The Leadership System™


As global issues intersect with the business environment, leaders are increasingly faced with a new and emerging global reality — Escalating Complexity. We can look forward to a business environment of increasing ambiguity, uncertainty, volatility, and at times, market disruption.

Along with escalating complexity comes an additional challenge—that of developing the creative capacity in our leadership to continually transform the organization in response to rapidly changing market conditions. We think this is the New Leadership Imperative.

Leadership development programs of today are not up to this challenge. Most approaches to developing leaders focus primarily on developing competency and capability. These approaches are insufficient in a world of escalating complexity.

If the complexities of the challenges we face are more complex than we are, we are outmatched. But, if we can evolve the complexity of mind of the leader, to be equal to the complexity of the challenge, we can lead.

Our world needs leaders dedicated to creating a thriving future for global business and our sustainable collective welfare. This requires leadership with the creative capacity to invent the future and the capability to navigate the delicate balance between short-term profitability and long-term common good. Leadership must evolve if we are to create a future different than the one into which we are living.

The Leadership System™ is a unique leadership development program designed to INCREASE individual and group COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS.

Our Whole Systems Approach

In their book, The Whole Systems Approach, Bill and Cindy Adams detail six interlocking systems that must be tended to during major organizational change.  Ensuring that these six systems are aligned and functioning well is the responsibility of the organization’s leadership, which is itself a system to be continually improved.

The Leadership System™ is, at its essence, a leadership development system, designed to increase our clients’ individual and collective leadership effectiveness.  And, while doing so, help them to increase the effectiveness of the other five systems.

Whole Systems Approach

The Leadership System™ is a system of interlocking and reinforcing components that, taken together, accomplish more than any single-component solution could. This is its power.

Built on Adult Learning Theory

Underlying the design of the Leadership System™ is solid adult learning theory. David Kolb, in his landmark work, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, positioned that four linked
styles of learning were necessary for adults to truly learn and change.

Kolbs Adult Learning Cycle

Each Component Reinforces and Adds to the Others

In the Leadership System™ there are five major components:

Pre-work: Discovery & diagnosis, organizational communication, Leadership Circle Profile™ administration, Leadership Culture Survey™ administration, client relationship management, etc.

The Promise of Leadership™ workshop: A half- to full-day workshop that frames a client’s collective view of leadership and functions as the kick-off for our Leadership System™. It embeds our Core Leadership Framework™ to guide all future development work, and delivers LCP feedback in a peer-group context. It also begins the feedback assimilation process (individual time, pairs discussion, group process) and organizes participants for next steps (debriefs, L2L sessions with cohorts, Pulse Surveys™).

The Promise of Leadership™ workshop, is the beginning of the journey to self-discovery, identifying specific attitudes and behaviors that prevent leaders from being effective.

The Promise of Leadership™ workshop is a transformative personal and professional experience. In only four hours, it provides a powerful catalyst to dramatically increase leadership effectiveness.

Built around The Leadership Circle Profile™, the program helps leaders focus on and develop their creative leadership competencies. These skills have been shown to improve the participant’s leadership abilities, bring out the best in others, and significantly increase the performance of the overall business.

The workshop also helps leaders identify and mitigate tendencies that hinder effectiveness, such as emphasizing caution over action, self-protection over productive engagement, and confrontation over collaboration.

The Promise of Leadership™ workshop gives participants a practical framework for professional growth. The model is simple and elegant, offering leaders a quick and highly accurate snapshot of their current approach to leadership, and an assessment of its effectiveness. The feedback they receive, based on The Leadership Circle Profile™ already completed, creates immediate awareness of how they perform as leaders. And the process offers tangible, clearly actionable practices for improvement that they can start putting to work the same day.

Leader to Leader™: A cohort-based series of 1/2 day leadership effectiveness sessions that span one to two years of work (between six to 16 session).  Built upon The Leadership Circle® framework, the 16 available sessions encompass a full curriculum of hard-hitting leadership topics, and provide regular opportunities for peer coaching and accountability.  Each session is facilitated by an experienced leadership coach, certified in the Leadership System™. Leader to Leader™ can be delivered face to face or virtually.

Pulse Surveys™: These near-real time surveys reinforce a leader’s commitment to take action on their Leadership Development Plan™ (One Big Thing™) by inviting an accountability team (Accountability Circle™) of colleagues to give that leader direct feedback on how their behavior-change experiments are working. Measurement of performance against goals is vital to the functioning of any system.

One-on-one Coaching: Every engagement is enhanced by one-on-one coaching.  The payback for leaders is almost always worth the investment.  The combination of peer cohort coaching in Leader to Leader™ with one-on-one leadership coaching is like jet fuel.

leadership System2

Results: For the Organization

• A common framework and language to address and improve leadership

• Accelerated progress toward near-term organizational goals

• A foundation for the organization’s long-term leadership agenda

Leaders face extraordinary demands on their time. This workshop can provide critical insights and create strong, positive energy in the organization in a single day. The key lies in creating awareness of the effect the leader has on others – both positive and negative – and by offering practical strategies leaders can implement immediately.