“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~ John F. Kennedy ~
These days, there is a great deal of discussion on effective leadership. Most of us recognize that the essential traits of good leadership include authenticity, self-awareness, sound judgment, integrity, accountability, and excellent relationship skills.
But how can leaders continue to cultivate and strengthen their own capabilities in order to empower others?
Jane Allen, Coach, Consultant, Co-founder of Amara Collaboration, and co-author Street Smart Awareness and Inquiry-in-Action with Heidi Gutekunst, shares how she works with leaders to develop and nurture the essential skills for authentic and compassionate leadership.
Jane began her career as a social worker and made what she considers a natural transition to management and leadership training. Originally working for a large local authority, she left to set up her own contractural consultancy when she had her children. She later joined a consultancy that specialized in transformational leadership through developmental individual and team coaching..
During this time, she became interested in Bill Torbert’s work on the stages of leadership maturity, and also became involved with ALIA (Authentic Leadership in Action) and the Authentic Leadership Center, Naropa. She continues to work in Amara Collaboration with co-founders Heidi Gutekunst and Bill Torbert by coaching leaders to become more in touch with their own humility and vulnerability in order to develop honesty, authenticity and awareness in how this translates to the work environment.
Jane is also very committed to the work of Naropa and the Authentic Leadership Centre, whose mission is to blend the best of Eastern philosophy with the best of intellectual Western thought. She embraces this philosophy by incorporating mindfulness practices into her leadership training in order to cultivate a healthier, more engaging work environment.
In a respectful and sensitive way, Jane integrates mindfulness and meditative practices in team-building events, and she encourages an interplay of artistic creativity in her programs. She advocates that self-awareness is crucial to effective leadership. It requires effort and commitment for participants to let go of ego and open themselves up to being human and vulnerable.
Jane believes that mindful practices can have an empowering effect on individuals as well as entire organizations. Providing space and reflection in a non-judgemental environment can help to resolve conflict between leaders. In her practice, she often sees leaders learn to put egos aside and come together in a moment of quiet and authenticity that not only changes the relationship between them but also transforms the dynamic of the whole organization.
She has personally benefitted from her ongoing work with Naropa and the Authentic Leadership Centre. She feels encouraged and grateful to be connected to a network of like-minded people who are all walking a path to try and make a positive impact on the world.
Jane is passionately committed to the work that she is involved in and believes that we need more authenticity, mindfulness, and compassion in our leaders in order to make this world a better place for everyone.
Jane Allen is an experienced consultant and leadership coach working in public and private sectors. She provides advice and support for consultants working in the field of transformational organization and leadership development, with particular expertise and enthusiasm for the Global Leadership Profile, the practices of action inquiry and authentic leadership.
Jane has extensive experience running action-learning sets and providing coaching and mentoring for strategic leaders. She is a co-founder and Chair of Amara Collaboration and co-author of Street Smart Awareness and Inquiry-in-Action.
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