Symposium 2015
Be Inspired.

February 10, 2015 | Meydenbauer Convention Center

Leading Under Pressure: Building Leadership Capacity

Session Description:
The reality is that all of us face pressure at work on some level. Whether it is a specific coworker, a boss, or a deadline, pressure is more the norm than the exception. Dr. McKenna teaches specific research-based strategies for showing up well when change and pressure are impacting your team or organization. Each participant identifies their tendencies and habits under pressure, and specific behaviors that can help them navigate change and conflict situations more effectively.

While change may or may not be constant, it is certainly inevitable. Dr. McKenna has presented this research-based framework and tools to thousands of leaders and has seen a tremendous impact on organizations when they are applied. Dealing well with the changes around us includes both our ability to get the job done AND our ability to manage ourselves under pressure.

The Goal: Build a team that is better in conflict, is resilient to change, is guided by open and honest communications, and better able to navigate a turbulent and changing business environment.


Dr. Rob McKenna
With clients that have included both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as the Boeing Company, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, Heineken, Foster Farms, the United Way, and Children’s Hospital, Dr. McKenna’s primary focus has been on helping leaders understand how they show up when it matters most, the impact they are having on others, and actions they can take to increase their adaptive leadership capacity. Dr. McKenna’s most recent publications include numerous articles and chapters on leadership character, calling, and effectiveness. His book, "Dying to Lead: Sacrificial Leadership in a Self-Centered World", helps us understand what it means to lead well in a complex and changing world.

Dr. McKenna is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Research & Development (CLRD) at Seattle Pacific University. The CLRD mission is to transform the world of work by investing deeply in the idea that we all have a job to do, and at the same time, a deep desire to be seen and recognized within our organizations for our strengths and capacity to do the job well. Dr. McKenna is also the creator of, a comprehensive web-based employee development process designed to help individuals inside organizations become more adaptive and able to deal effectively with the changing nature of organizations around them. These tools and resources are now being used by thousands of leaders across the US and around the world.

Dr. McKenna is passionate about changing the world of work by conducting research on the developmental journey of leaders and building cutting edge tools that will help people in the workplace learn on the job, find a deeper sense of meaning, and understand how to lead others more effectively. He believes that our organizations will be best served if you have a strong sense of who you are, why you are leading, what is at stake, and for whom you are responsible. He is especially energized by the crazy idea that who we are and what we do are both critical components to what it means to lead others well.