Aesthetic Competencies: The Changing Face of Leadership
Welcome visitor number to my Aesthetic Competencies Notes page.

Please remember that this is a transcription of my notes from Pam Mayer's presentation-even the pictures are from notes and memory. Badly spelled names and "?'s" appearing throughout are an indication of my not being able to keep up with what I was hearing or of not being able to read my handwriting. Please forgive.

Pamela Mayer, Vice President, Center for Creative Leadership

Co-editor of the Journal of Aesthetic Education

Ph.D. in Creativity

Story from storyteller Laura Simms: From "The Black Prince"

Ancient Egypt. An ugly, stupid, lazy boy. Only one thing he did well--play the flute. Fell in lovewith the king's daughter. Went to magician to become handsome, brave, etc. Had to trade his flute. Became handsome. Won wars for the king. King offered daughter in marriage. She said her heart belonged to vanished flute player.

Moral: don't give up our intuitive selves for ?

As she came into the building, saw the work of the architectural students on the walls. They had to study a work of art, then study the angles and such and write about what they have done. One student had done a poem. How it felt to be in that structure. The warmth of the scroll, etc.

I.M. Pei: architecture straddles art and science. The architect must know both.

Like leadership.

Can we really move into the 21st Century with only the rational, cognitive part of us?

Some say--if only we could do more analysis.

But Pam and others hold that leadership demands a more holistic approach.

Compelling distinctions.

Cl ?s? of complexity

wrenching instability


Prophets talk about illusions of control.

Meg Wheatley--order comes in disorderly ways--< href="">Leadership and the New Science; Non-linear Complex Systems

Robert Kegan--Harvard In Over Our Heads

Adult lives

quality transformation in quality of mind

Extruding? Extending? cultural d ? l (denial?) that each person creates in our mind that which is comparable to what we would expect a community to achieve.

"Modern dilemma is we feel unaccompanied at the level of our soul."

Pam claims--we must reclaim an exquisite human capacity.

From what source will come belief in greater self and the intelligence to ? the future?

Morphogenic fields.

Some Sheldrake Links:
Sheldrake's Guest Lecture - J. R. Norton
Morphic Resonance in Silicon Chips
Cool Science: Morphogenic Fields
Animal Behavior and Morphogenic Fields

David Whyte, poet, focusing on Corporate America, wrote book: The Heart Aroused.

Ideas about inquiring process.
David Whyte's Page

Journey of faith and discovery.

Aesthetics, creativity--meaning and knowledge measured against standards of beauty.

The Metamorphic Mind--Bob Samples

World of mind that resists being counted and suddenly slips in and out of focus.

Industry Week Magazine. 3rd Week of August, 1996. Ed Mertz, CEO of Buick--making furniture. [August 19, 1996: "Following the Muse." Also see, "The Building Blocks of Leadership."]

Leading Creativity Program. The Art of Making Sense. Focuses on Intersection of Science and Technology.

Depth of diversity and detail and expanding the meaning of the action we're taking.

Not one or the other but the complementarian nature of it. Negotiating with Jossey-Bass on a book.

Leading Creatively--5-day program.

Development of the work--Leading Creatively

Co-inquiry (with selected clients program . . .?)

3 Action Research Sites
Some sites I found on Chris Argyris Action Science, ,a href="">Action Research, Action Inquiry, Organizational Learning

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information on my notes from here on.

A Financial Officers Retreat that had a Leading Creatively program

2 public pilots

1st hypothesis--healthy managers aesthetic

perceive and understand multifaceted problems in a new way.

2nd hypothesis--solving problems, dialoging skills

pre-conscious--less utilized capacities

Perceive more discerningly in new ways

Site selection criteria:

Had to be dealing with complex problems, tension, ambiguity, undefined mysteries

Corp R&D on West Coast

Manufacturing plant in NE. Product ?

D(C?)--redesign training programs for people in highly technical areas.

Emerged new perspectives


critical aspects not noticed

unnoticed coincidences


1) Noticing.

Slowing down senses more

deeper levels, meanings "slow the looking down"

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

David Perkins, The Intelligent Eye

slowing down, looking, seeing, analyzing meaning (perceptual intelligence)

language // (meaning? memory?) //perceptual (just scratching the surface)

Another presenter? Problem with vision--can't vision on the level needed.

2) Subtle representation.

portraying your understanding with detail, understanding and subtlety (use hand drawing)

Being able to actually portray what you are understanding, apprehending.

Detail, subtlety, and accuracy

Betty Edwards, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Upper level executive, asked to draw hand. Left brain is symbolic.

Next try was more realistic

Drawing techniques reveal how much we rely on symbols to represent reality. Move from symbol to the real.

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

3) Fluid perspective.

Appearance depends on point of view and varies with time. If you look at it at different times, it changes.

Analog drawing, the language of line. Draw a problem. Get away from language. A woman drew aproblem that had some different lines in the upper left. She was told to draw a zoom of it.

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

4) R-mode capacity.

R-mode capacity (right brain)


Bernice McCarthy 4-MAT [I know that's an approach to learning styles that many teachers in Fairfax County Public Schools have studied. I have a binder with info on learning styles if you want to look at next time you're here. I'm sure it includes 4-MAT.]

Alice and David Kolb's Learning Cycles














facts, words, particulars

sign mind
















feelings, modes

design mind




Intuition, imagination, and perception to complete already well-developed rational (L) mode.

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

5) Personalize work.

Bring artistic interest into the workplace

how spill into jobs

What would it look like to look at the negative spin of a problem?

Bring hobby into work.

[I have note here on the side, as though a slight digression:

Cognitive science at MIT says info comes to us as visual and metaphor. We then turn the info into language.]

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

6) skeptical inquiry.

Use of intuition and imagination. These don't come in if you're always sure of the right answer.

7) Star Model.

Make shared group meanings out of individual's creation. Dream work module. Someone tells dream. Other responds "If this were my dream, it would mean..., I would do...."

8) Serious play.

Engage with kind of turbulent flow of events.

Playful exploration.

Learning as a way of being.

Use music.

People compose.

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

9) Facility for metaphor.

Insightful language.


Lee Robinson--successful attorney and past president of the Bar Association. Hard to separate my art from my life. I think of a life as a creative act. 1/2 attorney and 1/2 writer. Felt it harder to call self writer (to others) as to call self a lawyer. Though others saw writing as "weak" side, unprofessional. Not true. Some of her greatest fans are her fellow lawyers. Can't be a good lawyer unless creative. Miserable when not writing. Back and forth between law and writing pretty constantly.

Attention to detail--when imagining you are a character, you get inside the "person" you created. Helped in law. Imagine kid going through a divorce. Helps in handling custody cases. Better listener. Listen for more than words: voice changes, facial expression, silences, etc.

More on the Web about Leading Creatively - gives more information.

More Information and Resources on Creative Competencies and Leadership

Developmental Activities and Programs for "Innovate, Think Creatively"

Leadership Development Guide from Los Alamos National Laboratory-Click on link at bottom of page.

Syllabus for a course on Organizational Leadership and another from the same school. Both include journaling.

A book, Breakthrough Creativity

Storytelling and Leadership

Using the Balanced Scorecard

Return to Mary Taylor's Notes from the 1996 National Leadership Institute

Return to Mary Taylor's Training, Career Development, and Organizational Development Information and Links