Pioneers in Adaptive Leadership


A curated selection of Adaptive Leadership resources

Adaptive Leadership Facilitator Guide

Adaptive Leadership Facilitator Guide is a practical and insightful tool for people who seek meaningful and sustainable change through their work with students, teams and communities. Drawing on the cutting edge application of Adaptive Leadership and the accompanying book Your Leadership Moment, the authors offer a step-by-step framework for cultivating the necessary mindset and skills for internalizing adaptive change. With its focus on “holding space” for emergence, loss and learning, the Guide provides strategies for navigating complexity and uncertainty, building resilience and fostering authentic relationships. Whether you’re an experienced facilitator or just starting out, this book will inspire you and the people you work with to step into leadership moments that make a difference.

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Your Leadership Moment

Anyone can be a leader. You don’t have to be a CEO or work in a management position to have influence. Your Leadership Moment provides practical tools, techniques and inspiration to discover your leadership potential. It combines personal and real-world anecdotes with a framework for adaptive leadership that can help anyone learn to lead.

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The Leadership Moment

How to know when it’s your time to lead.

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Transforming the Status Quo Through Everyday Leadership

The story of Eric Martin and Vimal Kumar, who’s leading a civil rights movement in India.

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Democratizing Leadership in the Age of Authoritarianism

ACA Founder Eric Martin discusses the role of leadership in securing democracy and shares practical ideas for every day life.

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How Google Harnesses the Entire Company to Stay Innovative (Fast Company)

A plain language introduction to Adaptive Leadership at Google.

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Leading Consequential Change Through the Blockchain

Blockchain holds extraordinary potential to democratize everything it touches, from sustainability tracking to lending to the arts to democracy itself. But can blockchain leaders avoiding repeating the mistakes made by Facebook, Google and other tech giants?

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How Not to Solve Fake News

The classic mistake: applying a technical fix to the adaptive problem of “fake” news.

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Leadership in a Permanent Crisis (Harvard Business Review)

Written at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.  Article available upon request.

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The Gift of Grantee Inclusion (Stanford Social Innovation Review)

A treatment of Adaptive Leadership in philanthropy against the backdrop of power dynamics between grantmakers and grantees.

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The Work of Leadership (by Heifetz and Lurie)

Seminal article on Adaptive Leadership.  Denser and longer but a good grounding in the core ideas if you have don’t have time to read the first two books. Article available upon request.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership (Harvard Business Press)

The most recent book on Adaptive Leadership. Not quite a field guide, but filled with practical activities to try in your day-to-day work and life.

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Adaptive Leadership in the US Energy Sector (Environmental Leader)

(Article) The US energy industry has adapted before, but will it now?

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Adaptive Leadership in the NYC Watershed (Environmental Leader)

Case study of adaptive leadership in tough negotiations to find a sustainable solution to New York City’s water challenge.

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Survival Guide for Leaders (by Heifetz and Linksy)

A classic.  Good grounding in the work.  A bit old in terms of publishing date but still relevant. Article available upon request.

Best Practice Briefing - Tactics for Tough Times (Harvard Business Press)

Gets a bit deeper into the leadership ideas than the items above but is still digestible. Article available upon request.

The Leader of the Future (Fast Company)

Good, digestible introduction to the adaptive leadership approach.  Oldie but goodie.

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Leadership on the Line (Harvard Business School Press)

More conversational in tone than the other books. Of the lot, it conveys the spirit of this approach well.

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Leadership Without Easy Answers (Harvard University Press)

The seminal book on Adaptive Leadership. A dense read, but well worth it for the AL enthusiast.

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