E129 Bryn Jones Conversation With Dr. Dave About Generative Leadership

Bryn Jones and Dr. Dave A. Cornelius

Dr. Dave A. Cornelius and Bryn Jones discussed generative leadership practices that foster adaptive organizations, focusing on tenets such as an abundance mindset, trusting individuals, and valuing diverse perspectives. They also explored the concept of generative leadership in the social sector, highlighting the importance of creating a positive organizational culture and valuing potential in marginalized communities. Additionally, they discussed the challenges of leading nonprofit organizations with an abundance mindset, including the scarcity mentality prevalent in the sector and the need for leaders to cultivate emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and a community-centric approach to systemic change.


Generative leadership practices for growth and success.

  • Generative leaders prioritize people's growth, trust, and teamwork.
  • Dr. Dave emphasizes the importance of learning from failure and creating a culture of psychological safety.
  • Gap leaders prioritize fun and joy in the workplace to enhance productivity and engagement.


Leadership, coaching, and personal growth.

  • Bryn shares a poem by Joy Harjo to inspire others.
  • Bryn is an executive and leadership coach, working with leaders and change agents to lead from a place of center and deep care.
  • Gathering Alon provides spaces for individuals and groups to connect to themselves and others authentically, without judgment or protection.


Leadership and coaching nonprofit leaders for positive change.

  • Bryn shares their story of becoming a single mom and their motivations for coaching nonprofit leaders.
  • Bryn's nonprofit experience informs coaching and consulting business.
  • Bryn reflects on their leadership journey, desiring to lead for positive change but encountering resistance due to negative connotations of the term "leader."
  • Bryn seeks resources to understand what it means to lead toward change, finding a lack of support in the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofit leadership and abundance mindset.

  • Nonprofit leaders struggle with an abundance mindset due to organizational constraints.
  • Bryn reads excerpts from Dr. Dave's book on generative leadership, highlighting its focus on creating and growing people for a new or changed experience.


Nonprofit challenges, including scarcity mindset, funding, turnover, and boundary setting.

  • Organizer shares stories of migrants' resilience and love despite dire circumstances.
  • Executive directors face funding constraints and high turnover rates, causing stress and impacting leadership style.
  • Nonprofit leaders struggle with boundary setting due to their heart for change and desire to help more, leading to burnout and under-resourcing.
  • Nonprofit leaders must prioritize individual and collective boundary setting to avoid overcommitting and ensure sustainability.


Embracing a growth mindset for innovation and learning from failures.

  • Coach's client is a leader who embraces learning from failures, shifting from "that's not what we wanted" to "let's learn and grow."
  • The client's ability to adapt and learn from mistakes has become a daily operating principle for her as a leader.
  • Innovation is key to long-term success but requires skills like inquiry, curiosity, and practice.


Empowering nonprofit leaders to drive systemic change through collaboration and a community-centric approach.

  • Bryn discusses the importance of inquiry in problem-solving, using protocols like "peeling the onion" and "adaptive planning."
  • Bryn and Dr. Dave agree on the value of empathy in design thinking and inquiry. Bryn highlights the importance of understanding the problem before developing new ideas.
  • Bryn emphasizes the importance of power dynamics in building collaborative networks for systemic change.
  • Bryn emphasizes the importance of humility, curiosity, and vulnerability in solid collaboration.


Leadership skills for navigating uncertainty and change.

  • Nonprofit leaders must cultivate emotional intelligence and mindfulness to navigate uncertainty and change.
  • Bryn emphasizes support and inquiry as key leadership practices.
  • Bryn encourages asking questions, being open to new insights, and sharing knowledge.


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