Leaders among us

Listening for leadership

Reda SadkiLeadership

On 30 May 2021, Convenors Karen Watkins and Reda Sadki were joined by eight Key Contributors: Nancy Dixon, Bryan Hopkins, Barbara Moser-Mercer, Renee Rogers, Catherine Russ, Esther Wojcicki, Laura Bierema, and Emanuele Capobianco.

This was the third Dialogue convened by The Geneva Learning Foundation for learning, leadership, and impact.

Each Key Contributor has a fascinating, singular leadership journey. This trajectory may have a collective dimension, of movements, of belonging, or of affiliation that have and continue to shape it. Even when this is so, it is also profoundly personal and individual. It is also a process of accretion – although we tend to recall quantum leaps in significant learning. For some, there may be discomfort with calling oneself a ‘leader’, given the conflation between leadership and authority, leadership and management, leadership and perceived value in society.

Then, there is the moment of coming to consciousness, about the significance of leadership.

So we started there, by asking:

  • How do you define the notion of leadership in this Digital Age? How is it different from notions of leadership in the past?
  • When and how did you realize the significance of the leadership question in your work and life? Who or what helped you come to consciousness?
  • What difference did it make to have this new consciousness about the importance of leadership?
    What is your own leadership practice now?
  • How do you define your leadership in relationship to learning? Are you a ‘learning leader’ and, if so, what does that mean?

We are privileged to have a number of Key Contributors who have dedicated their life’s work to the study of leadership and learning. We are interested in their leadership journeys, of course, but we will also turn to them to ask:

  • What do you hear, as you listen to these stories?
  • What can you share from your work on leadership to better understand the journeys being shared?

And, really, we want to know: How do you listen to people sharing their experience of leadership? What should we be listening for in order to unravel what goes into – and can come out of – leadership?

You can listen to the Dialogue here.