Real Leadership

Real Leadership

Dr Dean Williams

22 - 23 Feb | 09:00AM - 05:00PM

Online via Zoom

Real Leadership affords an opportunity to learn how to chart a new course, to elicit and manage more powerful commitment from others, to create strong, working partnerships with key stakeholders, and to have a decisive impact on the mission of the respective organisations.

Programme Overview

At this time of grave disruption and unprecedented demands, how can you exercise leadership that moves your people to face reality and address your organisation’s or community's most pressing, evolving and complex challenge, in order to ensure survival and success?

Led by Dr Dean Williams, you will learn the Real Leadership framework that provides practical guidelines on how to diagnose and frame the different kinds of challenges facing your organisation or community; and the intervention work that is required, while reviewing what is at stake. You will also be coached how to help people shift their values, habits, practices and priorities so as to meet adaptive challenges.

How you will benefit from this workshop:
1. BETTER LEVERAGE your ability to mobilise others to solve difficult problems and get important work done.

2. RALLY your team around a shared understanding of the adaptive challenges at hand and DESIGN and IMPLEMENT the appropriate leadership intervention to address those challenges.

3. DETERMINE what work is needed to make progress.

4. CHART a new course as change agent and LEAD with creativity and purpose.

Workshop Methodology:
A series of dialogues and inquiries to explore deeply held assumptions, perspectives, and beliefs about your leadership and learning. Experiments and exercises that will provoke you to reflect on different aspects of your leadership so as to tackle the limitations of your default way of thinking and behaving, and push your personal boundaries.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the workshop, you will learn:

1. The distinctions between real leadership and counterfeit leadership.
2. How to distinguish technical challenges from adaptive challenges.
3. How to determine what work is needed to make progress and orchestrate adaptive problem solving.
4. What it means to be an agent of change to help chart a new course and lead with creativity and purpose.

Programme Trainer

For almost two decades, Dr. Dean Williams was a faculty member of the Harvard Kennedy School based at the Center for Public Leadership. At Harvard, he directed the popular Global Change Agents executive education programme and was responsible for the World Leaders Interview Project. He is a recipient of the university's prestigious Carballo Award for teaching excellence contribution.

Over the last 12 years, Dean has trained more than 1,200 leaders from the public, private and civic society sectors in Singapore and his work has been consistently rated as both excellent and outstanding. He has also conducted customised, in-house leadership development interventions for senior management teams in Singapore.

Dean has been conducting the Real Leadership programme since 2008. With an alumni of more than 650 leaders from different sectors, Dean is attuned to the complexities faced by the leaders in Singapore.

He also designed and led The Art of Leadership: Crossing Boundaries, Building Bridges, and Learning Change programme for the senior leaders in the civil service focusing on leading organisational change. This programme is conducted in partnership with Civil Service College since 2018.

For the past decade, Dean has led the Social Leadership Singapore, an important programme bringing leaders from government, business and the social sectors together to build their leadership capacity to address the nation's social challenges.

Dean earned both his Master and Doctorate degrees at Harvard, specialising in leadership studies and organisational development.

He is the author of "Real Leadership: Helping People and Organisations Face Their Toughest Challenges" and "Leadership for a Fractured World: How to Cross Boundaries, Build Bridges, and Lead Change".

Dr Dean Williams


Programme Conduct

This seminar is especially useful if you are a senior leader and would like to learn how to elicit and manage more powerful commitment from your team; create strong, working partnerships with key stakeholders; and make a decisive impact on the mission of your organisation.

During Real Leadership training, you will learn how to:

DISTINGUISH REAL LEADERSHIP FROM COUNTERFEIT LEADERSHIP: Real leadership is about mobilizing people to face tough problems and build adaptive capacity. Counterfeit leadership, on the other hand, generates dependency and over emphasizes “follow me” rather than adapting, resolving and creating. Intentionally or unintentionally, the consequences of counterfeit leadership are that people end up pursuing a false set of tasks. A false set of tasks is any set of activities that fails to add sustainable value to the organisation.

DIAGNOSE DIFFICULT ADAPTIVE CHALLENGES: What adaptive challenge does your team or group really face? Few executives can answer that question. Given how busy people are in organisations doing routine work, critical strategic adaptive challenges often fall to the background and people lose focus. The real leader must bring these background adaptive challenges to the foreground and get people addressing what matters.

DESIGN AND PRODUCE STRATEGIC INTERVENTIONS: The essence of real leadership lies in intervention. Intervention is the art of using power and authority strategically, responsibly, and effectively to get and sustain attention on important concerns and mobilise resources to accomplish vital aims.

DEVELOP A CREATIVE ORIENTATION: Creativity, as it pertains to real leadership, is the capacity to step beyond one’s comfort zone and generate what is needed in order to mobilise people to do adaptive work.

DETECT WHEN “YOU” ARE GETTING IN THE WAY: It is essential for anyone desiring to exercise leadership to detect when one’s “personal case” (your style, approach, habits, and preferences) is getting in the way of the real work of progress, and learn how to make mid-course corrections. Predictably, your personality and preferences, will often spill onto your people and impact their capacity to address tough problems – positively and negatively. The detective work of real leadership is being able to gauge the impact of your power (the things you say and do) on the system - with individuals, the group, and even the entire organisation - and make adjustments as you discover what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s missing.

Programme Fees


S$1,500 (VCF)




$1,200 (VCF)



S$3,600 FOR 3 PAX (VCF)
S$7,700 FOR 7 PAX (VCF)

S$6,600 (3 PAX), S$14,700 (7 PAX) BEFORE SUBSIDY

*All programme fees exclude prevailing GST

VCF subsidy of up to SGD $1,000 per pax is available for NCSS members. CCTG subsidy of 90% of seminar fee is also available.

Got a Question?


36 Armenian St


Singapore 179934



Tel: +65 6536 8860
Fax: +65 6536 8870

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