Paradigm Shift

We believe that Resilient Leadership represents a paradigm shift in how leaders can see, think, and lead in new ways—ways that are distinctively different from traditional models of leadership.

Thomas Kuhn, who researched how scientific breakthroughs occur, introduced the term “paradigm shift” into our popular vocabulary. He helped us understand that although it may sometimes seem like a sudden event, the “sudden awakening” of a paradigm shift actually follows a gradual accumulation of information and data from research and experiments, an increasing body of insights into what “works” and what no longer works, and a growing consensus that finally reaches a tipping point that can seem as if a brand-new discovery has “suddenly” been made.

Resilient Leadership 2.0 ©2017
by Bob Duggan and Bridgette Theurer.
All rights reserved.

Murray Bowen started thinking in new ways in the 1950s about how to treat his psychiatric patients—no longer as isolated individuals but as members of a family system—and over the next forty years, he deepened his understanding of how emotional systems operate. Edwin Friedman, a Bowen disciple, wrote his first major book on leadership (Generation to Generation) from the perspective of Bowen’s theory in the early 1980s, and he said at that time that he had been developing his new way of thinking about leadership for a quarter of a century.

We did a simple Google search on leadership, and in less than one second, 5,630,000,000 results were reported. Clearly, lots of people are thinking about, researching, writing about, and searching for answers about “leadership” these days, so it may appear a bit presumptuous for us to assert that the Resilient Leadership model is part of a genuine paradigm shift.

We are convinced, however, that in the Resilient Leadership model, there is something fresh, something not generally taught in courses about leadership or commonly shared as “the wisdom of experience” by senior leaders who are mentoring new generations of leaders.

Our conviction, after many decades of combined experience in coaching and training both seasoned and rising leaders, is that the twenty-first century truly is experiencing a paradigm shift in understanding and practicing the art of leadership, and the Resilient Leadership model represents the cutting edge of that “awakening.” We are confident that this is not just the latest, passing fad, here today and gone tomorrow. Our confidence is bolstered by how often we have seen that what we share in coaching and training Resilient Leadership resonates with research-based insights from and connections being made in such diverse disciplines as neuroscience, genetics and epigenetics, evolutionary biology, mindfulness, social and positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and more.

Data from those disciplines support much of what we teach, but we are convinced that the insights of Resilient Leadership operate on a deeper search level. We have tried to capture the essence of the Resilient Leadership model’s breakthrough perspective by describing a New Way of SEEING, THINKING, and LEADING.

  • A New Way of SEEING: Observe the Emotional System
  • A New Way of THINKING: Think Systems
  • A New Way of LEADING: Focus on Differentiation of Self

Resilient Leadership 2.0 ©2017 by Bob Duggan and Bridgette Theurer. All rights reserved.