The Aspen Leadership Institute works with educational institutions to provide cutting edge leadership programming that leaves participants being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression.
There is a distinction between teaching leadership theory and providing leadership development. The Aspen Leadership Institute offerings employ an Ontological / Phenomenological model of mastery to develop participants as leaders. The Ontological / Phenomenological model provides a very different method for teaching leadership than models based on leadership competencies, leadership skills, leadership traits or leadership theories.
While leadership theories, competency-based models, and programs that add to participants’ knowledge about leaders and leadership are useful, our courses are not about knowing the characteristics, traits, or skill-sets of successful leaders, and we do not teach leadership theory. This 21st century model looks at the essential nature of leadership and what it is to be a leader. In our highly interactive programs, we support participants in mastering what it takes for each of them to be a leader – and to be a leader they have not yet known themselves to be.
Quoting the Dean of Harvard Business School, the Dean of Harvard College and Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration (the Editors of The Handbook for Teaching Leadership), this course teaches leadership, “in a way that not only informs [students] about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders.”
Aspen Leadership Institute Founder and Executive Director Dr. Pamela Paresky received her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the University of Chicago where her work at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) focused on happiness, relationships, and “Flow,” a construct describing optimal experience and mastery developed by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, a pioneer in the study of both happiness and performance. Building on his discovery that the best moments in life usually occur when people stretch themselves “in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile,” and that optimal experience is “something we make happen,” Dr. Paresky has spent the past twenty years investigating the source of both optimal performance and a life worth living.
Today, through the Aspen Leadership Institute, she collaborates with academics and leaders across the globe in researching leadership development and delivering a kind of leadership programming that provides access to merging action and awareness, and leaves participants with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression.
“...what really excites me is the prospect of a stronger link between
practitioners and academics, so we can apply the research we’ve done
and shape the research we need to do.
Together, we can simplify reality without distorting it
and uncover the social laws that we don’t yet understand
but shape our world.”