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Leadership Development Breakfasts

The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership hosts a series of Leadership Development Breakfasts over the academic year. As a cross-professional program, we invite leaders from a variety of organizations representing various professional domains to share their leadership knowledge and skills.


Thursday, February 21, 2013
Speaker: Brenda McCoy Hunter

"Leading the Next Generation"

We are now living in an historical time when more generations live and work together than ever before; when the fastest growing age group is over 85 and where life expectancy is steadily increasing as 10,000 people turn 65 years of age each day.  The current workplace is made up of four generations and is headed toward the greatest worker shortfall in history. Leadership development and knowledge transfer is crucial to the growth and success of progressive organizations and vibrant communities throughout society.

As the largest demographic shift in history begins, the aging workforce is focused on knowledge transfer and organizational sustainability. Mature workers are required to develop positive change, establish challenging opportunities, and implement lasting programs/processes to lead and guide the coming generation of workers. Just as they are called to contribute in the workforce, they must also support and encourage a better tomorrow for future generations in the personal arenas of family, friends and community.

In this interactive conversation as we addressed the following issues for leadership across the generations:

The Age Wave recap: Who they are

* What needs and what contributions?

*How to help secure the next generation and make a difference

*Why Lead? What difference will it make

* The call to leadership across generations

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Speakers: T racy Roberts, MSW, Chief Executive Officer Circle Center Consulting
Chris Palombo, MA, MSHM, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Dispensary of Hope

"Peacemaking Circles"

Research shows that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them. Peacemaking Circles are an innovative, yet ancient, tool that can be used by leaders in many different settings and for many different purposes. Circles offer a simple but profound format by which organizations and its leaders can build trust and community, while also providing professional development and other tools that create and sustain healthy work environments. Samples of topics we cover in Circle include stress/burnout & vicarious trauma, active listening skills, work/life balance, group consensus building, conflict management, mentoring and celebration/recognition.

Participants will learn the basic tenets of the Peacemaking Circle process and the “how” and “why” behind this profound organizational tool. Participants will learn about different types and applications of Peacemaking Circles and the benefits of holding Circles within an organization. Participants will learn the importance of shared values and how relationships are deepened and teams are strengthened when Circle participants share stories and wisdom in an intentional space. This presentation is experiential and will be conducted in Circle, so participants will have an opportunity to experience the process as well as ask questions before Circle is closed.  


Thursday, October 18, 2012
Speaker: Leigh Ann Roberts, JD
Attorney, Mediator, Conflict Management Consultant and Trainer
"The High Cost of Conflict" 
Conflict inevitably is a part of our lives together. And leaders are reasonably expected to manage and, when possible, help resolve conflict. It is big part of the job of leading. Recent studies show that managers and leaders spend 25-42% of their time dealing with conflict. It is a constant of human organizational life, and we can do it well or we can do it poorly. To help us learn to be more effective leaders the CTP has invited Leigh Ann Roberts to host a Leadership Development Breakfast on the topic of conflict. In her work as an attorney, mediator, trainer, executive coach and consultant, Leigh Ann has helped many leaders and organizations develop effective and sustainable tools for negotiating the hard edges of conflict. If we aspire to leadership, we aspire to conflict. Those who depend on us will appreciate the lessons learned from Leigh Ann on “doing conflict well.”
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Speaker: Graham Reside, PhD
Executive Director, Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School
"Compassionate Communication"
Communication is elemental to effective leadership.  Yet, too often our best intentions to communicate result in mis-communication.  It is difficult, especially during times of change and stress to communicate effectively; to hear and to be heard.  People can resist us or misunderstand us or simply ignore us and our best intentions are not realized.  Dr. Graham Reside, Director of the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions at Vanderbilt University, will present a powerful approach to communication, called compassionate communication, which can deepen our abilities to communicate effectively, and thus making us better leaders.  The principles of compassionate (or non-violent) communication can serve us well when we seek to lead, to be understood and to understand, to know and to be known.  Please join us as we explore an approach to communication that can create less resistance and more understanding, less violence and more compassion, in our lives and in our world. 
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Guest Speaker: Mark Miller-McLemore
Dean, Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Ministry, Vanderbilt Divinity School

"Resourceful Enough: Leadership in Scarcity"
Most nonprofits and congregations face resource shortages: money, staff, and time. The recent economy has made matters worse. Yet most leadership resources ignore that reality. Scarcity as a condition for leadership is overlooked. How can we understand leadership in scarcity? How can leaders be resourceful even when resources are in short supply? Using cases and reflection, this presentation will look honestly at the challenges of leading in scarcity; suggest the gifts such situations offer leaders; and make five proposals for moving forward.
Mark teaches leadership and ministry at Vanderbilt Divinity School and leads the Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt, an experiment in education for ministry in a residential community of practice. He came to Nashville in 1995 following 18 years at a small congregation in an inner city on the south side of Chicago, where the church spearheaded the start of PADS, a congregationally-based shelter program for homeless people.


