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About Cliff Kayser

Cliff is an experienced organization development (OD) consultant, executive coach, and leadership trainer overseeing Polarity Partnerships' east coast operations out of Washington, DC. In 2017, Cliff became a founding partner of the 501(c)3 organization the Institute for Polarities of Democracy and in 2018 the healthcare coaching/consulting firm, SixSEED Partners. Cliff is a faculty member at American University's Master's in OD and KEY Executive programs and is a Coaching Fellow for George Mason's Accredited Coach Training Program under the Center for the Advancement of Well-being. His past work experience includes VP of Organizational Development and Training for The National Cooperative Bank, Senior OD Consultant for The Washington Post, and Corporate Manager of Human Resources (HR) and Training for The Washington Post Company. Cliff earned Master's Degrees in OD (2007) and HR Management (1998) from The American University and his Coaching Certification from Georgetown's Executive Leadership Coaching Program in (2008). He is a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) and a graduate of the 2-year Polarity Mastery program (2010), and has served as the program dean since 2014.

Polarity/Paradox Lessons from Adm. Stockdale

By |2020-04-08T08:55:38-05:00April 8th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

“The safest place in a bad storm is the hard truth”. Admiral Stockdale Stockdale's Paradox/Polarity of Reality and Faith is wisdom for our times. Hopefully, the piece below taken from Good-to-Great (plus some additional resources is useful for you. COLLINS: I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?” STOCKDALE: “Oh, that’s easy, the optimists.” COLLINS: “The [...]

Masks — As PPE and Metaphor

By |2020-05-07T18:58:22-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

"Mask" is a metaphor that's familiar to an "Undoing Racism" group I've been meeting with going on 4 years now. We have a good time together, but our work isn't always fun or easy. Becoming aware of our individual and collective masks requires creating a trusting space for courage and vulnerability. From that container emerges learning, healing, and growth -- [...]

Leadership in Crisis

By |2020-04-08T08:25:08-05:00March 30th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

Here’s a quick-take for leading in crisis. These may be a BGO (blinding glimpse of the obvious) for most leaders, but perhaps helpful amid chaos. (NOTE: Also effective in non-crisis situations.): Address what problems can be solved AND Leverage the unsolvable polarities in the best ways you can (And, navigate problems and polarities without blame [...]

A Two Virus War On Two Fronts

By |2020-03-31T08:54:59-05:00March 25th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

It’s been described that we’re at war to fight the corona virus. However, this is a two-virus war and the viruses attack from different fronts -- one the body and the other the mindset. The corona virus attacks the body and there's no cure yet. The other virus attacks the mindset and for that a vaccine [...]

Success w/Stress — Two Polarity Maps

By |2020-04-08T07:52:41-05:00March 20th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

“The safest place in a bad storm is the hard truth”. Admiral Stockdale (NOTE: A second Polarity Map from our Public Library of Polarity Maps, appears at the end of this Cliff'sNOTE. It's based on the Stockdale Paradox from Jim Collins, book Good-to-Great.) I was inspired to create the Polarity Map below after a fantastic [...]

A Well-Being Multarity to Leverage

By |2020-03-15T12:04:46-05:00March 15th, 2020|Multarities, Polarity Thinking|

In this time of coronavirus quarantine we're navigating the polarity tension of being simultaneously/paradoxically: Socially/physically more distanced from the collective AND Socially/physically more connected with self/a few others As we navigate this tension, it's quite possible we'll find ourselves coming into a deeper awareness of connection to other parts of individual selves we may have [...]

Resources for Leveraging Our Global Polarities

By |2020-04-08T08:25:58-05:00March 15th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

In my lifetime, I've not seen 7 billion people come together to leverage the key polarities such as the ones below (among others): Self Care AND Care for Others Care for Parts AND Care for the Collective Information Accuracy AND Response Implementation Science Focus AND Social Focus Physical/Social Distance AND Emotional Connection Being socially/physically distanced from the [...]

Who Won the “Focus on Strengths VS Weaknesses” Debate?

By |2020-03-12T13:11:12-05:00March 12th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

"Polarities," according to Dr. Joel M. Rothaizer, MCC in a May 21, 2019 Forbes article. He goes on to say…. "As Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser described in a Harvard Business Review article, strengths overused become weaknesses, and virtues become vices. Most leaders are aware of their areas of weaknesses but are often blind to the downsides of overusing [...]

Support for Our New Normal – Leveraging Virtual Team Polarities

By |2020-03-12T12:03:22-05:00March 12th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

If you need a fresh perspective on Virtual Team effectiveness now that we’re all going to be doing even more of it – this research may help that Polarity Partnerships, LLC did in collaboration with: Jean Brittain Leslie, Emily Hoole, and Rebecca Anderson, Center for Creative Leadership Margaret Luciano, Ph.D., Arizona State University John Mathieu, [...]

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