Thursday, April 11, 2013

Four Assumptions....Six Literacies.....Appreciative Practices

In years of looking at and considering the ton of literature on and approaches to leadership, I found myself overwhelmed by which model to choose, especially when most of the work being offered pointed to one way of being or one focus:
§  Adaptive leadership
§  Servant leadership
§  Creative leadership
§  Resonant leadership
§  Values-based leadership
§  Strengths-based leadership
§  Transformative leadership
§  Collaborative leadership
§  Compassionate leadership
§  Heart-based leadership

I’m sure you can fill in more models and examples.  They’re all good.  All the models seem to have legitimacy but without enough scope or practicality to encompass the complexity of our challenges right now.  

I began reflecting on and studying the lists of important literacies and competencies for the 21st Century—there are lots of lists—and what is important for leaders began to surface: four assumptions that create a platform for six broad literacies: skills that every leader should have some competency and literacy in, resting on a platform of four assumptions about humans.

The more I played with these, the more I saw that the work I had done for fifteen years with the principles of Appreciative Inquiry fit very well with them in terms of turning literacies into daily practice.

That’s the basis for the studio workshop above.  

I will also be offering a half-day overview of this work at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill on May 21st for their Center for Faculty Excellence.

Stay tuned for an unfolding of the six literacies over the next weeks.


  1. Dear Sallie, your words really resonate with me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will mail you a link to a video that was made of a presentation around AI and leadership in Chartres last November. May it contains some thoughts / ideas that will help building your ideas. Warm regards, Joep

  2. Thanks so much for sending the video. Very thought-provoking, particularly in your practices of leadership. Looking forward to a deeper conversation, Sallie