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Kegan and Lahey Honored for Leadership Work

Professor Robert Kegan and Change Leadership Group research director Lisa Lahey received the Marion Gislason award last week for their outstanding work in leadership. The award, given by Boston University, acknowledges leaders in the field of leadership development who practice and support the process of leadership.

"It is personally gratifying to have our work recognized. But what is especially satisfying and interesting is that this is the first time the award was given to people who have spent their entire careers in the fields of education and adult development rather than management science or business schools," said Kegan, also director of the Change Leadership Group. "As recently as 10 years ago, the flow of interest and ideas between schools of education and schools of management was entirely one way. No one in the world of business or management was knocking down the doors of professors of education. We live in a very different world today."

According to Boston University, award recipients must possess qualities of humility, generosity, and concern for others that were valued and modeled by Marion Gislason. She had a passion for human development and played an instrumental role in the creation and success of the Executive Development Roundtable, a peer-based learning forum and research center established by the Boston University School of Management.

"Receiving this award became even more meaningful to me when I learned who Marion Gislason was to her colleagues. It's one thing to read about the award being established in her memory, and especially in honor of her passion for human development. I wasn't prepared for how moved I'd be to hear people's stories and testimonials about Marion, and the enormous influence she had on their development," Lahey said. "She was apparently a natural at productively pushing the boundary between the private--individual's personal preferences, mental models and attitudes--and the professional, challenging people to see the connection between the two. That intersection is at the heart of Kegan's and my work. I will consider our work a huge success if we can have such lasting impact over time."

The Change Leadership Group is a knowledge development and capacity building organization based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that focuses on effective strategies for school and district improvement.