Thursday, September 15, 2011
Guest Speaker: Graham Reside, PhD
Executive Director, Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School
"Leadership's Unspoken Virtue"
Effective leadership requires a broad range of skills and capacities. No capacity is more important than the seemingly simple task of listening well. Yet, too often we feel unheard. It can seem like everyone is talking, but no one is listening. At this leadership breakfast, Professor Graham Reside, Executive Director of the Cal Turner Program, will lead a conversation about the art of listening and offer participants a method for listening more effectively. Join us as we explore listening as a strategy of leadership, necessary for managing conflict, for overcoming resistances, and for creating opportunities for growth and transformation, both within ourselves and within the institutions in which we serve."
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Guest Speakers: Tracy Puett, MA and Kat Baker, PhD
"Contemplating A New Story for Leadership Development"
In today’s challenging economic climate, leaders often find themselves in unknown territory, having to act before they fully understand what lies ahead. How can we manage the stress caused by uncertainty and ambiguity?  How can we develop the resiliency to weather today’s challenges?  The answer?  By becoming more familiar with who we are. Authentic leaders act on the basis of their values and convictions, captured best in an inspiring ‘life story’ that both motivates behavior and provides a guiding internal compass.  Our stories are enriched through practices of self-reflection, including contemplative practice, which increases awareness and fosters equanimity, providing the possibility of calm presence even in the midst of turbulent situations.  
In this session, participants will gain experience in reflecting on our life stories, considering how these stories might be revised to better reflect our convictions and motivate effective action.  Further, we will practice a brief meditation to get a taste of how contemplation increases mindfulness and resiliency in response to uncertainty and ambiguity. No prior meditation experience is required. 
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Guest Speaker: Gordon Peerman
"Taking the Poison: The Sacred Art of Welcoming the Unwelcome"
Why does a leader need to learn to "take the poison?"  How do you welcome the unwelcome?  What's sacred about the welcoming the unwelcome?  Edwin Friedman, a rabbi and family therapist, famously described leadership as the embodiment of a "non-anxious presence."  Join us to learn how leaders can cultivate the capacity for unconditional presence to metabolize the poison of negativity within their organizations and within themselves.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Speaker: Lori Brewer Collins
"5 Fears of Leaders" And the powerful questions that lead to transformational results

The 21st century is a tough time to lead, no matter where you are on the globe. Our leaders are being tested every day in ways that have always been challenging. But under the uncertainty of a teetering, recovering economy, pressure is particularly intense.

Many leaders have risen to these challenges with herculean efforts.  Behind their brave demeanor, however, they wrestle with their own fears of inadequacy and failure; fears that are often invisible from the outside.

Stress has also escalated within teams as they work in new environments with fewer or unfamiliar members.  Major decisions are made behind closed doors, creating feelings of anxiety or distrust.  Team members and peers increasingly have their own frustrations about the decisions being made, unaware of the leader’s inner turmoil. Everyone feels isolated and alone.

Over nearly 20 years, Lori Brewer Collins’ work with leaders has helped her uncover five critical fears that seem to be universal for leaders:  
1.    Can I do this?
2.    What if they don’t like me?
3.    What if I fail?
4.    Am I worthy?
5.    What if they find out?

These questions, when accompanied by the courage to grapple with them, lead to a deeper process of inquiry:
What am I here to contribute?
Will it have mattered that I was here?

Exploring these questions of purpose help leaders become catalysts of collaboration and trust – factors that lead to transformational shifts and amazing results.

 5 Fears of Leaders explores:
-    The challenges that create inner turmoil and angst for most leaders.
-    The inherent tension of work-life balance, and how leaders can more effectively create equilibrium that brings peace.
-    The importance of a well-rounded identity that creates space for exploring and growing without the stress of needing to be “ perfect.”
-    The drive to compete, and the challenges that come from highly-competitive environments.
-    The nuances of how to lead when you can’t find the certainty to make high-stakes decisions (and you’re the CEO!).



