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Leading from within

Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult.” ~ Warren Bennis

Lance, author of Jungle of Life Blog, recently interviewed me for his blog.  The interview was atypical in the same way our workshops are, meaning there was plenty of room for personal “stuff” that subsequently can shape the good and the not-so-good in our later years- both at work and at home.  We shared a great conversation about my personal philosophy and how The Leadership Trust® helps leaders grow from the inside out.

Here is an excerpt from our interview:

Today I’m honored to share with you Dr. Holly Latty-Mann, president and co-founder of The Leadership Trust®.  The Leadership Trust is a training organization based in Durham, North Carolina.  Holly, along with the late Dr. Jim Farr, created this unique training organization in 1998. Of special note, is that Dr. Farr was the initial founding director of the Center for Creative Leadership, back in the late 1960s and sold his previous firm, Farr Associates, making The Leadership Trust his last leadership initiative.

The basis behind the training that Holly and her group offer is that leadership is built from the inside out through a highly psychologically driven process.  Regarded as life-changing, nearly all past participants have called this the best training they’ve ever had – both personally and professionally.  And this is evidenced in the many video and written testimonials of their graduates, found at The Leadership Trust website.  I encourage you to check these out, even just for the inspiration they offer, given they do not fit the norm.  It is so worth reading/viewing some of these – just take a couple of minutes to really let this all soak in.

Holly has created a learning environment that truly promotes fundamental change, in a safe and caring environment.  With a rich history of alliances that include Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, their Coach K Center for Leadership and Ethics (COLE) as well as Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management, The Leadership Trust currently enjoys an informal partnership with NC State’s Organizational Behavior program where their collaboration has produced research findings on leadership behaviors that work and don’t work.

Please join me in welcoming Holly here today. 

1. Tell us a little bit about who “you” are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
Lance, I notice you ask about family first before career in your question, and I say you have your priorities right!

While most people tend to offer positive spins when asked about specifics of who they are (family, special life experiences, etc.), I’ve found those sensational life events, including the ones where I made mistakes, have turned out to be wonderful training grounds for not only helping me become my best, but also helping others do the same.  So here are some special life experiences that molded and shaped me because of my responses to them: I lost my brother Michael when I was almost 3, and he was almost 9. Michael was my everything. My father was an alcoholic, albeit a successful business executive. That’s because his drinking started when he came home in the evenings.  I went steady with Billy Graham’s son for two years in high school, but he broke up with me because I was a “goody two-shoes,” and he had discovered “wild” girls during his prep school years at Stony Brook.  Years following my divorce at the age of 30, I saved myself from a second marriage. Don’t laugh when you hear my doctoral dissertation was on mate selection. After years of being married to my company, I’m now finally ready again. Continuing to speak to special life experiences, I’ve had one supernatural experience that has nurtured a metaphysical orientation to my faith. Another “supernatural” experience was my losing half of my hearing overnight in 1992 due to a virus. But most importantly as a result of working steadily on myself over time, I can say with gratitude in my heart that I am a happy, secure person who loves life and believes the best in humankind! No, I am not naïve. I have watched thousands of people go from anger, despair, insecurity, arrogance, and selfishness to happy and peaceful. I am a true believer that people change, and my passion is playing a role in supporting meaningful, lasting change in others.

You’ll learn from this link about my career, educational background, and what I do in the name of showing leaders how to inspire and motivate. It was only this past year that I asked all faculty members to add what they do for fun in the last paragraph.  As for me, that includes foreign travel (52 foreign countries so far), playing the piano, playing tennis, hiking, and most fun of all, biking! I feel like a free child as soon as I start to peddle!

Lance’s Commentary:  Holly, I love the approach you took with this question.  Life has bumps for all of us, and those bumps along our journey really can lead to lasting change.  You are doing wonderful things on all levels, and I’m sure that’s in part to what your past experiences have taught you. 

2. You are the president and co-founder of a pretty innovative organization.  Tell us briefly about “The Leadership Trust” and what it is? 
How about our mission statement for starters? The Leadership Trust® is an organization dedicated to support on a global basis the creation, development and implementation of highly effective, high integrity leadership serving the ultimate well-being of all persons everywhere.

3. What is the deeper purpose of your organization?
Our deeper purpose is to support the growth of the human spirit in order to contribute toward a kinder, gentler world.

Lance’s Commentary:  The human spirit – what a deeply meaningful purpose.  Holly, I think this answer alone speaks to just how “right” what you are doing is.  The more connected with our deeper self, the more we see life through the lens of humanity and what is possible!  What a great place to work toward, and you get to help others do this every day – how awesome!

To read the interview in full, please click here: Leading From Within