Leading in Dynamic Environments: A Four-Frames Approach to Leadership

Lauren D'Innocenzo PhD, assistant professor, organizational behavior, Drexel University, LeBow College of Business   

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” - Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame American football coach

Are your greatest problems at work around a lack of motivation and commitment? Perhaps it’s confusion surrounding priorities and responsibilities? Or is there uncertainty and anxiety around the future direction of the organization? As leaders, we are constantly faced with challenges and often use intuition or make judgment calls to determine the best course of action in each situation. But how can we know if we are using the best approach?

In this seminar, we will utilize the Four-Frames Approach to Leadership which provides a unique way to consider and reflect on the most appropriate strategy to lead across a wide-range of situations. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their own leadership “kites” and assess the value of emphasis in different areas.

Prior to arriving at the conference, each participant will complete a LeBow Leadership Assessment (LLA) designed by Drexel University professors which includes both a self- and peer-assessment of critical leadership and individual dispositions. Results of this assessment will be compiled into a personal feedback report and distributed during the seminar. During the day, each of Four-Frames of Leadership will be explored:

  1. Structural Frame: Focuses on clarifying roles and responsibilities through systems, procedures and structure.
  2. Human Resource Frame: Places emphasis on human needs and empowering employees to perform their work.
  3. Political Frame: Built upon the foundations of power, coalitions and conflict resolution, this frame addresses the notion of individual/group interest.
  4. Symbolic Frame: People want to feel purpose and meaning in their work and creating a vision is a central component.

Interactive discussions, role play and table breakouts reinforce and expand understanding, while providing time for new insights and connections.

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the value of a multi-frame perspective in deciding how to lead. 
  2. Leverage self-understanding to better position yourself for adaptive leadership.
  3. Reflect on various strategies to employ each leadership frame.


  • Participants will receive a link to complete the LLA for Self and the LLA for Peers.
  • Read: How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing (Optional)

Seminar includes:

  • LeBow Leadership Assessment for Self (to be completed prior)
  • LeBow Leadership Assessment for Peers (to be completed by 3+ peers prior)
  • 20+ page personal feedback report summarizing your individual results, peer feedback and group analytics
  • Leadership development plan guide
  • Book – How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing 
  • Certificate of completion from Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, Corporate and Executive Education

Competency alignment:
This seminar complements the following competencies as described in the HBA Leadership Competency Framework.
8. Builds relationships and teams
7. Influences and persuades