Connect with John Pisapia

We are in the Weeds!

uuA few days ago, some the STQ Online Team (John, Lin, Gianni) shared a pizza at a local pizzeria.  The waiter came over and asked “how are you!”  I responded in my customary appreciative inquiry mode - “great and you?”  He answered, we are in the weeds. Thinking the worst, I aked, “what does that mean?” He said its restaurant talk for “we are busy.”

Well - The Strategic Leader Network (SLN) is in the weeds! But considering the options that is a good sign; right?  Personally, I love this time of year. It taps into my inner drive to form clear intentions to create a learning community based on the principles of strategic leadership. It’s that time again when leaders review the past year’s accomplishments (or challenges) and write goals for the year ahead.  

The mission of SLN is to advance research and the practice of strategic leadership through the generation and exchange of knowledge. SLN is currently made up of three synergistic groups focused on research, services, and use of strategic leadership. We would be delighted if you would join us in some capacity.

  • The core researcher group is composed of active academic or corporate researchers from education, government, and the for profit sector. By design the group is small and limited to no more than three invited individuals from each sector.  To be admitted to membership in this group, one must have published and empirically based papers, articles, books, or currently conducting research that leads to publication. The task of this group is to research the paradigm and continue to develop it.

This is what the research group shipped this year! With SLN colleagues Deborah and Sherry, and John presented their research regarding the difference of strategic thinking and strategic planning, and the strategic thinking skills of incoming university freshman at the American Institute of Higher Education.  Nick, Ying and I had our research on strategic thinking skills and strategic leadership actions in the journals of Educational Management, Administration and Leadership and the China’s New Frontier.  Yusuf, Ozgur and I published our work on the strategic leadership actions of hospital health care managers in the American Journal of Business Research. I was invited to write a chapter for India’s National Human Resources Conference Book on Finding the future and making it happen! Nicholas' and John's proposal to research the strategic thinking and actions of school leaders in Hong Kong was funded for $775,000 (HK$). Tony in the UK headed up our efforts to expand this research line with a proposal to their Economic and Social Research Council for $100,000 US$.

  • The providers group is comprised of professional developers and executive coaches who take the ideas and consult with organizations to put them into practice. These members go through a certification process which enables them to use the techniques and materials developed by SLN to train others in their use. 

This what the providers group shipped this year. John lectured on the principles of strategic leadership at the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy (CELAP), and the Fudan University, Shanghai.  Using the strategic thinking protocol, the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at Florida Atlantic University completed their search for the future by adopting their 1 page statement of strategic intent.  The process was observed by others in the college and we were asked to spearhead the protocol with the College of Education

  • The end user group is composed of individual practitioners and/or organizations that are committed to using SL ideas to improve their organizational and personal performance in the workplace. 

This is what the end user group shipped this year!  After conceptualizing, testing and validating the Strategic Thinking Questionnaire for 5 years, it was launched OnLine. The STQTM and The Strategic Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ) were used by professors at 2 universities in 5 courses so students could see how their mind works. CEOs at Nokia, Vapo Company, Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, Leadership Research Institute.  Total SLers – from facebook, twitter, and the SLN website - grew from 0 in 2008 to 4,500 by the end of 2010.  The total number of countries represented grew from 3 in 2008 to 35 in by the end of 2010.  SLers were guest bloggers to tell us how they interpreted SL principles for their practice. Mike’s Does your Boss use a AK47 or a M13 , Sherry’s The Million Dollar Idea , John’s How I missed the future!; Zucchinis, Watermelons, Keystones, and SL , The Byrd Effect, and Jennifer’s Blind spots and Fender benders  

YES!  SLN has been in the Weeds and that is the way we like it! 

Our challenge in the coming years is to stay in the Weeds by expanding our reach to end users who take the research verified principles and put them into practice.   

We need you to help us accomplish this goal!  First you can invite your friends to join us on one of our sites - Facebook  Twitter  Academia  LinkIn SlideShare The Strategic Leader Network

Second, If you have an idea to share with our community please email it to or post it on our facebook page for all SLers to see.

Finally, attend a workshop – since SLers are learners first and then leaders - participate and learn – practice!

Thanks for a great 2010 and an encouraging 2011!


John Pisapia, President and Founder
The Strategic Leadership Network (SLN)
on Facebook