Leadership Development

Leadership Development

Creating Space for Adaptive Leadership Development

Posted 9:48 PM by
The definition of space has varied meanings: “a period of time; a limitless area in which all things exist and move; an empty place; the region beyond the earth’s atmosphere; a definite place; the distance between people; intervals between time; an arrangement of items.” None of these convey the importance this concept has become in leadership development. From quantum physics we have learned that space is a field of energy and infinite connection rather than vast void. The connections are not discernible to the human eye; and can be detected and substantiated indirectly through scientific tools.  The inability to... Read more →

The Integrated Adaptive Leader

Posted 1:33 PM by
Our philosophy and methodology of teaching integrated adaptive leadership development is predicated on a belief that who the leader is, is as important as what the leader does; that character counts; that leaders must possess a set of core values and beliefs that guide their perspectives and decisions in a fair and ethical manner; and that leadership is an integrated endeavor in which the whole leader matters. Absent these, the ability to lead is impaired. The integrated adaptive leader creates trust - the glue that holds everything together. Without this, relationships are tenuous and the coin of the realm is self-... Read more →

The Gifted Leader

Posted 3:50 PM by
One dictionary definition of gift is “the notable capacity for doing something.” When applied to leadership it infers an extraordinary and natural ability to make things happen and to influence others.  In our decades of leadership education, practice and development we have studied thousands of leaders, and every one of them had significant natural ability – what I would describe as gifts; but not all were equally effective.    There are theories that believe there are innate characteristics that set apart a few for leadership; the underlying belief is that not everyone is a leader. We know from trait theorists that many... Read more →

The Missing Party: The Bridge Consultant

Posted 1:04 PM by
I recently attended the 17th Annual Conference of the International Leadership Association (ILA), “Leading Across Borders and Generations,” in Barcelona, Spain. Over 1,000 practitioners, educators and scholars from 53 countries partook in a panoply of pre and post conference offerings, workshops, round table discussions, poster sessions, member meetings, and plenaries. If you are in the field of leadership ILA is a vital resource and network to which to belong.  One of the three plenaries featured a co-keynote with Dr. Gill Hickman, Professor Emerita and inaugural faculty member in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and Jorrit Volkers, Dean... Read more →

The Urgent Need for the Inner Work of Leadership

Posted 2:02 PM by
Exercise "The more we love, the less we fear; the less we fear, the more we can love. If we exercise our bodies, we can lower our cholesterol. If we exercise loving-kindness, we can re-open the clogged arteries of the soul." -Br. Mark Brown Society of Saint John the Evangelists Above is the daily message I woke up to this morning. What a timely one it is for my soul feels a heaviness reminiscent of previous times, times when the Country’s shadow re-emerged, that part of the cultural psyche that is the repository of the least... Read more →

Claiming a Different Kind of Leadership

Posted 4:12 PM by
I have been interested in the subject of leadership for several decades and have been privileged to have had many opportunities to develop a number of national and state wide leadership education programs. The Lilly Endowment Leadership Education Program, a statewide initiative with a vision of making Indiana a hallmark state, noted for its programs and services to young adolescents, was one of them. During the selection process for Lilly Fellows I asked applicants one question they all still remember, “Why do you think you are a leader?” The long silence that followed indicated that this was not a question... Read more →

Ten Antidotes for Non-Adaptive Leadership

Posted 4:47 PM by
I am beginning to wonder whether politicians can be adaptive leaders. My observation is that too many of them pedal paranoia, cultivate distrust, and encourage either denial or distortion of facts. Debates devolve into a denigration of differences rather than a civil exploration and examination of complexity and the unknown. The impact on constituents is cynicism, intellectual laziness, projection and scapegoating. Rather than those following being encouraged to look within and deal with substantive issues they are directed to stick with the external and the superficial. This way of “leading” encourages inauthentic behavior, avoidance of self-responsibility, and blaming. The... Read more →

The Seminal Skill in Adaptive Leadership: The Work of Building Trust

Posted 7:40 PM by
One of the first things we learn in life is whether and how to trust someone else. Our experience with our caregivers tell us whether we can be safe and secure in a dependent relationship, whether the environment is loving or hostile, open or closed to our discomfort, affirming or rejecting of who we are, and whether our basic survival needs will be met without fear. What we learn in these first relationships of trust-holding remain with us for all of our lives. They are the building blocks, the foundation for who we become. If we have not examined... Read more →

The Confession of a Vacationer

Posted 1:27 PM by
I am preparing to leave for a vacation and no matter how organized I am it seems as though the work multiplies in the week prior to my departure. Mini-crises pop up, urgent phone calls are requested; new deadlines appear and my carefully thought out list of things to do seems to get longer. The tightness of time and the press of multiple demands and a myriad of details remind me of how important it is to take time away from what you do every day and allow your mind to rest and yourself to just be. In this... Read more →

Dealing with Difficult Conversations

Posted 1:26 PM by
In a recent encounter with a very able colleague lamenting about having “lost it” in a situation in which there was in her view highly unprofessional behavior, I was reminded of how difficult it can be to be in such situations, and the courage and skill required to confront the individual involved.  It is a particular skill that Ki ThoughtBridge brings to our work, and one we always include in our leadership and negotiation trainings.  There are numerous instances in our personal and professional lives that can precipitate “losing it” but there are reasons why this doesn’t happen; the... Read more →

Negotiating With Your Boss or Anyone of Greater Rank or Status

Posted 12:47 PM by
The skill of effectively negotiating with those above you, i.e., “negotiating up,” is critical to your success in any organization.  Leaders need those on the leadership team to deliver hard truths and critical information they may not be eager to hear.  How you go about delivering that information will determine whether you are viewed with respect and appreciation or whether you get viewed as a, “trouble maker,” or, “not a team player.”  Negotiating with your leader begins long before there is an issue. You need to sit down and discuss with him or her.  The negotiation, influencing and persuading... Read more →

Living The Question

Posted 5:01 PM by
Ki ThoughtBridge's unique Integrated Model of Leadership (IML) includes The Inner Work of Leadership, and is essential to the development and practice of adaptive leadership. To think we can develop effective leaders in times of significant transition and complexity without engaging them in this deeper level of work is similar to thinking a book can be read by just reviewing its table of contents. The interior life of a leader is powerful data; it influences perceptions, shapes assumptions, and affects behaviors. Staying connected to this source helps leaders to be able to manage their emotions and behaviors and accurately... Read more →

The Adaptive Leader As Facilitator of Change

Posted 3:30 PM by
Ki ThoughtBridge works with individuals, organizations, and entire communities teaching and equipping them to lead change in an integrated manner.  We provide a range of resources and tools that we teach others to use.  It is difficult and very rewarding work, and we are passionate about doing the best work with our clients.  Part of the challenge is that the change management process begins with a description of symptoms that are causing us discomfort and disease. We have ideas about what might be causing the problem; we listen to the client’s self-diagnosis and attempted remedies, and what the... Read more →