ILA Podcast

Spheres Not Squares

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr. Chellie Spiller, (hapū Matawhaiti Iwitea, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa)


Scott talks with Dr. Chellie Spiller, (hapū Matawhaiti Iwitea, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa), a professor at the University of Waikato Management School in Auckland, New Zealand. Topics range from wayfinding to Māori Business and leadership development.

Quotes From This Episode

“I adamantly believe we cannot shoehorn indigenous leadership theory into Western theories. The best that Western theories can do is illuminate some aspect of indigenous leadership, because indigenous leadership is a whole belief system, a whole philosophy/ontology – it’s a way of life.”

“The invitation of indigenous holistic thinking is to enter a spherical world that’s more rounded, where we show up as whole people. And I guess it is that world of both/and. It’s more interwoven, relational – about the group relationships, group harmony, and group accomplishments, and process orientation.”

“It comes back to our deep sense of belonging. Belonging, not only to our families, our friends, our communities, but belonging to a place and belonging to the world and to the planet as well. So it really deepens this idea of what it means to belong.”

“So we make the difference between sphere intelligence and square intelligence – square intelligence being cells and spreadsheets – that rational logic that can really dictate our path. Instead of stepping back and pausing, and just having that time to reflect and look around and tap into the wisdom within us as well.”

About Dr. Chellie Spiller, (hapū Matawhaiti Iwitea, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa)

Dr. Chellie Spiller, (hapū Matawhaiti Iwitea, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa), is based in Auckland and is a professor at the University of Waikato Management School. Chellie is a passionate and committed advocate for Māori Business development. Her vision is to create relational wellbeing and wealth across spiritual, environmental, social, cultural, and economic dimensions, creating transformation in people, enabling them to claim their rightful place in the world, and embodying their sense of self. Chellie’s leadership qualities are nourished by her academic achievements. Chellie was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Arizona. She is a recipient of a Research Excellence Award, Dame Mira Szászy Māori Alumni Award, and National Māori Academic Excellence Award. She is passionate about teaching on the postgraduate diploma in business administration (Māori development) where she specializes in management and governance.

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.