Kristen Cooper

Kristen's career spans middle and senior manager roles in marketing, planning and human resource management. She has been running her own consultancy practice for 20 years and gained experience in a broad range of organisations. Kristen's leadership development practice is grounded in heightening self-responsibility and self-awareness for leadership impact, and is informed by strengths-based research.

End of year reflections for LDC – 2016

The highlights

  • Seeing lots of enthusiastic people make steady progress on their leadership and get much-deserved feedback from their organisations and followers about the work they are doing and the differences they are making.
  • People showing up for leadership in ways they haven’t had the courage to do so before – having those challenging conversations, deciding the time is right to tackle the gnarly issues and find a way forward, developing and describing a compelling goal / vision when it has been absent for some time.  And then making progress, (small) step by (small) step…


It continues to be really hard to prioritise leadership over the commitment of ‘doing stuff’. I wrote a blog earlier this year about the risks of getting stuck in the ‘doing trap’ as we make leadership transitions.  I’ve noticed for many people I work with (and this year I need to include myself in this too), it’s not been a transition issue – it’s been the seduction of ‘doing’ when there just seems too much to do.  

Yet there is always too much to do.

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Studying leadership at Harvard University: Reflections

Last month I ticked off a bucket list item. I was a student at Harvard University in Boston. I went to hear from the University's best on 'leadership development' in a dual-purpose 'program'; it was also cleverly structured as a personal leadership development exercise.

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Leadership transitions ? what to let go of

These days we talk about the transitions of leadership - from the specialist/contributor role to the leader of others, to the leader of leaders, to the general or executive manager. The challenge of each transition comes not usually from what new skills we need to learn. More commonly, the bigger challenge is determining what we must let go of in order to take on the new expectations. And as the number of people's expectations to be met increases at each transition, so too does our nervousness and excitement about what we can and will contribute.

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