Author name: Nandani Lynton

Leadership: From Charisma to Character

‘Character’ refers to a person’s moral or ethical qualities, especially integrity, but it also includes traits like honesty and courage. Character is different from personality in that character implies making the choice to act in line with one’s principles. Ideally, character determines a person’s reactions regardless of the circumstances but, in fact, character is constantly tested and may not always be strong enough to resist temptation. Leaders are in particularly thorny positions for, as Abraham Lincoln observed: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

This article reviews first some of the recent cases of charismatic leadership gone wrong and its impact on the public. It then considers recent research on character in leadership especially in the light of changing attitudes among the younger generation. Drawing on extensive experience working with leaders in the US, Europe and Asia, the article closes with observations of a trend towards a character-based leadership model in business.



Author name: Charles Seashore
Past Master: Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who founded humanistic psychology, a discipline which emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. Humanist psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her potential, to reach a level of ‘self-actualization’. Self-actualization’ is the pinnacle of achievement in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs - a pattern of human motivational factors which he identified in the course of his research, and which has become almost synonymous with his name. In this article Professor Charlie Seashore, who had the good fortune to work with Abe Maslow, describes a day he spent with him discussing the progress he was making towards self-actualization.


Author name: Katherine Farquhar
Academics’ Corner: What does an OD Practitioner Need to Know?

OD emerged as a values-conscious field of applied behavioural science where a skilled practitioner works with people in organizations to design and implement sustainable change. Always focusing on the dynamic human system, OD practitioners build collaborative relationships with clients and engage in data gathering and sense-making which enables clients to make changes that maximize creativity, performance and return on investment.


Author name: Rick Rocchetti
Supporting a Leader Through Change

My intention in writing this article is to share my reflections on how consultants can best support leaders who are addressing organizational change. Given our current insights as to the importance of leader behavior (relational skills, emotional intelligence, social networking, the ability to create new architectures for change etc) supporting the leader (as the intervener) represents a great point of leverage.


Author name: Sheridan Gates
Creating Possibilities and Pathways: Coaching Leaders Through Change

Throughout my years as a management consultant, leadership trainer and coach, I have discovered a spirit within others to thrive. I also see how people get tangled in every conceivable real-world “trap” that appears to drag them away from this pursuit. My own path has included partial vision loss, an unexpected life challenge that has created the tension of loss and the desire for growth. As a trainer and coach, this loss has spurred me to cultivate simultaneously concrete practices that provide a deeper sense of “seeing,” of listening for possibilities, passion, and a sense of purpose that emerges from within one’s soul. In my work with leaders, I know how to foster what I myself have worked to awaken - the sense of spirit, of dignity, of thriving that fuels my work and relationships.


Author name: Peter Norlin
The Consciously Competent Practitioner

So here we sit as a field, moving into the second decade of the 21st century—buttressed by a foundation of useful research, enriched with knowledge and experience accumulated through decades of successful practice, schooled more rigorously and creatively than ever before—and failing to be recognized as a vital resource needed to help the citizens of the globe work together in large and small ways, failing to pool our wisdom and ensure our survival. This is a pivotal time for our field, and our challenges are complex. How might we empower ourselves so that we are the trustworthy conveners-of-choice for conversations about the future, as we deserve to be?


Author name: Carol Pierce
Flat, Egalitarian Structure: Working with Energy

Flat structure theory or Power Equity Group theory is best known through experiential work where theory gives ways to an image of the group, words to describe what happens, and a process to sustain it. It gives us language to describe our experience from a different viewpoint. Much that we thought important fades with new language that describes what has previously been a part of our experience, but outside awareness.


Author name: Dick Axelrod
Employee Engagement and the Organization Development Practitioner

If you are an OD practitioner, you are likely to come across employee engagement in one form or another in the course of your work. If your organization is starting a major change initiative or is seeking to create an engaged workforce, you are likely to be working with leaders who are asking the eternal management question, “How do I engage people in the purpose of the enterprise?” The answer is not easy. That is why Organization Development Practitioners must have the expertise to play an important role in helping leaders to address this issue.


Author name: Dr Charles Seashore

Kurt Lewin | Past Master

The history of The NTL Institute involves hundreds and probably thousands of practitioners, scholars, change agents and social science theorists. But the name of Kurt Lewin inevitably rises to the top when people look for a single source who has guided the evolution of our organization and indeed the field of applied behavioral science. Some of us are separated from him by a generation who actually knew him personally while newcomers to NTL are often separated by half a dozen generations of colleagues…Yet so many of us in NTL would call ourselves Lewinians – an identity in the social sciences as influential as that of the Freudians in personality or clinical psychology.



Author name: Barbara Bunker, Ph.D.
Academics Corner Academics’ Corner: A Short History of OD

Before OD, there were three disciplines in the university that contributed the thinking and research that underpin OD practice. They are Social Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Sociology. Kurt Lewin, whose work on change led to the creation of the T-group and NTL, was the father of Social Psychology… Gradually, social psychology spread around the world and took on many research topics. Also gradually, the practice of OD separated from its academic roots. Today, many OD folk seem to be unaware of the origin of the knowledge that they take for granted.


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