ILA Podcast

Proleptic Leadership on the Commons

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr. Randal Joy Thompson


Dr. Randal Joy Thompson discusses her new book Reimagining Leadership on the Commons: Shifting the Paradigm for a More Ethical, Equitable, and Just World.

A Powerful Quote From This Episode

  • “Commoners are living with the values, the relationships, that they would hope society would evolve into. That is prefigurative, and it’s a powerful way of change. But when you translate that into leadership, it’s ‘proleptic.’ Because you have that vision of that perfect society that you want to create. And that vision drives your leadership, it drives the way you are, what you’re being on every level…on the personal level, on the inner relational level, on the social level. Once you have that vision so clear, glimpses of it keep coming to you.”

About Dr. Randal Joy Thompson

Dr. Randal Joy Thompson is a global wanderer who has been moving from country to country working in international development since the 1980s. She has worked and lived in India, Cameroon, Morocco, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Liberia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jordan and worked short term in a number of other countries. She loves exploring new cultures and working with teams of local nationals who always teach her new things about the world and what is important to value.

As a scholar-practitioner, she recently focused on “leadership on the commons.” Her book Proleptic Leadership on the Commons: Ushering in a New Global Era was published in October 2020 and her upcoming co-edited book (with Devin Singh and Kathleen Curran) Reimagining Leadership on the Commons: Shifting the Paradigm for a More Ethical, Equitable, and Just World will be published on September 29, 2021.  Her 2018 co-edited with Julia Storberg-Walker book Leadership and Power in International Development: Navigating the Intersections of Gender, Culture, Context, and Sustainability won the 2018 Academy for Human Resource Development R. Wayne Pace HRD Book of the Year Award.

She has published articles and chapters on women in El Salvador, Afghanistan, Morocco, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Myanmar.  Her company, Dream Connect Global, creates networks to help people achieve their dream. She earned her Ph.D. in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University, a MA in Philosophy and MBA from the University of Chicago, a MA in Biblical Exposition from Capital Seminary and Graduate School, and a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley.  She is currently a Fellow at Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation. She is a mother of two sons and a grandmother of five grandkids.

To learn more about her work,  visit Randal’s Website.

Host Dr. 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.