Posted by: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard | 8 May 2009

While on jury duty…..

So yesterday, I had a great day at jury duty! Nothing to bother me as I read several articles that I had on my pile for ages. I revisted Thierry Pauchant’s 100 books project website and spent some time thinking about my dissertation. He and I had talked about three different ideas for dissertations, and of course, he was trying to steer me to the model he’s using for his 100 book project on integral leaders. It wasn’t appealing to me until yesterday. The idea is to take one person who fits the following three criteria and study them in-depth:

  1. Has the leader had an impact on a large community during his or her life time?
  2. Is the leader admired by a diverse population over a long period of time?
  3. Has the leader been publicly recognized as having achieved a self-decentered consciousness (meaning they’ve been described as a saint, elevated soul, spiritual, enlightened, divinely inspired, selfless, etc.)

Other criteria include:

  • was this person actively involved in the world or did she live remotely on the margins of society?
  • is the data available on this person rich enough to understand her epiphanies, her different levels of development and their relationship with the notions used in the research?
  • is an autobiography or biography available? Other articles or papers about this person?
  • can this person be interviewed? Their associates?

So I started thinking about who would be good to study.  I thought about studying Jane Goodall, since a close friend of mine works for her and can get access to a lot of information and possibly interview her, but it appears that another student is already writing about her.  My other ideas are Pema Chodron, Barbara Marx-Hubbard or Frances Hesselbein.  I have access to interview Barbara and her associates. I have no known access (haven’t explored 6 degrees of separation yet) to the other two but a great interest in especially Pema Chodron’s work because of the buddhist teachings and meditation research that I’m doing.  I would like to study a living woman leader.  Someone who is making an impact on the world. That’s why Jane Goodall was so attractive to me as I’m very familiar with her Roots N Shoots program and other work. What do you think?



  1. It is fun to think of female leaders who fit the profile you described. Pema Chodron has also inspired me. Another person who comes to mind for me is Kathy Kelly ( I find her integration of spirituality and social change to be one of real depth. She’s also able to share her stories in ways that engage me deeply.

  2. Dorianne,

    I vote for Pema Chodron, though the other candidates are outstanding too. A female Buddhist monk is interesting at a variety of levels, and I think she dovetails nicely with the consciousness work you’ve already done.



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