Our Approach

The Callaway Leadership Institute: A Unique Vantage Point

Effective 21st Century Leadership

To survive and grow in this changing world, leaders are discovering that new, more sustainable and inclusive approaches to leading are essential. These requirements are redefining who leaders are, what they do, and where they reside within a group. They are even redefining the very nature of the relationship between the leaders and those who, historically, have been called followers. Furthermore, evidence is mounting worldwide that leaders and organizations that ignore these changing requirements and continue to adhere to traditional leadership identities and definitions put their entire enterprise in jeopardy. Download a copy of our "New Conditions & New Capabilities: A Paradigm Shift for Leaders" article.

We have explored contemporary data and knowledge—gleaned from a wide range of perspectives—about what conditions create AND sustain healthy communities and successful organizations today. We also have spent decades working closely with leaders who are committed to becoming better leaders. These men and women have come from around the globe, from all walks of life and backgrounds, and face a myriad of challenging conditions. Our unique vantage point—an indepth knowledge across cultures of collective insight about leadership coupled with first-hand experience—forms the foundation of our proprietary leadership development Effective 21st Century Leadership™. This framework is the brainchild of Ms. Callaway’s more than forty years of experience seeing first-hand what works and what doesn’t in most modern leadership settings.

The Effective 21st Century Leadership™ approach:

  • Reintroduces ethics and values into the leadership role
  • Cultivates "systems thinking" rather than "single-point" solutions
  • Recognizes that different challenges require different types of leadership approaches
  • Incorporates emotional intelligence as a core competency
  • Balances competition with collaboration and cooperation
  • Uses engagement and involvement rather than brute force to bring about changes
  • Acknowledges that people are organization's most important asset

The Real Work of Effective Leadership

When you explore deeply the actual "work of leadership," it falls naturally into three broad categories:

The first and perhaps most important is the work of "Self". This work explores who you are, and what you believe and value. It includes an understanding of your relevant experiences and inherent capacities that will help you in your leadership role. It clarifies what you stand for... to yourself, and to others. As you gain self-insight and self-management, your ability to be authentic in all settings is greatly enhanced. You are much less vulnerable to "shifting with the winds."

The second category of leadership work is about coming to terms with Reality—not as you "wish to see it" but how it actually is. It is the essential starting point if you want to lead others toward a better future. Knowing how to access relevant information from a broad perspective and synthesize it into a coherent, realistic picture that guides critical strategic, operational and management decisions is key to charting a course through perilous waters.

The third category of leadership work is about Relationships— how you relate to those inside and outside your organization or community... at all levels. It defines how you engage with those of your own "group" as well as those who are not. It determines how you seek to accomplish goals that require collective activity. A consistent, thoughtful approach to all relationships is essential for building trust among those who must actually get the work done.


The 7 Aspirations

To Aspire: A strong desire for high achievement; to strive toward an end.

To get at the real work of leadership, our developmental framework uses Seven Aspirations, which help a current or aspiring leader to focus on specific leadership qualities and behaviors over a specific timeframe. We call them "Aspirations" to reflect the real nature of the work. Just as other individuals with remarkable talent and well-honed skills—outstanding musicians, artists, athletes, surgeons, actors, composers, and writers—must apply their skills anew to each activity, effective leadership is not a "one-time event." Mastery of any complex behavior or thought process takes practice... over time. Aspirations remain abstract concepts until they are applied to real life leadership challenges.

The inter-related capabilities of the Seven Aspirations address the leadership work of Self, Reality, and Relationships.

The Seven Aspirations are:

  • Aspiration #1: Embody Vision and Values (Self)
  • Aspiration #2 Apply Systems Thinking and Strategic Management (Reality)
  • Aspiration #3: Diagnose Correctly the Real Environmental and Organizational Challenges (Reality)
  • Aspiration #4: Understand How Change Happens and Master Its Processes (Self, Relationships)
  • Aspiration #5: Align People and Systems Toward a Shared Purpose (Reality, Relationships)
  • Aspiration #6: Build Mutually Beneficial Relationships (Self, Relationships)
  • Aspiration #7: Create a Life-affirming Culture (Self, Reality, Relationships)

Download your own copy of a more complete description of Effective 21st Century Leadership™: The Seven Aspirations, or pick up a copy at our Online Library.