramatic progress can be made in an organization as large as the U.S. government, it should be easy to change Boeing!”


The other was for a group of Naval Intelligence leaders (both military and civilians) at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. They gave me an overall grade of 4.93 out of 5.

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4.  Organizing for the Mission

How some organizations stifle the human spirit, some liberate it, and how to make sure yours is liberating.  This is built around Chapter 3: Red Hats, Red Scarves, Red Tails. I start with colorful and entertaining stories of misguided efforts (including mine) to eliminate excess and create excellence, starting with consolidations of procurement, personnel, and other functions.  I describe in detail the most excellent organization I found, and how it flipped my thinking and approach to leadership in government.

Finally I explain the differences between centralized and excellent organizations, and give the participants a handy, very simple way to tell whether they’re on the path to excellence. Participants will be inspired to strive for excellence, undeterred by the forces in large organizations, public or private, that make the effort often difficult or painful.

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5.  Team Player or Team Leader 

Exploring the relationship between organizational norms and change, and the conflict between needing to follow the norms to be a team player, and needing to violate them to lead change. Participants discuss how to manage the conflicts, and which norms they would need to violate in order to lead change.

This is a valuable tool for leaders. It touches a chord with lots of leaders because they face the same conflicts as they try to lead change.

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