Leading with trust & wisdom – Workshop with Mark Strom

Video: interview of Mark Strom by Laurent Ledoux & Ana de Montvert following the workshop


See also the following interviews with Mark (which still need to be edited):

1st Interview – Part 1

1st Interview – Part 2

2nd Interview

Third interview



Workshop 1 for the Leading with wisdom cycle – Nov. 9th 19:00-22:00 & Nov. 10th 09:00-18:00


Many of you have sent us words of appreciation for the opening conference of PhiloMa’s new cycle last Thursday. Mark Strom touched us with his authenticity and integrity and his arts of story, brilliance, promise and grace; the arts of a wise leader.


Mark will be back in Belgium in early November (he and Sue are now off to Turkey, Greece and Italy to visit ruins of antiquity). Mark has kindly agreed to being available for a longer workshop on Nov 9-10. This offers a wonderful opportunity for those interested to explore in more depth the ideas Mark shared with us and their implications and applications. 


We propose the following schedule and modalities:



– Nov. 9th – 19:00 – 22:00: Dinner conversation with Mark

– Nov. 10th – 09:00 – 18:00: Workshop with Mark.


Depending on the numbers, Mark proposes that again he puts some key ideas ‘on the table’ (some repeated from Thursday but also some new), and that we work through some experiences with him to build our learning around our own contexts.


The workshop will be structured as a conversation bringing many of the richest ideas on leadership and wisdom from history and experience into dialogue with the very best of your insights, experiences and stories. This and much more will hopefully make the workshop a very different experience to so many other programs. It will not be about “getting through” some prepared materials.


The workshop will bring two key issues together: Leadership and Wisdom.

Wisdom: reading the patterns of life, discerning which is relevant and helpful, and acting with intent, integrity and care

Leadership: the human capacity to touch another’s life, to change the world


The workshop will be designed to support participants wanting to develop leadership skills of substance, influence and integrity. Together, we will address:


the attributes of a wise leader according to Mark: Character, discernment, will & skill

  • with Character people will follow
  • with Discernment comes clarity
  • with Will purpose is harnessed
  • with Skill a way opens up

the patterns of life that a wise leader must learn to read well and indwell, applying these with attributes above:

  • naming: to lead wisely is to pay attention to, and to become skilled in, the ways language shapes meaning and life
  • conversation: to lead wisely is to pay attention to attention to, and become skilled in, the ways people create new understanding in the subtle to and fro of conversation
  • influence: to lead wisely is to pay attention to, and to become skilled in, the dynamics of holding commitment to both people and to goals, particularly when meaning and even relationships begin to break down
  • speaking into darkness: to lead wisely is to pay attention, and to face with integrity, the uncertainty and fear that inevitably accompanies responsibility and choice

the arts of a wise leader according to Mark: Story, Brilliance, Promise & Grace

  • by Story a compelling vision is nurtured and owned
  • by Brilliance new reputation is made possible
  • by Promise people think and speak new possibilities
  • by Grace people find heart and purpose.

The workshop will itself be an attempt to “practice” the four arts of the wise leader:

  • It will illustrate the art of Story through story: ancient stories, modern stories, and your own stories of leadership.
  • You will be invited to name your own Brilliance as a leader “on behalf of”, leading your people to their own brilliance.
  • You will begin to wrestle with what it means to speak Promise: we will open up the ways in which your own language, and the dominant forms of language among the people you lead, have shaped their lives, your organization and community.
  • Finally, the workshop will be an opportunity to model Grace – dignity and kindness without sentimentality – and to reflect on how grace opens new possibilities.

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your current leadership theory and practice – from both professional and personal perspectives. We will expect you to engage fully in a conversation about wise leadership. To the degree that you do engage, you will learn more about yourself as a leader, and how to lead from your best to bring out the best in others. To that end, the workshop will include time for you to plan how you will integrate your learning into your life and work.


Although it is by no means necessary to read them in order to participate to the workshop, the documents below (especially the new first two chapters of Mark’s new book, the article by Mark Strom & Laurent Ledoux and the questions of the « personal investigation document » constitute a good introduction to the topics we will address during the workshop).



Ligue des Optimistes

Av. Alfred Solvay, 1 à Watermael-Boisfort

(en face de l’Eglise, de l’autre côté du Boulevard; parking facile en face de l’Eglise)



Dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday, all prepared with bio or garden products, will be offered.


Participation costs

In appreciation for the wonderful evening we spent together last Thursday, we offer you to do this without charging a fixed price to register. Indeed, we do not want anybody to be unable to come because he/she cannot afford it. And we trust that by the end of Saturday you all will feel you have received great value. So we will gladly accept what you consider as appropriate then, either in cash or afterwards through bank transfer.


To register



In the meantime, you will find hereunder a few links related to last Thursday and the proposed workshop on Nov 9-10 (more will be uploaded in the coming days). Feel free to share them.


Beyond this workshop with Mark, we hope you will join us for the rest of the cycle. The entire cycle will investigate further, with different speakers, all fascinating, many of the elements addressed by Mark.


Current rates to register for the full cycle will be valid until Nov. 12th. If you can’t participate to all seminars but want to participate to at least 4 (or more), please contact Laurent for an adapted rate. Registration for separate seminars, at less advantageous prices, will be possible later.


Please do not hesitate to forward our invitation to register for Mark’s workshop and for the full cycle to people you think might be interested. Also, do not hesitate to post your words of appreciation on PhiloMa’s website.


We hope to see you soon again to continue the conversation.


Dr. Mark Strom studied philosophy, theology and history in Australia and the USA culminating in a PhD in the history of ideas. His research constituted a major study of the roots of modern leadership complexities in the traditions that shaped western thought and society. Mark has consulted to corporations and government bodies on leadership, learning, engagement, and innovation. Mark has previously been CEO of Second Road and of Laidlaw College. Mark is currently working on a new book building on his former, highly inspiring work, “Arts of the Wise Leader”.


Aucun orateur associé.


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