Creation Story

The Resilient Leadership Program was born in Perth, Australia during a September evening in 1999. Wendy Campbell was driving home after attending an angry and vocal meeting between protestors and the directors of a company logging old growth forests. Deeply disturbed by the lack of listening at the meeting, she wondered how she could help the protestors to be strong and to have their message listened to by the directors in a positive way. As she drove the essence of a program emerged — a place where people working for positive change in their communities could gather and find support for their change goals.

Catlyne Hos joined Wendy in March 2000, after Wendy called a meeting of colleagues and friends to discuss how this program objective — then called the Wonder of One — might happen. This first meeting was the beginning of the Resilient Leadership Community. As Catlyne developed her Paths to Identity process during the years that followed, she used it to support the creation of the program with other people as they came and went. She overcame the challenge of the program creators being spread across the globe by holding online development meetings. As well Catlyne supported the development of the 3rd Key of the program. Catlyne finally retired from the program development team in April 2018.

Alfred Leung accepted Wendy’s invitation to join the creation team in July 2006 after completing Wendy’s first public trial of the program concept called The Leader as Inspiring Coach. Working in a corporate environment at the time but approaching retirement, he worked with Wendy to develop his unique approach to people’s life values into the Core Values process of the 2nd Key is now incorporated into the program. As well, Alfred’s Core Values approach became an inherent part of the group.

During 2007, Wendy’s mentor Tom Wilson guided Wendy to find a more suitable name for the program — one that would capture the work that the program intended to deliver. After a number of discussions, the name Resilient Leadership Program was born.

The next challenge was the image which portrayed the program’s essence. Annimac, a friend of Wendy’s and ongoing adviser for the project, introduced Wendy to Katina Woodruff-Robert. in early 2008. Katina and Wendy enjoyed a number of spirited conversations about their projects. During their final conversation, the first part of the current program image emerged — 2 sweet lion cubs.

Anne Radford accepted Wendy’s invitation to join the team in September 2008. Based in London, United Kingdom, Anne’s inclusion in the meetings marked a shift from face-to-face meetings to online meetings. Anne’s authentic and empathetic practice of the Appreciative Inquiry process deepened the team’s conversations, especially around the 1st Key, during the development meetings. Anne remained as a committed co-developer until she retired from the group in April 2018. Her lasting legacy was the group practice of respectful listening in the form “inquiring from the place of not knowing” – a practice in which Anne which especially skilled.

After Anne joined the group, Wendy’s colleague Andre Burki supported her with his Team Architect skills to craft an online meeting framework. With his support the team culture and program development continued unabated during the now-online meetings.

Sue White accepted Wendy’s invitation to join the group in September 2010. By that time the online meetings were working well, and Sue was warmly welcomed into the online meeting framework. Sue’s warm and insightful approach to Type further deepened the team’s discussions as the program and its 4th Key continued to emerge during the discussions. Her lasting legacy was the team’s approach to understanding and appreciating difference.

Sally Paulin accepted Wendy’s invitation to join the team in December 2010. Sally’s heartfelt commitment to her sustainability teaching using Theory U broadened the program’s ability to support change makers by helping them to understand the bigger picture in the 6th Key. She also taught the team to be present for the future they were creating.

George Eapen accepted Wendy’s invitation to join the group in April 2013. Based in India, George was developing a people-focussed approach to social value innovation. With his thoughtful and wide-ranging interest in our human world, this gave the 5th Key of the program, and the team a most welcome deepened community focus on their shared development work.

Now there was a whole team around the program:

During the following meetings, the current version of the image emerged — the lion family. As the group agreed on this image, this was a good time to reflect on the many people who had been part of its creation. As well those listed above, others who’d been part of the journey included Roberta Mead, Tony Manso, Ken Holzman, Paul Chatfeild-Clarke, Digby Scott, Marie Finlay, Phillip Ng, Andrew Nelson, Michael Van Der Zanden.

By the time Carla Van Raay signed up to undertake the Resilient Leadership Program in December 2015, the team had co-created a unique and profoundly helpful reference book and associated mentoring program, underpinned by the 7 Keys of Kindness. Carla took all the time that she needed to work with each of the team as it was at the time — Anne, Alfred, Catlyne, Sue, George, Sally and Wendy — before completing her program goal in early 2017. She has remained a valued and enthusiastic member of the community around the program ever since.

Lynn Allen formally joined the Resilient Leadership Community in October 2017. As well as supporting her to achieve her own project goal, Lynn enthusiastically discussed with Sally and Wendy how the community could become a self-supporting collaboration. She brought much wise advice to this conversation.

Jo McNeilly accepted Catlyne’s and Wendy’s invitation to join the co-development and mentoring team in October 2017. Jo’s effervescent personality and personable approach brought a welcome new perspective to the group and the 3rd Key of the program.

David Shaked accepted Anne’s and Wendy’s invitation to join the co-development and mentoring team in March 2018. His thoughtful and kind approach to the big issues that we all face as we strive for positive change, added a new depth to the 1st Key of the program.