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Session Title: "Bluer than indigo" leadership: Alchemizing your leadership capabilities
Speaker: Jonathan H. Westover, Chair/Professor / Managing Partner and Principal,
Utah Valley University / Human Capital Innovations

Session description: The idea that I want to share is what I have titled Helping Others to Become Bluer than Indigo. There are leadership competencies and capabilities needed for the future of work, and it isn’t rocket science. There are ordinary, everyday actions that will produce extraordinary results if we can just uncover them and be consistent. Among the most important of these everyday actions is illustrated by the Korean proverb 청출어람 or 줄람지예, which translated means “Bluer than Indigo.” Indigo is the bluest of blues, so to have something that is bluer than indigo is truly remarkable—a deep, vibrant, and brilliant blue. Koreans use this proverb to describe the ideal relationship between leader/teacher and pupil—that is that the leader/teacher (indigo) trains and teaches the pupil to become bluer than indigo, or greater than himself/herself. There are many implications of this proverb that are also very important. First, this relationship implies that the leader/teacher sees and recognizes the true potential in their pupil. Second, the teacher makes every effort possible to help the pupil achieve that potential. Third, the teacher takes no thought of himself/herself but rather is dedicated entirely to the success of the pupil; also meaning that pride (ego, status, position, etc.) does not get in the way. As a leader and a teacher, I strive to reach this ideal. That means that I must truly value each colleague and student that I encounter, search out the great potential within each of them, and then do everything within my power to help them see that potential within themselves and then support them in working towards reaching it. To understand how to best provide this support, I must encourage each individual to candidly share his or her thoughts and views, actively listen to and value his or her input, and provide timely and appropriate feedback. Therefore, I strive to develop open relationships of mutual respect and accountability with each individual colleague and student and clearly define my expectations for them, while also understanding their expectations for me. Consider how the nature of work has shifted over the past 50 years. With increased globalization, rapid technological advancement, and a shift in economic composition, the average jobs of today look very little like the average jobs 50 years ago. What will the jobs and organizations of tomorrow look like? Moreover, what does this all mean for organizational leaders? What are the core competencies and capabilities of organizations and their leadership that are prepared for continued disruption and geo-political and socio-economic shifts? Regardless of what the future holds, increasingly leaders need to be socially-minded, data-driven, decisive, champions of talent, and disruptors of the traditional notions of leadership, teams, organizations, and work. Individuals need to explore their own 'bluer than indigo' leadership competencies and capabilities and consider ways to apply and implement them into their workplace and personal life.

Bio:  Jonathan H. Westover is a professor and chair of Organizational Leadership in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University, Academic Director of the UVU Center for Social Impact and the UVU SIMLab, and Faculty Fellow for Ethics in Public Life (previously the Associate Director) in the Center for the Study of Ethics. He is an award-winning US-based #1 Best Selling Author, ranked # 1 HR, Innovation, and Future of Work Global Thought Leader & Influencer (Thinkers360), ranked in the Top 30 in Management and Organizational Culture (Global Gurus), entrepreneur, management consultant, teacher, and research academic based in Orem, Utah. He serves on a host of nonprofit, community, and association boards and committees and has received numerous awards for his teaching, research, and service to the community. Dr Westover has been published widely in academic journals, books, and practitioner publications. He is a regular visiting faculty member in other international graduate business programs. Jonathan is an experienced organizational leadership, people management, and organizational development consultant and managing partner and principal at Human Capital Innovations, LLC). For two decades, he has worked to help transform organizations across the globe. He is also the producer and host of the Human Capital Innovations (HCI) Podcast and Managing Editor of Human Capital Leadership Magazine. He is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, Non-Resident Fellow in Social and Development Policy with the Nkafu Policy Institute (part of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation), member of the HR Certification Institute CEO Advisory Council and past member of the board of directors, member of the Humantelligence Scientific Advisory, Board Chair and Director of the Corporate Division of the Global Listening Centre, a CIPD Academic Fellow, and an Advance HE Senior Fellow. Jonathan has been published widely and quoted as a management expert in popular and professional media locally, nationally, and abroad (such as Forbes, The Economist, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MarketWatch,,,, The Washington Post, and USA Today). 

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