The Inner Work of Leadership

This is a course about how the activity of leadership and the process of critical reflection can become a package deal.  First we will explore the outer work of leadership, utilizing an analytical framework for addressing complex, systemic problems that lack easy answers—what we call adaptive challenges.   The focus of this course is the inner work of leadership—the practice of being present and able to reflect in the midst of intense, and sometimes contentious action.  It requires concentrated attention, which is easy to neglect in our fast-paced, distracted world.   We will introduce you to several modes of reflection: personal narrative writing, mindfulness practices, dialogue exercises, mentoring conversations, and approaches for thinking about aspirations, ambitions, commitments, and purpose.  Our anchor throughout the week will be experiments with the core tools of adaptive analysis—using narratives from films and articles as case studies for diagnosing adaptive challenges, and designing strategies to engage groups in adaptive work.