What could we all accomplish if we could put relationships first and primacy in shared purpose? In this episode, Kate Hilton shares how her view of leadership has shifted over the years starting with her own experience of being told to get out of her own way.  From discussing the shift from “power over” to “power with” and discovering that the joy in work comes from what matters to people.  When you start with who people are vs. what you want to do and listen to what people’s biggest dreams and assets are, your strategy only gets better.

Kate has an insatiable curiosity around how to help people make change on the basis of activating their agency, power and courage.  She also dances her face off with zero inhibition. As a lover of people, Kate is a studier of the human conditions for social change and we have a lot to learn from her so you won’t want to miss this fun and engaging conversation!    

Show Highlights:

  • Kate’s circuitous career path that led her to where she is today
  • Her love of people and of finding out their values and what drives them
  • The experience of having Marshall Ganz as mentor
  • Evolving as a leader and the hardest thing to let go of
  • The value of breathing and getting perspective
  • Mental failure exercise
  • Psychology of Change and what are the things that get in the way of effective leadership
  • Understanding power as a relationship
  • MLK, Jr. definition of power as, “The ability to achieve purpose.”
  • Combining resources together to create new power out of shared values
  • Power as malleable because you have to build the relationships
  • How to help one another through fears and motivations
  • How you keep what matters front and center
  • Are there enough people moving in the right direction vs. being at the effect of…
  • Psychology of Change Framework: 1.  Unleashing people’s intrinsic motivation 2. co-designing with people most impacted by the change 3. co-producing in authentic relationships 4. distributing power and 5. adapting in action.
  • Recognizing and mapping the system by people
  • Shifting from what matters to me to what matters to other people
  • Appreciative inquiry and motivational interviewing
  • Power as being fundamentally about people
  • Activating people’s agency is at the heart of the psychology of change and the ability to act
  • In democratic societies, knowledge of how we combine to create is the basis of our commitment
  • If not now, when? We can’t learn what we need to learn without getting into action


Psychology of Change Framework: http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/IHIWhitePapers/IHI-Psychology-of-Change-Framework.aspx




The Uninhabitable Earth book https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/586541/the-uninhabitable-earth-by-david-wallace-wells/

Donella Meadows, “Thinking in Systems”http://donellameadows.org/systems-thinking-resources/