Peter Block

Author, consultant, and speaker.

Background Information

Peter Block is an author, speaker, and consultant who has written several bestselling books. The most widely known being Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used (1st edition 1980, 3rd edition 2011) and Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest (1993). The focus of his books are ways to create workplaces and communities that work for all. He has devoted his work to empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. Block is also the founder of Designed Learning, a training company that focuses on implementing the practices found in his books.

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“The choice to worry about why we are doing something more than how we do something is risky business.” ― Peter Block, The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters

“The key to creating or transforming community, then, is to see the power in the small but important elements of being with others. The shift we seek needs to be embodied in each invitation we make, each relationship we encounter, and each meeting we attend. For at the most operational and practical level, after all the thinking about policy, strategy, mission, and milestones, it gets down to this: How are we going to be when we gather together?” ― Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging

Summary of Contributions

Peter Block wants leaders and managers to take a greater responsibility in the workings of their organizational unit. He feels that leaders should become empowered to make positive changes while decreasing a sense of power struggles and alienation in the hierarchy. Block explains how to foster relationships with subordinates and bosses that encourage responsibility, self-expression, and commitment through empowerment, stewardship, accountability, and community. He provides instruction on working with groups and the do's of group work and collaboration as the following:

Working with a group

1. Focus the work on factors that all the members can control.


3. Working alone is acceptable as long as everyone comes together with the


4. Eliminate bias. Sometimes a group will choose other avenues.

5. Sometimes it's about the action not the understanding.


1. Vision, clear purpose, and common golas are essential. Know what you are working for and towards while using everyday language.

2. Utilize effective tools and problem solving skills

3. Leadership is key (intuitive, service oriented, visionary leaders)

4. Effect personal skills and good work habits

5. A place to learn, acceptance of failures, questioning of the norm and new experiences

6. Bring your “whole Self” to work

Implications for Us as Leaders

Due to the rapid growth of the consumer mindset, we must assist stackholders with thinking of the collective versus establishing a sense of entitlement. We must also strive to build a sense of community by utilizing the strengths, talents, and resources available within our school, district, and town communities. The vision and mission must be seen in the actions of the administration daily. As leaders, we need to create and maintain a sense of belonging and community.


Block, P. (2009). Community: Structure of Belonging. New York, NY: Berrett-Koehler.

Block, P. (2001). The Answer to How is Yes: Acting on What Matters. New York, NY: Berrett- Koehler.

Block, P. (2015). Peter Block. Retrieved from

Block, P. (2016). Peter Block. Retrieved from