Center For Leader Development Circa 2013


From 2006-2013 this was the website for the Center for Leadership Development.
Content is from the site's 2013 archived pages providing just a glimpse of what this site offered its readership.

The new owners of this domain have chosen to keep these archived articles available as a tribute to Scott Allen and his work. In 2005, Scott formed the Center for Leader Development, an organization created to provide resources, tools, and services to businesses, organizations, and schools seeking to build leadership capacity in their employees, members or students.
DO be aware this is archived content and CLD no longer offers services via this website.

About CLD

The purpose of CLD is to provide individuals who have a passion for leadership development a gathering place on the internet. At CLD you will find leadership development resources, tools, conference announcements, cool links, publications and information-rich content regardless of the sector from which you hail.

  • CLD Intellectual Property Policy – Feel free to use the content found on this website for personal and academic use with proper citation. In addition, feel free to link our information to other websites, etc. If you plan to use any of the CLD resources for commercial purposes, such as company intranet or organizational documents, please contact us and we can make arrangements for this to happen. Of course this is a content-heavy site and if you own the copyright to any material or would like your work acknowledged, removed, updated, or altered please do not hesitate to contact us at We have done our best to keep everything well referenced.


Founder Scott J. Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of management at John Carroll University where he teaches courses in leadership and management skills. In 2008, Scott was voted the favorite teacher in the Boler School of Business. He also served as a Presidential Fellow at Case Western Reserve University where he taught Leadership in Modern Society. Scott is a graduate of The Art and Practice of Leadership Development, an executive education program of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

He is published in the Encyclopedia of Leadership and co-authored The Little Book of Leadership Development: 50 Ways to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee. Scott is also the co-author of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for College Students (Jossey-Bass) and the corresponding suite of resources (Inventory, Workbook, Facilitation and Activity Guide). Visit for more information on EIL.

In addition, Scott has articles published in the Journal of Leadership Educators, Journal of Leadership Studies, Advances in Developing Human Resources, Leadership Review, The International Leadership Journal, The OD Journal, SAM Advanced Management Journal, andLeadership Excellence. He recently completed a book chapter for the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong entitled A Review on Leadership Education and Development Outside China and is a contributing author to the book Leadership: The Key Concepts.

In addition to writing and speaking, Scott consults, facilitates workshops, blogs and leads retreats across industries. Scott is a faculty member of the Cleveland Clinic’s Samson Global Leadership Academy and serves on the Board Development Committee of the International Leadership Association. Scott serves on the board of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and the Association of Leadership Educators.

He resides in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with his wife, Jessica, and three children – Will, Kate & Emily.

You can reach Scott Allen at 216-224-7072 or




The Five Practices

The Five Fundamental Practices of Exemplary Leadership– The Leadership Challenge –Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

Challenge the Process - Leaders are pioneers – people who are willing to step out into the unknown. They search for opportunities to innovate, grow and inspire (2002, p. 17).

Norma Rae, Mona Lisa Smile, Dead Poets Society, Philadelphia, Erin Brockovich, Gandhi, Schindler’s List, Shawshank Redemption, Rudy, Murderball, School of Rock, Thirteen Days, Hotel Rwanda, Million Dollar Baby, Glory, Project X, Remember the Titans, Jerry Maguire, Cold Mountain, Braveheart, Kinsey, The Lord of the Rings, Calendar Girls, Legally Blond, Billy Elliot, The Insider, Patch Adams, Shakespeare in Love, To Kill a Mockingbird, Malcolm X, SuperSize Me, North Country, Silkwood and Cry Freedom.

Inspire a Shared Vision - Leaders inspire a shared vision. They gaze across the horizon of time, imagining the attractive opportunities that are in store when they and their constituents arrive at a distant destination (2002, p. 15).

Dead Poets Society, Norma Rae, Star Wars IV, Gandhi, Shawshank Redemption, Mad Hot Ballroom, School of Rock, Glory, Jerry Maguire, Miracle, Life is Beautiful, Braveheart, Finding Neverland, Forrest Gump, Primary Colors, Joel Barker on Vision, Born into Brothels and Twelve Angry Men.

Enable Others to Act – Exemplary leaders enable others to act. They foster collaboration and build trust. This sense of teamwork goes far beyond a few direct reports or close confidants (2002, p.8).

Star Wars IV, Gandhi, The Karate Kid, Shawshank Redemption, Norma Rae, School of Rock, Hotel Rwanda, Million Dollar Baby, Glory, Remember the Titans, Miracle, Gladiator, Braveheart, Matrix, Primary Colors, Sister Act and Cry Freedom.

Model the Way - Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Leaders must model the way (2002, p. 14).

