Seth Silver and Timothy M. Franz Release “Meaningful Partnership at Work”

To say Seth R. Silver and Timothy M. Franz know of what they speak would be a massive overstatement of the obvious. What impossibly couldn’t be evident on both men’s resumes is more than reflected in the conciseness and confidence of their writing. Their new book is titled Meaningful Partnership at Work: How the Workplace Covenant Ensures Mutual Accountability and Success between Leaders and Teams.


As its title would suggest, the book essentially serves as an elaborate how-to guide with navigating the modern corporate landscape, and most importantly – how to manage said relationships within that landscape. But Silver and Franz have too much style to simply stop there. The book is laid out with the effective juxtaposition of being both a leadership advice nonfiction tome, and as something with personalized, narrative-styled examples and analogies. It’s through this that Silver and Franz arguably hit the bullseye on what they set out to do, providing readers and burgeoning professionals something that can get the message across in a manner not just intellectually stimulating, but emotionally affecting as well. Indeed the old garbage in garbage out mentality, and overall cutthroat cliches of the workplace, are seeing a numbering to their days.


With social movements a la the pay disparity protests, the #TimesUp and MeToo movements, and the Inclusion Rider initiative, a new lens is being applied to management styles and leadership roles within status and class-based organizational models. The breakdowns Silver and Franz provide almost read akin to a position paper, calling to mind the findings and extensive researching methods of Dr. Stacy Smith and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The ultimate message extends to something beyond the corporate enterprise, to something arguably holistic and human rather than a statistically-backed conclusion. But getting there efficiently, especially within the machiavellian worlds of business, requires said statistics – Silver and Franz not disappointing on that front either.

“Our goals for this book are simple. First, we have seen too many frustrated managers and dissatisfied teams over our more than two decades of working with various organizations. Given that most of us will spend somewhere between 80,000-100,000 hours of our lives at work, or almost half of the time we are awake between our early 20s and our mid-60s, we believe that all workplaces should be characterized by ‘dignity, meaning and community’ (a compelling trio of words espoused by famous workplace author Marvin Weisbord),” write Silver and Franz in one of the book’s key, introductory passages. “Further, we believe that all employees, at any level, with any title, in any type of organization, should feel supported in their role and have real opportunities to grow, contribute, and be appreciated.


One way to achieve this is to have mutually respectful and accountable relationships between managers and their teams. Based on our experience with the Workplace Covenant, we know this practical and efficient process can transform the quality of that crucial partnership, and as a result, provide numerous tangible benefits to managers, teams and their organizations.”

By telling it like it is, combined with detailed and high-profile literary styling choices, the authors make the potentially dense and expansive comprehensible for the reader, but never at the expense of straying from mandated, intellectual caliber. It’s a nice balance, and one that should be commended.

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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