Leadership Tools

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Leadership Tools





David Bohm describes Dialogue as “a way of exploring the roots of the many crises that face humanity today.” According to the practice he developed, “Dialogue is a way of observing, collectively, how hidden values and intentions can control our behavior, and how unnoticed cultural differences can clash without our realizing what is occurring. It can therefore be seen as an arena in which collective learning takes place and out of which a sense of increased harmony, fellowship and creativity can arise.” Suspension of thoughts, impulses, and judgments is crucial to the practice of Dialogue. “The activity is both unfamiliar and subtle. Suspension involves attention, listening and looking and is essential to exploration. Speaking is necessary, of course, for without it there would be little in the Dialogue to explore, But the actual process of exploration takes place during listening -- not only to others but to oneself.”

The following points are excerpts guidelines for the practice of Dialogue developed by The Resonance Project:

“(1) We assume that many people have parts of the answer to any complex question….

(2) We seek and value difference….

(3) Instead of agreeing or disagreeing when I'm listening to another person, I try to understand what their assumptions are…and how that’s different from my assumptions and my stories about the world…..

(3) Dialogue is an open-ended conversation. It’s meant to generate more options, more ideas, more insight, and not necessarily to lead quickly or at all to some kind of closure….

(4) The people in the group feel a sense of equality, empathy, and openness…. ‘We leave our resumes and our positions at the door.’” see also Resonance.


The Ecology of Leadership


What is leadership in the Web of Life? How do we reconcile the notion of leadership with Systems Thinking? New models for leadership replace traditional hierarchical models with collaborative, networked metaphors, drawing on ecological principles. In the natural world, underlying dynamics create patterns, competition and co-operation coexist, and Resilience is achieved by proliferating diversities.


See document on "The Ecology of Leadership" at

Tipu Ake Leadership Model


The Tipu Ake Leadership Model is “an easily applied, and action focused leadership model …. that helps us operate in a world of complexity, chaos, interdependency and ambiguity.” It is inspired by the story of Te Whaiti School, where an underemployed Maori community called on its own internal strength and traditional wisdom to transform its school from failure and imminent closure to the top of its class. Volunteers from the Auckland University of Technology and other NZ organizations worked with the Maori community to develop an organic Leadership Model from their study of this process. Its full name is Tipu Ake ki te Ora (growing from within, ever upwards towards wellbeing). It is generously shared with the world at




Watch a Powerpoint presentation on the Tipu Ake Model at


Read a paper on “Growing Living Organizations” at

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