Why is it that some people have such rich, open conversations? To answer that question is to think about the small moments in talk. Each small moment opens up or closes off the next set of possibilities. And as those moments accumulate, we develop an understanding of what space there is between us and what is open to exploration. Stereotypes, generalizations and judgments color what is available to us. Continue reading


When we embark on an adventure – however we define it – we leave our taken-for-granted world. In the context of the adventure, we face the challenge of making sense out of who we are, what we do and what we value. The time frame is often compacted and so our learning is intense. Sometimes we gain new insights, often we re-learn old lessons. Much like the heroes of old, the adventure is the beginning of a quest – into new places and new ways of being. Continue reading

Learning about Leadership – the Everyday Experience

It is common practice to read books about leadership, biographies of leaders and to take courses, seminars and presentations. Today I would like to consider some of the ‘home grown’ aspects of leadership: adventures and conversations. These three deal with the lived experience and provide a reality check for exploring leadership components in theory. They form a significant part of what, how and where we learn about leading.

Copyright © Patricia Klinck  –  Photo credit: Julie Jenkins

Beauty, Vision and Leadership

In the last newsletter, I suggested that the artist and beauty have more in common with leadership than one might think. I would like to follow up those ideas with several quotations from artist about their vision of their work – and how it develops. I would like to acknowledge Jose Herrero of Fluor Canada Ltd. who shared these quotations with me. Continue reading

Trust, Authority and ‘Mistakes’

It was one of the early days in my learning about training my colt, Indio. I am working with a master teacher, Clay Webster who trains performance horses and their riders. He shouted across the arena “Stop baby sitting that horse!” Shocked, I stopped Indio and asked, “What do you mean?” The reply startled me. “You correct that horse when you think he is going to make a mistake, but he hasn’t yet. So you correct him a lot. He needs to be able to make a big mistake so that your correction is obvious to him. Then he can learn to trust you.” Continue reading

Reframing Learning about Leading

It is an age-old question: are leaders born or are they made? Although we recognize that some people appear to be born leaders, it is commonly accepted that the values, knowledge, and skills of leadership develop with experience. To learn – formally or informally – begins with the organic nature of our lived experience. Much of our knowledge about leading is tacit, buried in our experiences. To reflect on the experiences that shape our leadership and to claim them as unique is crucial to the work of leading. This reflective process opens up the world of intuition, and we become more aware of the complexity of leading our lives and living with others. Continue reading

The only adult way to work

Each summer, Lisa Christenson, writer and art critic, leads groups of art enthusiasts and hikers into Skoki Lodge, deep in the Canadian Rockies. The trip I enrolled on was composed entirely of small business entrepreneurs – all five of us! As I talked with one of my companions about her work as a consulting engineer and her plans to start up her own software company, she summed up her experience with “It’s the only adult way to work.” Continue reading