Holding an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his contributions to establishing leadership as a profession, Mel Toomey is an educator, executive advisor, and organizational consultant. He is the founder of both the Center for Leadership Studies and the Generative Leadership Group, and principal designer for one of the first Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership programs ever offered at University. Mel serves as Scholar in Residence at the Graduate Institute in Bethany, Connecticut, teaches an Integrating Change certification program at the University of Arkansas, Sam Walton College of Business’ Tyson Center for Spirituality in the Workplace, and is Principal for the CLS Degree & Certification Programs.
Leadership and results: At CLS, the context for your learning is the work you do, not a series of abstractions embodied in case studies. Your job becomes the only case study which means your learning is real-time, developmental and fully integrated with your work. Not only do you significantly accelerate your development, you also produce measurable results for your company, which far exceed the cost of your leadership education at CLS.
Making leadership a renewable resource: At CLS, leaders achieve levels of development that normally takes years in just a matter of months. Jeff Burwinkel, Richard Wellins, Ph.D., and Bradford Thomas, reported in “The Rapid Arrival of The Under Prepared" that 77 percent of internally-sourced leaders report that they must hone their leadership skills by trial and error on the job and 68% percent by observing how their own supervisors work. These approaches to leader development have a high failure rate and can take as much as a dozen years to turn out an accomplished leader. At CLS, those who engage in our most advanced work not only master leadership but are able to develop others as leaders, thus making leadership a renewable resource.
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Leadership and change: Today, leaders must reset and refine strategy faster than ever in the face of reduced resources. Those in change roles have increased job responsibilities, with less time and with more to do than ever before. Those who succeed must be creative and bold innovators, able to make decisions quickly based on limited information. Even though we have more information at our fingertips than in any previous time, we are dealing with forms of change that have no documented history – forms of change that just have never happened before. Change comes wrapped in familiar labels, such as strategic change, large scale change or culture change. These terms are misleading because most change initiatives are, in fact, unique - they are "one of a kind", never done before and not likely to be repeated. At the, Center leaders learn to be effective in the face of uncertainty and mitigate the risk while accomplishing what has never been done before.
Leadership, management and how we develop: There is process-driven learning teaching and there is context-driven learning. MBA programs demonstrate that the management sciences can be taught through process-driven learning. Conversely, leadership is an art-form—it is a unique expression for each who choose to lead. Leadership therefore cannot be taught, but rather it is a matter of self-discovery—something we learn through authentic education—the work of "drawing out" contrasted with "putting in". At the Center you will discover your unique qualities as a leader.