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Is “irony” the magic ingredient of great leadership? with Dr. Richard Claydon

Tuesday, March 2, 2021
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM EST

Over the last few decades, there has been a significant set of research suggesting that great leaders were, in some way, ironic. Bill Torbert’s work on ego development and the transformations of leadership placed irony at the highest level of consciousness. This informs many of the stage theories of leadership and organizational development, such as Laloux’s Reinventing Organisations, or Spiral Dynamics. In Firms of Endearment, Rajendra Sisodia suggested that ironic leadership lay behind the massive over-performance of world-class companies, which laid the foundation for his subsequent work on Conscious Capitalism.

A wealth of other research has illustrated that ironic characters add huge value during long-term and complex organizational transformations. Despite all this research, the concept is not well-understood, and you’ll struggle to find many organizations (although there are some) that would place irony as a significant tell of leadership potential. In the first of our Thinking Dialogue’s, we’ll take a deep dive into the concept of the ironic leader or organizational ironist, with the breakout sessions looking at the following dimensions of irony: the ironic perspective: the gap between rhetoric and reality, or aspirations and achievements the ironic performance: the transmission of this gap without losing one’s head the ironic personality: the long-term character of the ironic performer —

About the Speaker

Dr. Richard Claydon is Chief Cognitive Officer of EQ Lab, an extended intelligence laboratory and network curating and cultivating bleeding-edge leadership and organizational insights and developments, and turning them into dialogic learning courses and programs that rapidly develop future-ready leadership talent.

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