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Wisdom Weaver


Dr. Les Joynes



I serve leaders who are shaping the futures of technology, education, business and the creative industries. I began my professional journey in 1989 as a management consultant advising innovative Fortune 500 organizations including 3M, Du Pont, GE, General Motors and Bayer. As a Columbia Business School Leadership Coach and Fulbright Senior Scholar I tap thirty-years experience across the Americas, Asia and Europe. As an ICF-credentialed coach I know that coaching is a powerful tool to unlock our potentials. I have launched coaching initiatives at Yale, University of Melbourne, and India’s Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM).

A graduate of the NYU Coaching Program, I received my MBA from California State University studying under Organizational Behavior guru and author Dr. Rami Shani. I completed my MSc. in international management from Boston University, MA from University of London, MA from Japan, PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University, and Post-Doctorate from University of São Paulo, Brazil. I am recipient of the Fulbright Professional and Academic Excellence Award (India), Erasmus Award (France), Taiwan Ministry of Education Award, MeXT Scholarship (Japan), ACMS Fellowship (Mongolia) and US Public Diplomacy Awards for building educational outreach in Mongolia and China.

In addition to my affiliation with the Thought Leadership Institute I am a member of the International Leadership Association, a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and served as Chair of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals in New York. Supporting ICF’s international mission I initiated ICF Global Chapter Connect which engages our chapters across borders.

Featured Insights

What inspires you?

I am inspired by what education enables us to see outside of the box particularly when that box is education. Rather than being inspired by education alone I am inspired by what we can do with education and how we can transform education to do that better.

Especially in America, education has become transactional – get good grades then get into a good school, land a good job, buy a good house. These are all terrific objectives – but education can give us much, much more. It can give us wisdom. How can we use education as a tool to innovate new forms of value to better serve others, our communities and our planet.

What relationship has been most influential in your life?

Our relationships with ourselves are often overlooked and undervalued. I have learned that when we have developed a healthy relationship with ourselves – we are then able to serve others better.

Life gives us many teachers in all shapes and forms. During my MBA my Organizational Behavior and Operations Management professors inspired me to perceive organizations not only in terms of the people but also in terms of interactive systems and models.

Also an artist I also draw inspiration from creative paradigm-shifters like Andy Warhol who I knew in New York. He showed us that even though the world seems fixed we can flip institutions and inspire new ways of thinking.

What’s on your bookshelf?

Philosophy of Management Series, Springer
McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality, by Ronald Purser
Rabindranath Tagore: Adventure of Ideas and Innovative Practices in Education, by K. Bhattacharya
Envisioning the Future of Arts Education, by Edward P. Clapp (UNESCO)

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