I have been an executive coach and clinical psychologist for over twenty-five years — but I think of myself more as an organizational anthropologist: I am always on the lookout for patterns, shifts, and the undercurrents of change that our places of work experience on a daily basis. I work with all kinds of leaders — young and not-young, C-suite and CEO to first line manager — and my passion is helping every one of my clients unleash their full potential as a leader no matter where they sit.
I recently completed a multi-year research project with the help of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard, where I explored how the key areas coaches focus on with leaders has evolved and changed. This work led to my writing a best-selling practical guide--for coaches and leaders--called, FLEX: The Art and Science of Leadership in a Changing World, published by Penguin Random House. This book is designed to help expand any leaders capacity to be responsive, resilient, and creative -- especially in today's post-Covid disrupted organizational environments.
My work takes me to multiple countries as a key-note speaker, facilitator and executive coach to both non-profit and for-profit global organizations. I am also honored to be the director of education at the Institute of Coaching, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate and a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School.
In my spare time, I traverse the country roads in upstate NY on a mountain bike, try to put my rusty B.A. in music to work at the piano, read long, windy historical novels, experiment with made-up recipes for pasta, and generally drive my partner and two cats crazy.
These are challenging times for leaders. Working through the disruption of COVID-19 and its aftermath has prompted most organizations to re-evaluate--and re-invent--just about every aspect of their business model, work environment and structure. The evolution of leadership roles, with more culturally sensitive, emotionally flexible approaches has only accelerated.
And In spite of what we see in the politically charged 24-hour news cycle with autocratic leaders in power in many countries, there is also a broad, if quiet, revolution on the leadership landscape taking us in a completely different direction. This more collaborative, inclusive approach to leading, what I call a "beta-style", is focused not only on driving to a result, but also leveraging the talents and creativity of everyone.
In this environment of revolutionary change, coaches are called upon to engage at a whole new level of intensity, partnership, and support. Research with over 1200 coaches exploring the focus areas for a client's success demonstrates that there are three fundamental energy domains where agility is key: cerebral, emotional, and somatic. It will no longer suffice for leaders to play a one-note game, even if rational, stoic, directive, or "visionary". Teams in today's disrupted world require emotional support, a sense of trust, inclusion, and belonging, and perhaps most importantly, a psychologically-safe community if the goal is high performance. This new level of hyper-agility for leaders is a tall order to fill and coaches have a more crucial role to play than ever before.
In this session, we will discuss the results of years of research into three energetic systems that underpin leadership agility -- and walk through the six domains where developing the ability and capacity to flex between "alpha" and "beta" approaches makes all the difference. A framework for understanding these dimensions of leadership agility will be shared -- and we will walk through real-life examples of how coaching supports leaders to be effective on both a local and global scale, within a multitude of industries: health care, finance, pharmaceuticals, software, and technology, just to name a few.
Finally, with greater agility comes a broader, less ego-centric, and more systems-oriented perspective on leadership. In this context, coaches can help engender a more holistic, permeable, and less rigid approach to organization design. The future calls for organizations to break down structures and silos that inhibit leadership from showing up at multiple influence points--the bottom up, middle out, and top-down. Agile leaders with the help of systemic-oriented coaches will instead nurture, inspire, and develop leaders at every level.
1. How to coach leaders to leverage the three energy domains of agility: cerebral, emotional & somatic.
2. Learn the six research-based dimensions of leadership agility and how coaches can become adept at navigating them, at an accelerated pace, with clients.
3. Strategies and tips for applying positive psychology principles to build self-awareness and foster a systemic mindset that connects leaders (and organizations) to the broader needs of their community, their nation -- and the planet.
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