Elle Allison-Napolitano, PhD is founder of Wisdom Out, a company specializing in leadership development and organizational learning by focusing on the nature of resilience and how it empowers leaders to transform adversity into growth.
Since 2000, when her original research revealed the crucial element of resilience in wise leadership, Elle’s keynotes and seminars have helped leaders grow in resilience, respond elegantly to the chronic stressors and acute shocks inherent to leadership, and introduce positive disruptive change into the organizations they lead.
Elle’s keynotes and seminars are high energy, high content, and humorous (as resilience and wisdom are honed mostly through the college of hard knocks!). She transfers aspirational ideas into highly practical applications that empower leaders and teams to respond to adversity with pluck, grace, and good cheer.
Elle is the author of six books and many articles including, Bounce Forward: The Extraordinary Resilience of Leadership (Corwin Press) as well as a version for nurse leaders titled: Bounce Forward: The Extraordinary Resilience of Nurse Leadership (from the American Nurses Association).
Elle earned her PhD in Organizational Learning at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She is a a graduate of the National Staff Development Academy, is a leading member of the Society for Organizational Learning and a member of the American Nurses Association.
Elle lives in The San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Len.
Super Strong: The Extraordinary Nature of Leadership Resilience
After a particularly arduous day filled with unexpected and disruptive glitches, Mark Twain purportedly said, “Apparently, anything can happen today.” Many leaders working within complex systems would agree, and might even make the observation that anything can and will happen…everyday! Over and over again, resilience proves to be one of the most needed of leadership characteristics. Leadership resilience has a quality of transformation to it-it is not about staying the same; it is about becoming better as a result of adversity. This keynote introduces the extraordinary resilience of leadership and illuminates a few key resilience practices that strengthen resilience as a “go to” leadership response.
Super Strong In Action: What Highly Resilient People Do When Things Don’t Go As Planned
Super Resilience is a heightened capacity to bounce forward in response to adversity. This means that resilient people are slow to fall apart in the first place, recover faster, hit the ground running, and create new realities that take the whole system into a better future. And oh yeah, they do it with more grace, pluck, and good cheer than their less resilient counterparts!
Since adversity is neither rare nor unusual (especially for leaders and teams at the helm of meaningful work), resilience, not resistance, really is the only sane response. In this keynote/workshop, Elle will help your teams explore the six phases that highly resilient people embrace in order to actually grow from adversity–not just to contain crisis and restore the previous status quo. We’ll reflect on practices for:
- Staying calm
- Carrying On: This is about maintaining momentum
- Stepping into new realities
- Wanting more and playing a bigger game
- Instigating adaptive action
- Reflecting, celebrating, learning, and renewing
Participants will also have the opportunity to apply the practices to something they are working on, either as individuals or as teams.
This keynote can expand into a full day workshop or as part of a series of seminars.
Inviting Disruption: A Crazy, Wonderful Strategy for Building Cultures of Resilience
Even the best leaders cannot predict a specific disruptive change, adverse incident, or wild card event. What we can do, however, is shape a resilient organization-an organization capable of responding elegantly to unpredictable events, no matter what form they take. Ironically, the most powerful way organizations get ahead of disruptive change is to initiate conversations that actually invite disorder. Leaders in these organizations learn to ask status-quo-challenging questions that explore key initiatives and uncover vulnerabilities in the way things are being done. Although it might sound crazy to purposefully introduce disorder, resilient organizations sustain their resilience only by being willing to change.
This keynote explores ways to reveal vulnerabilities that make organizations fragile and vulnerable and that undermine the success of initiatives and innovation. We will:
- Reveal vulnerabilities from the perspectives of various stakeholders;
- Reflect on a few common vulnerabilities and the practices of organizations that mitigate and even transform them into strengths;
- Use several thought leadership questions™ to introduce helpful disruption and get ahead of the vulnerabilities that undermine learning organizations;
- Identify the first steps needed to make your organizations and teams more resilient.
This keynote illuminates these essential questions:
- How are systems wired to both undermine and promote leadership resilience? What are the even subtle practices that prevent systems and individuals from embracing the need for resilience?
- What are the risks to resilience in organizations?
- What do resilient organizations do differently from less resilient organizations?
- How can we use status-quo-challengind thought leadership questions™ to introduce helpful disruption and get ahead of the vulnerabilities that undermine learning or
Strong As Hell: The Extraordinary Resilience of Female Leadership
Human Beings possess incredibly reliable adaptive systems that allow them to absorb, process, and bounce back from life’s vicissitudes. Beautifully, resilience is common and it works for all of us. But are there differences in resilience between the genders? I will say this; For many women,the assets that make leaders more resilient are elusive or incredibly hard won.
After all, the more diversity in an organization’s workforce, the more relevant and profitable it becomes. Ironically, the biases that undermine resilience in aspiring women leaders also undermine diversity and profitability for the enterprise.
This keynote empowers women to tap into unique and nuanced approaches for developing super resilience and actually grow stronger from the adversities and challenges inherent in leadership.
The audience will walk away with powerful practices for deepening their own resilience through focusing on relationships, renewal and resonance.
The Leadership Resilience Bootcamp was a practical, thought provoking, and hands on opportunity to delve deep into the strategies I can use right away to bring leadership resilience into my life, my work team, and my community. WHat a gift!
– Assistant to the City Manager, City of Oakland, CA
The Resilience Bootcamp was fun, informational, practical. The fact that different professions were brought together enriched the experience. I plan to do a presentation to my team and incorporate some of the exercises we did here.
– Performance Effectiveness Manager, Stanford Health Care
This workshop has been a great opportunity for renewal and I will be taking a renewed “can do” attitude back to work with me. The lessons you learn from Elle will help you become a success and will contribute to your physical and mental wellness.
– Director of Nursing, Brightstar Care, St. Croix Valley
Elle, you are an excellent facilitator and energizer! Here are all the reasons why someone should bring you in to their organization: Increase your awareness of self, others and the organization, energize your leadership, enhance your resilience, Build your team, grow your leaders, get the best leadership!
– Manager, Clinical Education and Innovation Center, University of Colorado Health
Elle is highly engaging and provides great interactions between participants! I walked away with many leadership resilience gems. I can’t wait to start applying these resilience leadership skills.
– Assistant Superintendent, Boone County Schools, KY