Our Story

Kallion Leadership, Inc. is a non-profit(c)(3) organization founded in July 2019 by a group of professors and researchers who believed that leadership development should be informed by the study of the humanities. Kallion’s approach to leadership development was to be distinct from the approaches taken in business schools, military academies, political science departments, or other areas of leadership study. The co-founders felt that language, symbols, images, stories, emotions, values, and ideas should form the foundation of how we think about and practice leadership – and that the study of the humanities was our best resource. From that time the Kallion mission has been advanced by a diverse and intergenerational community of staff, board members, and advisors in leadership roles in academia, law, government, politics, education, the military, arts, sciences, and media. Our community continues to grow with members whose careers and character are a testament to the Kallion vision.

Kallion Name

Kallion comes from the ancient Greek adjective, kalos, kalē, kalon, which can mean “good,” “fine,” “noble,” or “beautiful.” kallion is the comparative adjective meaning “more kalon” or “better.”


The Kallion logo is the signal fire, a reference to an ancient practice of transmitting important information across vast distances. The signal fire logo represents Kallion’s commitment to “elevating leadership through the humanities” and to transmitting our best practices across space and time.


Kallion’s mantra, kalliaze!, is a combination of the word kallion and the directional suffix –aze (“toward”) meaning “toward the better” or “on to better things.”

Why Kallion?

There is a seemingly universal agreement that the world needs more and better leadership. Many acknowledge and lament the deficiencies in the general population of many of the traits and behaviors that go into leadership (i.e. creativity, intellectual curiosity, introspection, self-awareness, perspective taking, effective communication, and empathy). Higher education is rapidly divesting itself from the one set of disciplines – the humanities – that focuses on developing these behaviors.

Outside higher education, many people face systemic barriers to being considered for leadership roles. Others do not have the time, resources, or networks to participate in reflection and conversation about leadership development in diverse communities. Those who do have the means to cultivate leadership are anointed as the “leaders” of their generation simply because they have the right “look” and “background” or they have access to expensive leadership retreats, consultants, and prestige-granting experiences.

The increasingly complex challenges we face today demand that we expand – not shrink – the number, diversity, and humanity of people who can meet those challenges.

Despite the fact that leadership development is right now foreclosed to the majority of the people, Kallion believes that leadership exists in everyone and that the means of activating this potential lie in exploring humanity’s collective record of art, literature, philosophy, and history across cultures and time.

Kallion promotes leadership development for everyone by:

-treating leadership as the art of meeting the needs of others

-empowering others to develop leadership on their own terms

-building diverse communities that study different cultures across time

-featuring humanities works and programmatic experiences that are affordable and accessible

Kallion calls on humanities educators, students, citizens, researchers, and professionals in diverse fields to engage in dialogue with each other and share their best leadership practices. Even more than a call to action, Kallion believes in a call to practice:

-studying humanities artifacts closely and slowly while locating them in their artistic and historical contexts

-careful reflection

-writing to sketch out the kind of leadership one wants to emulate

-dialogue with others of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives 

Kallion believes that these practices position us to find leadership capacities in ourselves, identify opportunities in our lives, make the best improvements for our communities, and find self-fulfillment in the process.