We are a team of change agents for change agents. We are professional leadership practitioners turned educators because we see a clear need for as many unleashed leaders as possible to overcome the massive challenges emerging in our society today. As our name describes, the Unleashing Leaders team is here to help cut the leashes that hold leaders back from achieving their own full potential, and by extension the full potential of their teams.
“If today I try and fail, tomorrow is another day. If today I fail to try, tomorrow is another today.” – Lee Scott
The seed for Unleashing Leaders grew out of the recognition in the 90’s of four emerging trends for the coming century:
- the unprecedented need for global changes in our fundamental assumptions,
- the radical crumbling of traditional concentrations of power,
- the massive but latent personal power in the new, broader base of influencers,
- and the incredible lack of practical leadership education to unleash that power for good.
In 1997 we began offering our first formal leadership seminars. Since then we’ve quietly served as trusted advisors to tens of thousands of leaders across the country. We’ve undergone our own evolution in name and in structure, but our vision has stayed the same. We are dedicated to unleashing the leadership potential of our clients for our communities. In every organization ready to evolve to their next stage of performance, leadership is the catalyst. Our history and our dream is being a key catalyst to unleash other catalysts.
We are a diverse team in terms of our strengths, styles, histories and methods. To be trusted advisors, we believe we must also be relevant practitioners. All our consultants are veterans of planning and implementing major changes in complex contexts with diverse, cross-functional and, yes, often dysfunctional teams. Prior to our consulting careers, we developed practical experience as executives and senior managers leading enterprise scale transformations. We’ve faced the harsh realities of organizational entropy and apathy. We’ve learned that more progress is made by focusing on how you can use what you have rather than fretting over what you don’t have. Our core competencies are refined by real life crucibles.
We are a unified team with one clear shared mission and a few core values.
To inspire an epidemic of leadership and integrity by modeling the way.
We are very intentional about our mission. As our name implies, we don’t typically tolerate too many “can’ts” from ourselves or our clients. “Can’t” tends to be one of the first leashes we have to cut to get anywhere. At times though, “can’t” can describe healthy boundaries that help us focus. Here are a few “can’ts” that we think clarify our mission.Inspire
We can’t put it in. The good news is everything you need is already in there. We can just help it come out.
We can’t do this by ourselves. We can be part of a viral outbreak. We can unleash many so they can unleash the rest.
We can’t solve every problem. We can focus on the levers of leadership. Leadership in turn accelerates the evolution of our human potential for individuals and teams. That power can solve any problem in our rapidly changing world.
We can’t do this outside the system. We can work as an integral part in alignment with our environment towards the improvement of society. (i.e, Don’t use our stuff for evil or we will beat you up.)
This has two meanings. First, we can’t jeopardize our credibility. We can lead by example as practitioners. Second, leadership is tricky. We can’t let that stop people. As educators, we can translate complex scenarios into practical models (tools, diagrams, techniques). These models help our clients remember their own wisdom in the face of adversity so they can find their own way.
Also as part of modeling the way, we envision a future with a far more dynamic, agile, results-focused, strengths-based, and resilient workforce. So we structured our team as an interdependent cellular network. We have a diverse portfolio of two dozen proven consultants who assemble into engagement teams based on the current needs of our clients. As we achieve interim objectives, we assess and adapt our team to ensure we are providing the relevant skills.
A foundation anchored around non-negotiable, shared values.
A key to our successful collaboration is having a foundation anchored around a few, non-negotiable, shared values. Values are behavioral standards for how we will interact with each other and our partners.Freedom
Our power comes from our choices as a community. We cannot be inter-dependent unless we are first independent. Independence is based on the right to choose for your-self, your family, and your business how you will live and pursue happiness. We respect and encourage that fundamental liberty. Diverse choices help us run multiple experiments to evolve faster. Some choices have better consequences than others, and we may disagree. We may remind our clients and each other of those connections, but we will never seek to control or diminish the choice.
We operate with honor and dignity especially when no one is watching. We integrate our diversity as a holistic team in alignment with our client’s surrounding economic and ecologic environment. We hold ourselves accountable to make things right when we violate a value or commitment.
We make wise choices that seek to optimize value for our clients. Our goal is viability in the short run and sustainability in the long run for the health of people, profits, and the planet. We take pride in our work, but we are NOT concerned with perfection. Trying to perfect any local part destroys the overall performance of a system. We surf the curve of diminishing returns to deliver optimum, sustainable results working within our sphere of influence.
We are courageous and agile in the face of adversity. We make conscious choices towards an intended goal, see what works, and then adapt quickly with our dynamic environment. We think seven steps ahead to be prepared for the unexpected. We also have break downs, and we use those to re-group and break through next time.
We have a life-long passion for learning. We are voracious multi-disciplinary students. We embrace feedback and suggestions with the open mind of a beginner, not the closed mind of an expert. We encourage “failing fast.” We welcome new mistakes and prefer them to happen as early as possible so we can quickly learn, adapt, and be better off in the long run.
We work with passion by leveraging our strengths as individuals and collaborating well as a team.