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The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Dec 24, 2021

For Robert "Bob" Dunham, the art of effective leadership is as much as inner game as an outer one. It begins, he says, with the leader identifying what h/she cares about, what h/she'll will do to respond to that caring, and then engaging with others about shared meaning.

When beginning his work with prospective leaders, Dunham often begins by asking them to define what they care about, a question which many find perplexing. Many can only answer it in simple terms, for example citing their need to take care of their family. 

"But how is that going to inform your value satisfaction in the domain of your work life, your action life?," he asks. "There's a deep part of us -- many traditions would call it your soul -- that has one concern and that concern is, 'are you alive?', 'are you really living?'.... But that's where we have to go, and that's where we meet Spirit," Dunham says.

In this podcast, Dunam explores the art of mastering what he "generative conversation" for answering questions of caring, and developing shared commitment in teams and organizations. Generative questions -- ones that elicit commitments -- can have a transfomative effect in personal, workplace, and societal contexts.

Dunham is the founder and director of the Institute for Generative Leadership and the the co-author with Dr. Peter Fleming of The Innovator's Way: Essential Practices for Successful Innovation. He holds two degrees from Stanford University, completed three years of postgraduate work in Ontological Design, and four years in Somatic Leadership with the Strozzi Institute. Early in his career, he led the onboard software development team for the Hubble Space Telescope.