Executive Wisdom: Coaching and the Emergence of Virtuous Leaders

Pages: 361
Item #: 4316075
ISBN: 978-1-59147-402-9
List Price: $29.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $24.95
Copyright: 2006
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


Wisdom is a defining attribute of the successful leader. While many gifted philosophers and leaders—Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Descartes—have explored the virtue of wisdom in leadership, in its current form, the study of wisdom has been aided by advances in the psychological sciences and management theory. In Executive Wisdom: Coaching and the Emergence of Virtuous Leaders, renowned executive consultant Richard R. Kilburg introduces the concept of Executive Wisdom and explores how consultants and coaches can help leaders become wiser in the conduct of their offices, and how these same concepts can be applied to senior leadership teams.

What is executive wisdom, and how can it be developed through coaching? Executive wisdom emerges from a complex matrix of factors that affect an individual leader's thoughts, behavior, and emotions, including his or her organization, biopsychosocial systems, behavioral interfaces, internalized human wisdom system, external and internal challenges, and environment. It develops through the discernment, decision making, and executive action that leaders take in their daily lives. Synthesizing a rich array of concepts and processes, such as wisdom mapping, Kilburg deepens the reader's understanding of leadership performance and explains the causes and consequences of executive failure.

This book uniquely integrates a large body of historical, philosophical, psychological, and business models and methods as they relate to executive coaching and leadership development, for individuals, dyads, teams, and executive groups. Some of the key elements that make the book successful are carefully constructed case examples and methodological suggestions for improving an individual executive's capacity, plus literature summaries, point-by-point presentations, narrative case analyses, and activities that will appeal to different learning styles and needs for leaders and their coaches.

Table of Contents



  1. Leaders as Idiots and Geniuses in Human History
  2. Foundations of Executive Wisdom: A Model of Executive Wisdom
  3. The Metacognitive and Psychodynamic Roots of Executive Wisdom
  4. Barriers to Leading Wisely
  5. Wisdom Mapping I: Self- and Family Awareness
  6. Wisdom Mapping II: Organizational and Executive Group Awareness
  7. Wisdom Mapping III : Situation Awareness, Values and Moral Compasses, and the Challenge of Creating Virtuous Leaders
  8. Reflective Engagement and Adaptive Work: A Model and Methods for Executive and Coaching Action
  9. Facilitating the Emergence of Wisdom in Executive Groups
  10. Conclusion



About the Author

Author Bio

Richard R. Kilburg received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972. He attended a postgraduate program in mental health administration at the Community Psychiatry Laboratory at Harvard University and obtained a master's degree in professional writing from Towson State University in 1992.

He has held positions in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor, as the director of the Champlain Valley Mental Health Council (a community mental health center in Burlington, Vermont), at the APA's Offices of Professional Affairs and Public Affairs, and in private practice as a clinician and consultant. Currently, he is the senior director of the Office of Human Services, The Johns Hopkins University, a multiprogram service component of human resources that meets the developmental needs of the faculty and staff of the university.

He was the 2005 recipient of the Harry and Miriam Levinson Award for Exceptional Contributions to Consulting Organizational Psychology. He has published widely in the fields of management, professional impairment, and executive coaching. His three previous books, all published with the APA, are Professionals in Distress: Issues, Syndromes, and Solutions in Psychology (1986); How to Manage Your Career in Psychology (1992); and Executive Coaching: Developing Managerial Wisdom in a World of Chaos (2000).

He was the founding president of the Society of Psychologists in Management and is a fellow of APA's Division 13 (Society of Consulting Psychology).

He has one son, Benjamin, and currently lives in Towson, Maryland.