ILA Podcast

Charisma of Purpose

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr. Gill Hickman


Dr. Gill Hickman talks with Scott about creating one of the first leadership programs in the world, writing some of the first leadership text books, and growing up during the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the South.

Quotes From This Episode

“As soon as they said the buses were integrated…I thought ‘I’m going to try this’…and I got on with a friend and we sat on the front seat. And people started talking about us and saying we didn’t belong there. And literally, a woman hit me with her umbrella and told me to move and get off. And I did not do it.”

“The first day they said the lunch counters were integrated in Birmingham (unbeknownst to my parents) I decided, I’m going to sit down at the lunch counter.”

“Georgia Sorenson and I were at the Kellogg Leadership Studies project and we were all talking about leadership with James McGregor Burns, and all the other scholars, and people were arguing about the leader and what the role of the leader is, and on and on… Georgia and I looked at each other and said, ‘we’re kind of sick of this argument. We’re all focused on the leader. What about, what about everybody else? What about people being inspired because they really believe in what they’re doing?’ And that’s that was the start of our conversation about the common purpose as the leader, in other words, invisible leadership.”

About Dr. Gill Hickman

As one of the inaugural faculty members of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, one of the first institutions in the world with a multidisciplinary faculty devoted to the study of leadership, Dr. Gill Hickman joined forces with her colleagues to build a leadership studies program from the ground up. She is a former board member of the International Leadership Association and the recipient of several awards, including the ILA’s Leadership Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award and the University of Richmond’s Distinguished Educator Award. She has authored many publications including Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era and Leading Change in Multiple Contexts, Invisible Leadership, and her most recent book, When Leaders Face Personal Crisis: The Human Side of Leadership.

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.