The Courage to Lead: Systems Change, Transformation and Leadership in the 21st Century

IMG_1842The biggest global crisis – the greatest threat to the future of life on Earth as we know it – is a lack of competent leadership. It seems to me that every crisis we face has one thing in common – a failure of those in charge to effectively lead the way toward a sustainable resolution of that particular danger or threat.

  — John Renesch


Organizing a new crosswalk in the neighborhood or a big social change, leadership is similar and sometimes the effort for big change is the same as the small change.  How do we leverage our time, skills and other resources to be the change we are seeking?

This is not a lecture course.  It is a rich conversation that brings together the knowledge in the room, integrates and expands upon the toolboxes of the leaders and participants.  It is a real live simulation of leadership skills and practice in leading.

It is a conversation among colleagues who are deeply passionate and committed to being leaders in a new way of approaching law and the legal system.  It evokes courage and honors vulnerability.

It isn’t a workshop about how to make more money or a skills course about how to listen better to clients, although you might learn that and more.  It is a course about being a leader in changing the world.

So that is what it isn’t, what is it?

Think of this as part coaching session, part workshop, and part community-building.  You’ll learn skills and knowledge that will help you move your projects forward. You will get personal attention and you will have the courage that community provides.

The leader and facilitator, Kim Wright, brings a full toolbox of tools which she has used in being a social change agent.  She just wrote a 400 page book for the American Bar Association on this very topic (due out in September).

We will begin with an overview of some of the tools, the systems change models and how they apply to law.  Then, we’ll take it from there, exploring how we apply these in our own projects and how we grow these projects and leverage our time for the most impact.

Please bring a project or an idea of a project to make this real for you.  (If you’re at a complete loss, we can help you create a project.)

The tools used will be determined by the conversation, but here is a list of possibilities (and some of the authors whose work she draws upon)

  • Appreciative Inquiry  (David Cooperrider, Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres, Sallie Lee)
  • Business models including Holacracy
  • Circle process  (Kay Pranis)
  • Conscious Business  (Social Venture Network, Conscious Capitalism)
  • Contemplative Practices
  • Courage  (Brene Brown and others)
  • Creating New Futures  (Landmark Education)
  • Ethical issues of being a social change agent: push vs. attract
  • Integrative Law Models  (Kim Wright)
  • Purpose  (LifeOnPurpose Institute)
  • Roles in the Systems Change
  • Sacred Activism  (Andrew Harvey)
  • Stages of a Project
  • Social Change
  • Spiral Dynamics  (Don Beck)
  • Systems Thinking  (Berkana Institute)
  • The Tipping Point  (Malcolm Gladwell)
  • Theory U  (Otto Scharmer)
  • Uncertainty
  • Values   (Barrett Values Centre)
  • Vulnerability  (Brene Brown)

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“So what are the traits the 21st century leader needs to succeed? Some of the factors that make a great leader haven’t really changed. The abilities to innovate, execute and be a strong role model for your staff will always be essential. But in addition to these qualities, a new leadership style is emerging, with skills uniquely tailored for success in today’s environment. One management consultant has dubbed this new leader The Enlightened Warrior.”    Carol Tice,

“It is often said that the principles of great leadership are timeless, or based on immutable truths. But when we meet with the men and women who run the world’s largest organizations, what we hear with increasing frequency is how different everything feels from just a decade ago. Leaders tell us they are operating in a bewildering new environment in which little is certain, the tempo is quicker, and the dynamics are more complex. They worry that it is impossible for chief executives to stay on top of all the things they need to know to do their job. Some admit they feel overwhelmed.”  From McKinsey and Company at


For upcoming dates of this program, contact