To Kill a Mockingbird, Star Wars IV, Gandhi, Schindler’s List, The Karate Kid, Rudy, Thirteen Days, Hotel Rwanda, Million Dollar Baby, Glory, Remember the Titans, Gladiator, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, The Lord of the Rings and Patch Adams.

Encourage the Heart - Leaders encourage the heart of their constituents to carry on. Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward (2002, p. 19).

Radio, Hoosiers, Shawshank Redemption, E.T., Rudy, School of Rock, Million Dollar Baby, Glory, Good Morning Vietnam, Miracle, Braveheart, Big Fish, In America, Forrest Gump, Legally Blond, Patch Adams, Primary Colors, and Sister Act.



Optimizing Energy

April 8th, 2013

I have an intense passion for leadership development. I also have a lot of fuel for the topic which can get me into trouble because I tend to overcommit and over-extend. The thing is this. I am doing what I love. I know that many of you reading this feel the same level of passion which makes even more excited. When asked why leadership development is “the thing for me” it’s a very simple answer. We NEED great leaders. We need them to be prepared. We need leaders who can successfully navigate the work and unleash energy for the work.

What would the world feel like if even a small fraction of doctors, attorneys, middle managers, CEOs, non-profit leaders “did” leadership better? Think of the untapped energy that could be released. It’s really quite powerful to think about. Each year or so, I go back to an article written by Kathy Allen and William Mease which is just awesome. It’s a real thinker. The article is called “Energy Optimization and the Role of the Leader” and the final passage of the article suggests the following – “This article is an introduction to the concept of organizational energy and its relationship to leadership. We believe that the conscious awareness of energy in organizations and its deliberate optimization is a powerful leadership strategy. By optimizing energy already present within the system leaders can move the system toward greater wholeness, avoiding the ongoing energy drain of other approaches. This article invites practitioners to begin by noticing whether energy in their work group is being absorbed and constrained or unleashed and expanded and to act toward greater energy optimization ” (p. 10). What if WE (Leadership educators) were the people to help make that vision a reality? The people who help others “unleash and expand and to act toward greater energy optimization”? I’m in.


Little Book of Leadership Development

February 4th, 2013

Beyond planning, organizing, and controlling, a manager’s job routinely requires teaching and helping employees make sense of their role in the organization, increase their technical proficiency, and behave in an ethical and trustworthy manner. It also requires motivating peak performance and inspiring a commitment to personal growth. In today’s complex and fast-changing business climate, managers at all levels are increasingly called on to be leadership development facilitators.

“Leadership development is not something that primarily occurs in the classroom,” note two leading experts on the topic, Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy. “It occurs on the job—on the fly—each and every day.” With THE LITTLE BOOK OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: 50 Ways to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee(AMACOM; May 10, 2011; $19.95 Hardcover), Allen and Kusy provide busy managers valueable guidance for cultivating leadership in others. Drawing on their experience consultants and trainers, the coauthors offer a concise, manager-friendly facilitator’s guide—a guide to teaching, helping, motivating, and inspiring employees to excel as both leaders and valuable contributors.


Leaders & Managers?

December 17th, 2012

In his classic text Managing the Dream, Warren Bennis works to make the distinction between leaders and managers. Bennis suggests:

  • Manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • Manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
  • Manager maintains; file leader develops.
  • Manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • Manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • Manager has a short-range view; the leader has a perspective.
  • Manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • Manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader his eye on the horizon.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • Manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

It’s interesting to look at this list. So much can be read into these simple statements. On one level they are sweeping “truths” that some, if not many, would agree with. On the other hand, it’s just not that simple. In fact, like the distinction between leadership and followership, it’s likely that individuals in position of authority are moving between leadership and management each and every day. It’s a continuum. Likewise, one can begin to see the glorification of the role of “leader” in his statements – after all, as he describes it, the role of “leader” sounds much more sexy, right? A manager sound like a robot who looks at the bottom line and does things right with little originality or perspective. I don’t want that to be me – do you?

The reality is that we need to be both or on a team with a number of individual strengths that complement one another. After all, after the “dream” is sold to constituents, who manages the process of making it a reality? – SJA


Developing the “Expert” Leader

October 31st, 2012

What does the “expert” leader look like? Moreover, how would we know we are in the presence of an expert leader? The National Research Council (NRC) (2000) suggests the following as attributes of experts. Which do you think apply to leadership?

