Technological advances, globalization, network complexity, and social complexity complicate almost every aspect of our organizations and environments. Leadership educators are challenged with developing leaders who can sense environmental cues, adapt to rapidly changing contexts, and thrive in uncertainty while adhering to their values systems. In a complex leadership context, inadequate leader responses can result in devastating organizational impacts akin to the butterfly effect from chaos theory. This paper advances a simple model for leadership education based on a program we designed to develop leaders who understand the nature of complex systems, reliably use their ethical value systems, are emotionally intelligent and resilient, and can adapt to emergent situations.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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