Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Rodney Napier


This thesis codifies a leadership paradigm that was born out of my experience as a naval officer, a corporate manager, and a director in a non-profit program and is informed by my study of leadership over the last 30 years—culminating in my completion of the Organizational Dynamics program. The basis for my model is a declaration that a good leader is someone who develops, creates, or otherwise inspires leadership abilities or improved performance in others—a leadership catalyst. My premise is that by becoming leadership catalysts, people can become force multipliers in their organizations by helping to exponentially improve the organization’s leadership capability. In a chemical solution, the catalyst creates a reaction that enables the original materials to become more than they are capable of becoming by themselves. Likewise, a person who is being a leadership catalyst enables others to become more than they are capable of becoming by themselves. My model melds concepts from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, ontology, and even quantum physics to describe how a person can become a leadership catalyst by being mindful, connected, intentional, generative, and heretical. Each of these five components represents particular intentions by the leader and serves as a guide for the leader to be authentic, generous, and effective at producing results.


Leadership, Organizations



Date Posted: 25 June 2013