Ep. 33: Dr. James Kelley — Adversity as a Pathway to Personal Growth

In this week’s episode, I discussed with Dr. James Kelley the sometimes surprising effects of adversity—what James calls the “crucible’s gift.” Life’s challenges may offer the opportunity to grow in strength and compassion, ultimately allowing us to become the person we were meant to be. 

James and I explored topics including:
  • What it means to be authentic
  • What authentic leadership is, and what inauthentic leadership looks like
  • Helping oneself by helping others
  • Compassion and integrity as parts of our inherent nature
  • Reasons we hide our true selves
  • The discomfort of vulnerability
  • How passions are related to authenticity
  • The connection between adversity and authenticity
  • Seeing adversity as something that happens “for me” vs. “to me”
  • Developing compassion through adversity
  • Growth vs. fixed mindset
  • Developing resilience through the experience of adversity
  • The importance of honesty for relationships
  • Helpful vs. unhelpful honesty
  • How to create micro moments of meaning
  • The ripple effects of positive interactions
  • Why some companies foster an unhealthy and demoralizing work environment

James B. Kelley, PhD, is an international leadership author, TedX speaker, culture transformation expert, and entrepreneur. He has spent the last 15 years working in various organizations across four continents. In his recent book, The Crucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons from Authentic Leaders Who Thrive in Adversity, James interviewed over 140 executives, from Fortune Two companies to entrepreneurs, to explore best practices for leading organizations. (A percentage of each sale made through this affiliate link will be used to support the podcast, as no additional cost to you.)

James is also the founder and owner of qChange, which specializes in creating positive nudges at the point of choice, and of the Behavioral Internet of Things company. James is certified by Flourishing Leadership Institute in large group facilitation using the research-based approach of Appreciative Inquiry.

Find James online at his website.

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