Creating Dynamic, Energy-Producing Meetings

Richard H. Axelrod, Emily M. Axelrod, Julie Beedon and Robert W. Jacobs Leader to Leader, volume 17, no. 2, June 2006

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We have a love-hate relationship with meetings. Sometimes we leave them energized, brimming with ideas, and eager to move forward. Too often though, we leave drained, numb, and wondering what we were doing there in the first place. The reason we have to sit through lousy meetings are often failed rituals. Read More

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How Do I Keep People Involved

Richard H. Axelrod, Emily M. Axelrod, Julie Beedon and Robert W. Jacobs, Our Children, Burrelles-Luce, September 2006

Sometimes it’s easy to get people to volunteer to help, but often much harder to keep them involved till the work is done. Here are five ways to make sure that doesn’t happen to you:

  • Keep reminding people why they got involved in the first place
  • Keep the key people involved
  • Support People So They Want to Stay Involved
  • Keep an open mind about who stays involved
  • Don’t worry if a few team members opt out
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Positively M.A.D.: Making a Difference in Your Organizations, Communities, and the World

(edited by Bill Treasurer) with Robert W. Jacobs and 30 other contributing authors

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (www.bkconnection.com)
Paperback original— 188 pages (2005/ ISBN-10: 1576753123)


M.A.D. stands for Making A Difference. Positively M.A.D. is about how to do it. This book shows that getting M.A.D. doesn’t mean getting angry, or getting even — it means using personal power to effect larger change.

Jake wrote two stories in the book.

  • Our Only Choice is to Make It Work. Nata Preis, Principal of Village Glen School in Culver City, California tells how she and her staff lead a school for children with special needs. “Lots of people have given up on these kids. The difference we make is that we never do give up. We just have never said, ‘There’s nothing we can do.’ Our only choice is to make it work.”
  • Ingredients for Making a Difference. Joh Broughton, Executive Director of a local theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan tells how she spearheaded a ten-year effort to transform the theatre. In that time they built a new play space, won many regional awards for quality productions, and national acclaim from playwrights and critics.