ILA Podcast

An Achievement of the Collective

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr. Cynthia McCauley


Dr. Cynthia McCauley shares nuggets of wisdom on leadership development in organizations. She has 35+ years of experience in leader development methods including developmental assignments and relationships, 360-degree feedback, and action learning.


“What we say is leadership is an ‘achievement of the collective,’ which might be the most concise way to express a relational view of leadership.”

“Assessment, challenge, and support…are the elements that combine to make developmental experiences more powerful. That is, whatever the experience, it has more impact if it contains these three elements.”

“Individuals broaden and deepen their leadership capabilities as they do leadership work. In fact, there are good reasons to believe that learning from experience is the number one way that leader development happens…. How can organizations better harness the power of experiences for leadership development?” 

“A leadership development strategy is a plan for the thoughtful, intentional deployment of organizational resources to ensure the ongoing availability of leadership for achieving the organization’s strategic agenda….”

“Relational views of leadership may be the disruptive idea that helps reconstruct leadership development in ways that meets these concerns.”

About Dr. Cynthia McCauley

Cynthia McCauley is an honorary senior fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. With more than 35 years of experience, Cindy has been involved in many aspects of CCL’s work: research, publications, program and product development, evaluation, coaching, and management. Capitalizing on this broad experience, she has developed expertise in leader development methods, including developmental assignments and relationships, 360-degree feedback, and action learning. She has also played a central role in CCL’s efforts to understand leadership as a collective phenomenon shared among people and to expand its leadership development practice to include the development of teams and leadership cultures.

Cindy has published numerous articles and book chapters for scholars, HR professionals, and practicing managers. She is the co-editor of three editions of The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development (1998, 2004, 2010), as well as two books on experience-based development (Using Experience to Develop Leadership Talent, Experience-Based Leader Development: Models, Tools, Best Practices, and Advice). Cindy has a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of Georgia and is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the American Educational Research Association.

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.