Leader’s Challenge addresses the subject of Servant Leadership and the ‘Five Ways
of Being’ identified by author-consultant James Autrey to be
its core concepts. According to Autrey, being authentic,
vulnerable, present, accepting, and useful in the workplace are the first steps
in becoming a successful servant leader, speaking not only to a person’s
professional development but also to his or her personal values,
perceptions and beliefs.
Leader’s Challenge looks thoughtfully at relation between
the public roles we play as leaders and the nature of our authentic,
personal selves. What is the relationship between vulnerability and
success? How can we handle incoming negativity with grace and integrity?
What does full acceptance of others actually require of us? What
does it mean to be fully present with one’s employees and peers…and
how can this enhance workplace relationships and leadership skills?
The performing and consulting artists of Creative Leaps address
these and other questions from multiple perspectives and through
multiple forms of art.
“ The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise to
the occasion. As our case is new, so must we think anew and act anew.
No amount of personal significance or insignificance will spare
one or another of us.”
-- Abraham Lincoln
new visions requires inventive thinking and a letting go of past
ways: embracing the future and working with it, not
against it. Acclaimed tenor Paul Adkins plays with this idea…and proves
in a musical fashion that “the dogmas of the quiet past” just
Ain’t Necessarily So.
In music”, explains pianist Jon Klibonoff, “we have a
form called Rhapsody. Rhapsody is all about ‘living in the
moment’. Music can be improvised and it’s that passionate
being in present time that guides that wonderful spontaneous improvisation.
In layman’s terms, we can call it ‘winging it’.
How many of you have ‘wung it’? In music, sometimes we
have a legal license to ‘wing it’. One of the most inspired
versions of a rhapsody was written many years ago by George Gershwin”.
Klibonoff plays “Rhapsody in Blue” and shares the
amazing story of its composition.
In his original composition, “The Hero’s Journey,” percussionist
Richard Albagli leads us on a rhythmical odyssey which speaks powerfully
to the issues of authenticity and self-discovery. He tells the classic
story of the mythic folk hero: his journey into the wilderness; his
nearly overwhelming encounter with his newly discovered powers and
his authentic self; and, finally, his character-defining decision
to return home and dedicate his powers to the service of his community
or to hoard his powers selfishly and be overtaken and controlled
by them. “The Hero’s Journey”, says Albagli, “is
one of empowerment, transformation, and decision. Without the
decision to serve, the hero can never be a true leader.”
The Leader’s Challenge was originally conceived and designed
for the Starbucks Coffee Company and featured as the keynote in a
series of regional conferences introducing Servant Leadership to
the company’s more than 5000 partners nationwide. Content
for this Concert of Ideas was developed with the generous guidance
support of Richard Smith, senior educator and consultant on Servant