Dance of Leadership


The Myth: The Heroic Strategist. Our current image of a masculine, take-charge heroic leader with a visionary strategic plan who goes unerringly for the goal.

The Reality: Chaotic change and influence without authority. We have multicultural women and men often leading in chaos, in situations with limited authority, or by influencing others from behind the scenes.

The Solution: Inclusive definition and role models. An inclusive model of leadership that looks at a wider range of traits, skills, and situations that inspire actual and potential leaders to be more effective in today’s world. Dr. Robin offers practical ways to discover, develop, and use your unique leadership style. This book explains five styles – Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness – and links them to personality information, leadership research, and multicultural examples to show you how to lead in your unique way.

With Dance of Leadership, Dr. Robin offers practical ways to discover, develop, and use your unique leadership style. Using Roth’s five rhythms from dance as a metaphor for leadership styles, she  describes five ways to lead and the situations in which each is likely to be called:

  • Flowing (planning, taking things one-step at a time, controllable-planned change),
  • Staccato (command-control-direct-protect, crisis-emergency-time bound situations),
  • Chaos (emergent order without predictability, paradigm/frame busting required or control impossible),
  • Lyrical (relational and emotionally intelligent, need to influence without power/authority or control),
  • Stillness (being the change you wish to see, values/beliefs change where powerful present role modeling needed).

These five styles are linked to personality information and leadership research. There are multicultural male and female examples to show you how you can lead in your unique way.


In this keynote Dr. Robin uses a creative and interactive video to broaden your understanding of the range of leadership styles and the situations in which each is most effective and help you decide which of the five leadership styles resonates most with you. She then engages participants in activities that demonstrate the power of each of the five styles. This keynote will move you.

DRJ_website_horizbars-02RJ DoL Keynote Brochure 2014


The Dance of Leadership workshop includes the video, assessment, and all of the kinetic exercises that demonstrate the power of leading-following and each of the five styles.

The workshop can also be tailored to highlight leaders from different affinity groups.  Sometimes organizations wish to highlight women leaders, Asian and Asian American leaders, African American leaders, LGBT leaders, etc. when this is part of an employee resource group sponsored event. Feel free to contact us to discuss this.



The Dance of Leadership book defines leadership, provides an overview of leadership research themes (trait theory, development theory, situational leadership theory, transactional-transformational leadership), differentiates between leading and managing, shares the style assessment and profile, addresses FAQs about leadership styles, and explores each of the five styles in detail.  The leaders profiled in the book include a multicultural mix.  Each style has examples of leaders who used the style, information about what makes each style work and the situations in which that style is likely to be effective, plus recommended reading/developmental activities.  For every style there is are male and female examples.  Everyday work leaders round out the role models provided from historical and political areas.  Reference is made to Mihalyi  Csikszentmihalyi’s research on Flow with geniuses, Aikido Master Thomas Crum’s approach to managing conflict, Margaret Wheatley’s insights from Leadership and the New Science, Dan Golemans’ work on Emotional Intelligence, and Joyce Fletcher’s gender-based research on Invisible Work and Relational Practice.  Profiles include Dona Fela, Michael Jordan, Madame CJ Walker, Sun Tzu, Margaret Cho, Einstein, Hopi Spider Woman, Tony Dungy, Byron Katie, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, Jack Welch, Elizabeth Vargas, Machiavelli’s Prince, Bayard Rustin, Bill Clinton, Alexander the Great, Mary Parker Follett, Princess Diana, Cesar Chavez, Sargent Shriver, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Confucius.



In this abridged 72 minute summary of the five leadership styles from the Dance of Leadership book you will review leadership research streams, understand your likely style profile after taking the Dance of Leadership assessment, and then hear descriptions of the energy and situations appropriate for each of the five Dance of Leadership styles – Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness.  Each style also has a short profile of multi-dimensional leaders who demonstrated that style. Leaders profiled on this audio cd are Dona Fela, Michael Jordan, Madame CJ Walker, Sun Tzu, Margaret Cho, Einstein, Hopi Spider Woman, Sargent Shriver, Byron Katie and Gandhi.  The audio is Dr. Robin’s voice.