Thursday, September 16, 2010
Speaker: Larry Bridgesmith
"The Role of Reconciliation in Global Society"
An unmistakable global movement toward collaboration and consensus building is underway despite much visible evidence to the contrary. Some suggest that division and fundamentalism is staging a final push to survive its inevitable demise. Regardless of the origins of this global migration, reconciliation of individuals, organizations, communities and nations is a hunger longing to be satisfied. This session will explore techniques for promoting reconciliation and collaboration in our relationships with others.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Speaker: Gordon Peerman
"Hiring the Bandits as Bodyguards: Intra and Interpersonal Interpersonal Martial Arts for Leadership"
Terry Dobson, a Western Aikido master, tells of a time in Tokyo when he found himself in an explosive situation. He was about to resolve the conflict with force, when an elderly Japanese man instead restored harmony in an unexpected way. Gordon Peerman explores how we can use the power of strong emotions, both intra-personally and inter-personally, in the service of insight, awakening, and repair. I'll use examples from Tibetan Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the teaching of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Speaker: Bill Bellet, PhD
"Going from Good to Great in Leading Others: Traits and Characteristics of Exceptional Leaders"
We all know the fundamental skills and habits of good or effective managers and supervisors. They are most typically responsible, organized, decisive, planful, punctual, hard working, fair minded and ethical. However, only a minority of individuals make the leap to become exceptional leaders. What marks the difference between good managers and great leaders? What are the distinguishing features of great leaders and how does one develop and attain the necessary qualities, skills and habits to become one? Dr. Bellet will draw on his personal observations and experiences as a Consulting and Clinical Psychologist selecting and coaching people who are striving to become exceptional leaders to help us understand what great leadership requires.


