A Comprehensive and Inclusive Approach to Leadership Development
Kallion’s distinctive approach to leadership development is captured in (1) how we define leadership, (2) our conviction that leadership exists in everyone, and (3) our focus on the study of the humanities within communities for comprehensive leadership development.
Kallion defines leadership as “the art of meeting the needs of others and empowering them to realize their potential, in individual, collective, and institutional settings.” For Kallion, leadership is not centrally about “exercising authority,” “change-making,” “influencing,” or “disrupting,” which are all value-neutral. Instead, leadership is about doing good for others and ourselves as well as fostering dialogue about what is “good.”
Who is an
Agent of Leadership?
Instead of dividing the world into leaders and followers, Kallion believes that everyone can be an Agent of Leadership. An Agent of Leadership is someone who reflects deeply on human needs and human potential; helps to address the needs of others and activate their potential; and, in true democratic fashion, treats others as agents of leadership.
Four Foundations of Kallion Programming
Because Kallion is committed to training Agents of Leadership, our programming is grounded in the Humanities, a field that includes humanity’s collective record of art, music, literature, philosophy, and history across all times and cultures. We believe that the humanities works of any and all cultures can inform leadership development.
Carefully studying this humanistic record is a slow, reflective process that focuses on details, context, analysis, and interconnectedness. Study allows for multiple meanings and changing perspectives. It is motivated by passionate curiosity and dispassionate reasoning, with the goal of knowledge and personal development. Study involves taking ownership of understanding by crafting a “distillation” of a complex work rather than relying on someone else to distill it for you.
Kallion promotes the study of the humanities through Diverse Communities. Community involvement entails an ongoing commitment of time, energy, ideas, and resources on the part of all members toward its collective health and wellbeing. Our communities are comprised of diverse members with multiple identities, such as educators, learners, professionals, researchers, writers, artists, and performers. Over time, community members come to “think with” each other in two ways: (1) they share information, insights, and reactions to the humanities works they study with each other, and (2) they absorb and think with the perspectives of others as they navigate their own leadership challenges.
Commitment to Lead
For Kallion, the study of the humanities in communities always returns to the challenge of translating study into practice with a Commitment to Lead through four basic questions:
1 – Do I have the capacity to lead in the ways I have been studying?
2 – Do I have the opportunity to lead?
3 – Would I actually address the needs, and activate the potential, of others?
4 – Would I find happiness and fulfillment in this leadership?
Leadership development begins with appreciation: What are the needs of others? What is their potential? What have been the (un)successful ways of addressing needs and activating potential?
What are the behaviors that an agent of leadership may show – either in greater frequency or with better skill – to address the needs, and activate the potential, of others?
Forms of Leadership Development
Kallion promotes the development of Agents of Leadership in five interconnected ways . . .
How can Agents of Leadership collaborate more effectively with others?
What decisions can we make in the moment to set us up for better leadership in the future?
How can we come to see the capacity to lead in ourselves and have it be recognized by others?