ILA Podcast

Ron Heifetz on Adaptive Leadership and His Journey

Maureen Metcalf Podcast Cover

with Ron Heifetz

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During the Interview, we discuss Ron’s thoughts on leadership and his journey. Here is a preview: In times of change, people often try to hold onto the values of their culture that have had personal meaning and significance to them. When dominant cultures are confronted with stresses such as immigrants, they are called to examine their values and often required to take on very difficult integrative work. The leadership required must point out values such as: We stand for freedom and respect for all people, and our policy does not align with what we say we stand for. How do we make space for this evolution? What are the “gives” and “gets” required to evolve cultures? How can we hold steady to our cultural DNA and still evolve? In nature, when an organism adapts, it builds on its old capacity and generates radically new functionality. Ron suggested that “God didn’t do zero-based budgeting in evolution”. We honor our past and at the same time determine what can we release.

About the Guest

Ronald Heifetz founded the Center for Public Leadership and is the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. Ron is a sought-after speaker and advises heads of governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations throughout the world. He co-developed the adaptive leadership framework.
His best-selling Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading, and The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World are go-to guides for organizations and societies looking to build their adaptive leadership capacity — something that extends into his work as a consultant and co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates. Leadership Without Easy Answers, his first book, is widely used in introductory leadership classrooms and Heifetz’s own courses at Harvard Kennedy School.

Host Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf brings 30 years of experience and success in the fields of leadership, innovation, and technology. A regular contributor to Forbes.com, Metcalf has authored an award-winning book series on leadership and is the Founder & CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute. She is the host of an Innovating Leadership, a weekly international podcast that hit the airways in July 2015. As an ILA Fellow, Maureen partners with the International Leadership Associate on a series of global leadership podcasts within the show.