  • Experts notice features and meaningful patterns of information that are not noticed by novices (NRC)
  • Experts have acquired a great deal of content knowledge that is organized in ways that reflect a deep understanding of their subject matter (NRC)
  • Experts’ knowledge cannot be reduced to sets of isolated facts or propositions but, instead, reflects contexts of applicability: that is the knowledge is “conditioned” on a set of circumstances (NRC)
  • Experts are able to flexibly retrieve important aspects of their knowledge with little attentional effort (NRC)
  • Though experts know their disciplines thoroughly, this does not guarantee that they are able to teach others (NRC)
  • Experts have varying levels of flexibility in their approach to new situations (NRC)

So does any of this sound like an expert leader? Which of the bullets apply? Which may not? More important, what are additional attributes of an individual who is displaying expertise in the ream of leadership? Lord & Hall (2005) would suggest that there are six specific skill domains when it comes to leadership: task, emotinoal, social, identity level, meta-monitoring, value orientation. So this is interesting…do you think that the leader needs to show expertise in each of the six domains outlined by Lord & Hall? Seems like a tall order, but perhaps that’s is truly being asked of a man or woman who has chosen to take on a formal or informal leadership role. What do you think? It’s an amazing conversation…


Four Stages of Competence

September 30th, 2012

I have been reading a lot about models of learning, expertise and how individuals learn. I really enjoy this simple model of skill development. Developed by Noel Burch an employee of the consulting firm, Gordon Training International the model suggests that there are four stages of learning.

In the first stage, unconsciously unskilled, an individual is unaware of what they need to learn in a particular domain. In other words, “they do not know, what they do not know.” In this stage an individual may behave or act in a way that undermines their objective or impedes success simply because they lack the needed knowledge, skills or abilities to succeed.

In the second stage, consciously unskilled, an individual becomes aware of their inability to succeed in a particular task or skill. In other words, they observe themselves lacking the knowledge, skills or abilities to succeed. This may be accompanied by a heightened understanding of just how far one has to go to reach success in a particular domain.

The consciously skilled phase is marked by practice, trial/error and experimentation. The individual knows “how to do the skill the right way, but need(s) to think and work hard to do it”(Adams, 2012, para. 10).

The final stage is unconsciously skilled and after continual practice and success the leaner no longer needs to expend the same level of energy on the task as in previous stages. The skill or ability is more or less automatic and even “natural” according to Adams (2012).

So how does all of this apply to leadership development? I think there are a number of connections that can and should be made. For instance, it helps program architects get into the mindset that in “leadership development” we are trying to develop skill vs. simply promote conceptual understanding which tends to dominate leader development programs. Rarely does someone leave a program knowing that they have truly developed in their skill to lead others. Could you sit in a classroom and talk about soccer for three days and expect great players at the conclusion? They may know more, but are they better at playing?


Check this: I worked for a very charismatic person, whom in my eyes personified the leadership role model…until he didn’t. The deterioration was small and incremental until, looking back, we all should have seen it coming. I will refer to this individual as JT. When his young child died in a freak accident, we were all stunned and horrified. However, JT carried on at work with a determination that seemed epic. In hind sight, it was probably more a coping mechanism that eventually no longer worked. He started drinking and eventually started down that steep spiral. Gossip had it that he was on Naltrexone for alcoholism which suppresses the euphoria and pleasurable sensations of alcohol. However he continued drinking anyway. I later learned his wife insisted he take Antabuse, a medication that causes individuals to suffer from very unpleasant side effects when even trace amounts of alcohol have been ingested. AA and rehab followed. By this time he had quite his job. The next manager of our group was adequate, but no one could fill JT’s shoes. I moved on.

Several years later I ran into a mutual friend at a seminar about, of all things, Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Organizations! After catching up I asked if she had heard anything about JT. I was so pleased to learn that he was on a promising program which included pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy and doing well. She told me to look up the website, LifeBac. I asked if it were a rehab center and was told no! LifeBac is neither a rehab nor treatment clinic, but a collection of modern, science-based tools to empower people not just to avoid the downward spiral of binge drinking. Interestingly they use a drug called baclofen. While commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries, baclofen is still undergoing testing as a treatment for alcoholism. Although doctors in Europe prescribe baclofen as the primary treatment for people who drink excessively, it has not yet received approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders. Nevertheless, JT is doing very well. He’s back in the game, she said. I was so glad to hear that. He was such an exceptional person who gave so much back while inspiring others to also give more.



  • Leadership Quotes

    As we leave behind the machine model of life and look more deeply into the dynamics of living systems, we began to glimpse an entirely new way of understanding fluctuations, disorder, and change.

    Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science

CLD Services

CLD offers a number of services for business of all sizes. Whether your business is a small non-profit organization or a global organization, we have services to meet the needs of your strategic objectives and organizational culture. Our seven primary service lines include:

  • Coaching
  • Emerging Leaders Programs
  • Customized Leadership Development Training & Seminars
  • The Creation of Customized Leadership Development Programs
  • Evaluation of Leadership Development Programming
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Organization Specific Publications

Contact us for more information on fees and services – they vary with the size and scope of the project. The first hour of discussion is on us, so take a look at our services and let us know how we can help ( or 216.224.7072).

