ILA Podcast

Something You Can Practice

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr. Theo Dawson


Dr. Theo Dawson discusses how to optimize skill development and build skills over time to expert levels. 

Quotes From This Episode

“We define skills as ‘something you can practice.'”

“The dopamine/opioid cycle is a cycle in the brain (probably from a natural perspective, most used for learning and love). It is the fundamental process that supports learning… you get a certain amount of satisfaction from that periodic achievement.”

“The highest level thinkers are the people with an enormous amount of experience and expertise – plus more diverse expertise.”

“We should not be privileging that the academy is the way to learn at all. We should actually be prioritizing expertise… the ability to build skill over time to the point where you have expertise.”

About Dr. Theo Dawson

Theo Linda Dawson, Ph.D. (U.C. Berkeley, 1998) is the Executive Director of Lectica, Inc. Dr. Dawson—a recovering serial entrepreneur whose mid-life crisis led to an advanced degree in human development—has practiced midwifery, run several businesses, taught at Harvard and Hampshire College, published numerous peer-reviewed academic articles, and received several awards for her developmental research.

During the last 25 years, Dawson and her colleagues—using novel developmental research methods—have created (1) a powerful approach to measuring learning & development, (2) several written response assessments that measure the complexity level of real-world skills, (3) a universal learning model (VCoL+7™), and (4) a fundamental learning practice (Micro-VCoLing™) that optimizes skill development. She and her team are dedicated to ensuring that humans of all ages have an opportunity to realize their full developmental potential by making these tools freely available to anyone who teaches the world’s children.

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.