A Life in Leadership: A Conversation with Warren Bennis

Brought to you by Leadership and Community Involvement.

Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Atrium C&D (view map)
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance prior to August 24, 2010 to Carol Clyde at cclyde@smu.edu

About the Webinar

Warren Bennis, a giant in the leadership field, has written his definitive autobiography; his last word on a career in leadership spanning more than fifty years. This memoir: entitled Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership (written with Patricia Ward Biederman, Jossey-Bass/Wiley) – provides insight into the compelling life that has paralleled the rapidly changing times in America over the last century.

A renaissance man in the then-nascent field, Bennis’ unparalleled perspective on leadership has been informed by successful careers as both scholar and practitioner and by key, formative experiences both at home and abroad. His tenure at MIT exposed him to a bevy of notable, forward thinking scholars, which prepared him well for his experience teaching abroad at IMEDE in Switzerland, one of Europe’s pioneers in executive education. Still “hungry to…lead with the passion and skills of a change agent,” Bennis then served as acting executive vice president at the State University of NY at Buffalo before becoming president of the University of Cincinnati in 1971. In his youth, Bennis served as a 19-year-old second lieutenant in Germany during the final days of World War II and participated in the early days of T-group sessions and befriended social psychologists Abraham Maslow and Erik Erikson.

Together, these experiences made the man who predicted the huge shift from hierarchical, top-down leadership to today’s more team-oriented approach and who helped move the field of leadership from obscurity in theory to a topic discussed daily by individuals in all professions and regions of the world.

In the last three decades, Bennis has continued to spearhead the evolution of good leadership practice through his work at USC (including founding The Leadership Institute), his consultation with CEOs of major companies (like Howard Schultz at Starbucks) and political figures (including former US Vice President Al Gore), and his numerous books and groundbreaking essays in major publications.

About Faye Cagle

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