Leadership Development Coaching

Like any skill or competency, developing one’s leadership capacity is a lifelong endeavor. The Center for Leader Development offers a wide range of coaching opportunities for:

1. Organization Managers/Executives – Organization managers & executives are required to be at the top of their game and one-on-one coaching is one way to continue on a path of development and growth. At the executive level, the stakes are too high for ineffective habits and practices to get in the way of personal and organizational success.

2. Emerging Leaders in Organizations – Emerging leaders are the future of your organization. They are the people who will elevate your organization to the next level in the future. An investment now will pay off in the long run as these individuals have time and energy to develop, grow and try on new hats as they work their way up in your organization.

3. Internal Consultants – Let’s face it, no one knows it all. Internal and external consultants alike have an opportunity to hone and develop their skills as they help organizations create leadership development systems. This coaching model focuses on helping consultants better assist their clients and develop systems of leadership development that will keep clients coming back for more.

4. HR Generalists – Much is required of an HR generalist. One-on-one coaching sessions will help create a leadership development initiative linked to the organizational culture, aligned with the strategic direction and filled with the appropriate learning opportunities. Like any other talent, the creation of leadership development initiatives takes careful consideration and patience.

Emerging Leaders Programs

Emerging leaders, though often overlooked in organizations, are the future of your organization. CLD offers a unique variety of support resources and services for an organization hoping to build leadership capacity among emerging leaders. If cultivated at an early stage of their career, emerging leaders can add enormous value to the organization’s bottom line – especially when challenged to develop and grow as leaders.

The Center for Leader Development offers the following:


  • Custom designed leadership training and education
  • Customized emerging leader programs for your organization
  • Individual coaching for emerging leaders
  • Evaluation of current emerging leaders programming

Customized Leadership Development Training & Seminars

Whether working with a group of seasoned executives or emerging leaders, CLD will customize training and development programming to best meet your objectives. We have the knowledge, skills and abilities to customize curriculum for programming of 30 minutes to six days. Our curriculum design style is filled with rich content and we use a number of learning methodologies to develop the capacities of participants. Whatever your needs, we will work with you to develop interactive programming that is engaging, fun and educational. Most importantly, we will do so in a manner that will yield results. Below is a sample list events we have conducted…

  • Retreats
  • Conference tracks or pathways
  • Conference sessions/panels/workshops
  • On-going (continuous) education
  • In-house education and training
  • Leadership skill building
  • e-learning modules
  • Executive/Emerging Leader roundtables or book clubs
  • Leadership development planning (personal development planning)

The Creation of Customized Leadership Development Programs

We will work with you to develop a unique, customized leadership development program that meets the needs of your clients, customers, team or members. We have a passion for leadership development and the solutions we develop will fit the needs of your organizational culture and strategic goals. By doing so, we deliver a product that is more personalized and comprehensive than other products in the marketplace. We have all seen (and felt) what happens when a “cookie-cutter” solution is introduced into the culture. We are not interested in a cookie-cutter approach…

Evaluation of Leadership Development Programming

Already have a leadership development initiative or process in place? Wondering how it is working or how it could be improved? CLD has a customized format for the evaluation of leadership development that we created ourselves through years of study. The process is called “user-focused theory of action” or UFTA for short. We work with you to make explicit all of your inputs, implementation strategies, and the desired results for individuals and the organization. We then help you examine the assumptions or “logic gaps” in the process. Doing so allows us the opportunity to examine weak links, potential gaps and areas of concern.

Next, we work with you to develop a customized plan of action to help you evaluate program impact, next steps, and potential areas for development. Why spend, hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars on solutions that do not work? Contact CLD to find out how we can help you increase your return on investment, better support those in leadership positions and help you design programming that moves your organization forward. Every system is perfectly designed to achieve the results it does. Are you happy and content with your results?

Speaking Engagements

We are passionate about leadership development and love to discuss all aspects of the topic. Scott is available for speaking engagements – whether it is sitting on a panel, facilitating a discussion, conducting a workshop or serving as a keynote. Because of our unique vantage point, we are prepared to speak on any number of topics as they relate to leadership and leadership development. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • New paradigms in leadership
  • Linking leadership development to organizational culture
  • Linking leadership development to business strategy and org. culture
  • Don’t be that person! Insights into “Bad” leadership
  • Leader and Manager – Are you both?

Organization Specific Publications

The Center for Leader Development Press provides an avenue for those writing about leadership development. CLD Press offers the following services:

  • Customized publications (manuals, articles, booklets) for your association, organization, intranet or business.
  • Applying content found on this web site to suit your organizational needs.