Barbara Kellerman

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Alice Eagly

Barbara Kellerman is a quintessential scholar of leadership. Approaching leadership from multiple disciplines, she delights in poking and prodding to see what turns up and then synthesizing her observations and analyses into books filled with big ideas discussing overarching, sweeping trends in leadership and followership. Throughout her career her books have challenged existing orthodoxies and created new contours to guide the field forward. She wrote Bad Leadership when books promoting good leadership were de rigueur. Women & Leadership challenged male-normed leadership models. Leadership argued for and presented a canon of leadership literature going back several thousand years and the End of Leadership provided an insightful critique of the leadership industry. Her recent fashioning of leadership as an interconnected triangular system of context, followers, and leaders is explored in Followership and Hard Times

Kellerman, who frequently earns titles like "Top 50 Business Thinkers" (Forbes.com) or "World's Top 30 Management Professionals" (Ranked 13th by Global Gurus), is a sought after speaker around the world. In addition to writing her own leadership blog, Kellerman is a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Harvard Business Review and she frequently appears on the BBC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and NPR. 

Inspired and encouraged early in her career by another quintessential scholar of leadership, James MacGregor Burns, it is apropos that she holds the position of James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School where she is also the Founding Executive Director of the School's Center for Public Leadership. Prior to her work at Harvard, Kellerman held many academic appointments including Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Leadership at the University of Maryland's James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, where, in a monumental act of imagination mirroring her books, she cofounded the International Leadership Association.

Highlights