Thursday, December 10, 2009
Speaker: Graham Reside, PhD
Executive Director, Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School
"Values Based Leadership"
Our values -- those deep commitments that direct and motivate us -- determine the form and content of our leadership. At this leadership breakfast, the CTP's executive Director, Graham Reside, will draw on recent research to explore the complex nature of values and discuss how best to deploy our own values and the values of others in effective leadership. Participants will be asked to identify their values and to reflect on how they are manifest in their lives. Please come and join us for what promises to be a lively discussion about the values that enliven our leadership.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Speaker: Kat Baker, PhD
"Contemplative Leadership"
A contemplative paradigm opens new possibilities for understanding leadership. As Jon Kabat-Zinn describes it, contemplation leads to a deep familiarity and intimacy with the activity and reactivity of one's own mind, and some competency in navigating through our mind moments and emotions with equanimity, clarity, and commitment. Contemplative leaders experience and invite increased awareness, concentration and creativity, as well as reduced stress and anxiety. Kat Baker will explore with us how to employ the benefits of contemplative leadership in our particular professional arenas.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Speaker: Kim Massey
"Possibility Leadership" 
Facilitating inspiration to change Author Pico Iyer wrote that "many of us travel not in search of answers, but of better questions". Having just returned from a 3 month sabbatical in India, I've found some better questions . . .so, my hope is that we will explore the question of how leadership and possibility work together to facilitate change. Using recent non government organization (NGO ) fieldwork in northern India as a case study, I'll show that the NGO's current method is unsuccessful in leading, transforming, and changing behavior because the participants couldn't connect are we not doing simply because we don't even know or understand what's possible? Most of the time we don't think in terms of possibility, we think more in terms of probability. As leaders how do we help increase what is possible? How can we increase the limits of ability, capacity or realization? Through the talk, we'll discover the benefits of possibility thinking and discuss how can we expand our range of thinking to be more possibility oriented. Finally, we explore how can you apply possibility leadership in your life.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Speaker: Tyler Wigg Stevenson
"Wooing Strange Bedfellows: Leading the Evangelical Coalition Against the Bomb"
When the Two Futures Project (2FP) launched in April 2009, Michael Sean Winters blogged at America magazine that, Nothing in recent memory is stranger than the emerging alliance between a group of activist evangelicals and former Cold War statesmen in support of an effort to eliminate nuclear weapons." Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, founding director of 2FP, will share the behind-the-scenes story of how this alliance came to be, and the leadership lessons that can be derived from uniting unlikely suspects toward a common cause.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Speaker: Larry Bridgesmith
"In Too Deep? Called to Lead, Caught in Conflict"
Leading can be difficult at the best of times, but when conflict becomes intractable, leading becomes especially challenging, and can leave us feeling like we are in over our heads. Larry Bridgesmith, J.D., Executive Director of Lipscomb University's Institute for Conflict Management, works with organizations beset with deep conflict, and has learned that in addition to the disrupting power of conflicting personal values, there are neuropsychological reasons for behavior often observed in this state of distress. Over breakfast, Larry will address the unique nature of deep conflict, the leadership and organizational challenges it creates, and discuss the competencies needed to successfully work through these difficult moments.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Speaker: Tom Laney
Associate Director of the Turner Center for Church Leadership and Congregational Development
"Increasing Leader Effectiveness: Moving from argument to exploration"
Most leadership opportunities in today's organizations occur in meetings and group sessions of some kind. Knowing how to steer the work of the group away from arguing over an issue to exploring it is a valuable leadership skill. This presentation will focus on how to understand the energy present in the group and to direct it toward a productive outcome.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Speaker: Graham Reside, PhD
Executive Director, Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School
"Leading Change in Oneself and Others"
A recent study of heart patients revealed that only 1 in 7 were able to make the lifestyle changes necessary for their long term survival. The point? Human beings -- even highly motivated ones -- find it very difficult to change. Yet, leaders are tasked to lead change. At this breakfast, Professor Reside will draw on the work of psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. Through our conversation, we will explore strategies for transformation, both organizational and individual, that take seriously the nature of human resistance to change.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Speaker: Graham Reside, PhD
Executive Director, Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School
"Listening: Leadership's Unspoken Virtue"
Effective leadership requires a broad range of skills and capacities. None are more important than the seemingly simple task of listening well. Yet, too often we feel unheard. It can seem like everyone is talking, but no one is listening. At this leadership breakfast, Professor Graham Reside, Executive Director of the Cal Turner Program, will lead a conversation about the art of listening and offer participants a method for listening more effectively. Join us as we explore listening as a strategy for managing conflict, for overcoming resistances, and for creating opportunities for growth and transformation, both within ourselves and within the institutions in which we serve.
Thursday April 16, 2009
Speaker: Dee Doochin
"Authentic Leadership"
Authentic leaders are genuine people who are true to themselves and to what they believe in. They engender trust and develop genuine connections with others. Because people trust them, they are able to motivate them to high levels of performance. Rather than letting the expectations of others guide them, they are prepared to be their own person and go their own way. As they develop as authentic leaders, they are more concerned about serving others than they are about their own success or recognition. Bill George, author of True North Discover Your Authentic Leadership This session begins with Ms. Doochin presenting resource material from author Bill George on the topic of Authentic Leadership. Ms. Doochin will facilitate a lively, interactive discussion with information and opinions shared by all.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Speaker: Pearl Sims
This session will be begin with the understanding that all individuals have mental models of leadership, some of them shaped by the literature as far back as 350 BC, with Sun Tzu's The Art of War, a treatise to morality, power, and doctrine in the service of victory, and with Plato's 400 BC work, The Republic, an exploration of leadership and justice in the state. While each age has contributed to our understanding of leadership, a clear definition of leadership still eludes us. Like good art, we seem to recognize it only when we see it. However, one fact remains true- all leaders must learn. Over the past decade theories exploring and explaining the evolution of how leaders learn have slowly emerged. We will examine the central themes in these theories of learning and will look closely at the conditions needed to foster leaders' learning.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Speaker: Sawrie Becker
Behind every great leader is a great follower. Much has been written and discussed about what makes a great leader, but what is the role of the follower when it comes to leadership? Join professional life coach, Sawrie Becker, for an interactive, roundtable discussion that will explore what it takes to be an effective follower, when do we know when we are being called to follow versus lead and what is the role of choice is in our following. Here is an opportunity to become present to how our own leadership capabilities and strengths may be measured by discovering more what our willingness and effectiveness to serve as followers.
Thursday February 19, 2009
Speaker: Mark Cappellino
Establishing and maintaining trust is an essential part of establishing effective relationships. In trusting relationship individuals are pre-disposed to work effectively with one another. Thus, it is imperative for leaders to model for others how to build trust in dynamic organizational relationships where the perception or experience of a breach of trust is highly predictable and inevitable. In this brief conversation on February 19 Mark Cappellino will discuss what leaders can do to take the lead on building trust in working relationships. Commonly held beliefs and assessments will be discussed about how trust exists or does not exist in working relationships. New language and distinctions that open up the possibility for new conversations about trust will be introduced. Participants will have an opportunity to consider new choices in their working relationships.


Leadership Scarcity


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