From Thought to Action: Growing Leaders in a Changing World Center for Public Leadership to Host All-Day Event May 11 to Honor Warren Bennis

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: 617-495-1115
Date: May 09, 2006

Cambridge, MA – In honor of Warren Bennis, a legendary figure in the field of leadership studies, more than 200 guests, including major CEOs, scholars, and best-selling authors, will gather Thursday at Harvard for all-day conversations about cutting-edge questions in leadership as well as an evening celebration.
The event, titled “Growing Leaders in a Changing World,” is sponsored by the Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard University in partnership with U.S.News & World Report and nearly two dozen influential Americans who are members of the Warren Bennis Tribute Committee. Bennis, who will be present for the festivities, has served as chair of the Center’s advisory board for the past five years, and has also taught leadership courses for graduate students at the Kennedy School and Business School.
“Warren Bennis is widely beloved, not only as a pioneer in making leadership a subject of serious inquiry in the academy, but also as an invaluable friend and mentor to many leaders over three decades,” said David Gergen, director of CPL, Editor-at-Large at U.S.News & World Report, and former advisor to four U.S. presidents. “We are deeply honored that he has chosen to make our Center a central focus of his unfinished legacy. Our hope is that we can build upon his work to strengthen research in leadership and to help the rising stars of the next generation step up to the immense leadership challenges they will face.”
Betsy Myers, executive director of CPL and former deputy assistant to the president and director of women’s initiatives, added, “I can hardly express how much excitement is building up as we approach this Thursday. Friends of Warren are coming in from all over the country to honor him and to explore some of the leadership questions he has put on the table so well. This will be a terrific occasion.”
All conference sessions and the dinner will be held at the Charles Hotel, One Bennett Street, Cambridge. Opening remarks will be delivered at 8:30 a.m. by David Gergen and Betsy Myers. Three discussions will follow, each open to the press, the first beginning at 9 a.m. The sessions are intended to be conversations—not formal panels—seeking to elicit the views of a wide range of participants. Three basic questions will be posed, all drawing upon Bennis’s work:
* “How should leaders learn from crucible experiences?” 9-10:30 a.m.
Parameters: Prominent leaders share their transformation stories and lessons and engage leadership scholars in discussions about valuable life experiences. Moderator: Ruth Wageman, associate professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Visiting Fellow at CPL.
* “How should judgment and emotion affect leaders’ decision making?” 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Parameters: Academics and practicing leaders explore the roles of cool cognition and warm emotion in the work of leading. Moderator: Roderick M. Kramer, professor of organizational behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business.
* “How should we prepare leaders for a changing world?” 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Parameters: Teachers, practitioners, and scholars involved in the development of the next generation of leaders discuss what the new challenges are, and how we can and should rise to meet them. Moderator: David Gergen.
The daytime event will culminate in an evening tribute dinner in honor of Bennis, University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California and author or coauthor of 27 books on leadership and management (his 28th, now in progress, will address the topic of judgment). A key feature of the evening will be the announcement of plans for a major fund-raising drive, including The Warren Bennis Leadership Fund.
Journalists interested in covering daytime conversations should phone the Kennedy School Communications office at (617) 495-1115 to make arrangements. Some participants and audience members may be available for one-on-one interviews on issues germane to the panel discussions.
About the Center for Public Leadership
Established in 2000 through a generous grant from the Wexner Foundation, the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School serves the common good by providing cutting-edge leadership research and teaching, as well as hands-on training in the practical skills of leadership for people in government, nonprofits, and business. Under the directorship of David R. Gergen and Betsy Myers, CPL has extended its reach by partnering with Harvard Business School Press to create a joint book imprint, and with the Harvard School of Public Health to create the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.
About U.S. News & World Report
Founded in 1933, the weekly national newsmagazine U.S.News & World Report is devoted to investigative journalism and reporting and to analyzing national and international affairs, politics, business, health, science, technology, and social trends. Through its annual rankings of America 's Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools, and America's Best Hospitals, and its News You Can Use™ brand, U.S.News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. Available online at, U.S.News was recently named the most credible newsweekly by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
Among the attendees at “Growing Leaders in a Changing World” will be:
* Vice Admiral Thad. W. Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and principal federal officer for the Gulf Coast recovery from Hurricane Katrina
* Max Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
* Steven B. Belkin, chairman of Trans National Group, principal investor/owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers; and Joan W. Belkin, M.A., member of the Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League
* Dr. Ken Blanchard, coauthor of the best-selling book “The One Minute Manager,” and Margie Blanchard, co-chairman, Office of the Future, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and coauthor of “Working Well: Managing for Health and High Performance”
* Stephen R. Covey, author of the best-selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”(daytime only)
* Dr. Ronald I. Dozoretz, chairman and CEO of FHC Health Systems; and Beth E. Dozoretz, vice chair, CPL Advisory Board and former finance chair of the Democratic National Committee
* Brian Duffy, editor, U.S.News & World Report
* Werner Erhard, individual, organizational, and social transformation expert; and Gonneke Spits, who has worked with Werner Erhard for the past 40 years
* Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, and author of “Authentic Leadership;” and Penny Pilgram George, Psy.D., president of the Bravewell Collaborative
* Richard Hackman, Edgar Pierce Professor of Social & Organization Psychology, Harvard University
* Sidney Harman, executive chairman of Harman International Industries
* David A. Heenan, trustee of the Estate of James Campbell, one of the nation’s largest landowners; and Nery Heenan
* Myna and Uri Herscher, founders of the Skirball Cultural Center
* Linda Hill , Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
* Dr.Spencer Johnson, author of “Who Moved My Cheese?;” and Lesley Johnson
* Ronald A. Heifetz, King Hussein bin Talal Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Kennedy School and cofounder of CPL
* Barbara Kellerman, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School and research director of CPL
* John Kotter, professor emeritus at Harvard Business School and coauthor of “The Heart of Change;” and Nancy Dearman, M.A., M.B.A, president of Kotter Associates
* Leonard Lauder, chairman of the board of The Estée Lauder Companies(evening only)
* Georgette Mosbacher, nationally recognized political activist and president and CEO of Borghese, Inc.
* Joseph Nye , University Distinguished Professor and Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, Kennedy School
* David Shaw, managing partner of the Black Point Group and founder of IDEXX Laboratories; and Glenn Close, actress and producer
* Robert J. Sternberg, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University
* James O’Toole, research professor at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California and author of “Creating the Good Life”
* Tom Peters, management guru and coauthor of the seminal book “In Search of Excellence,” and Susan Sargent, designer and artist
* Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks
* Gen. Eric Shinseki (Rtd.), former chief of staff of the U.S. Army
* Noel Tichy, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, University of Michigan Business School
* Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric and coauthor of “JACK: Straight from the Gut;” and Suzy Welch, syndicated columnist and coauthor, with Jack Welch, of “WINNING” (evening only)
* Leslie Wexner,chairman and CEO of Limited Brands; and Abigail Wexner,founder and chair of Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence (evening only)
* Dr. Drea Zigarmi, founding associate of The Ken Blanchard Companies and cofounder of Leadership Legacies; and Susan Fowler, consulting partner, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and cofounder of Leadership Legacies
* Dr. Patricia Zigarmi, vice president, The Ken Blanchard Companies.


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