Attentional Leadership Theory (in Brief)

17 Jan

Per recent journal and book publications many have requested a brief and concise definition and summary of Attentional Leadership Theory:

Attentional Leadership: Definition & Framework

Attentional Leadership Theory (ALT) seeks to discover the relationship between technical (Tk) and human system recognizing that an individual or a collective (dyad, team, organization—even community) can utilize the appropriate principles, strategies, tools, methods, and/or processes to exercise influence and leadership (Lk)—generating an X factor (X) within any Meaningful Life Arena—with transferability from one arena to another.

 Attentional Leadership seeks to answer the question: “What’s Important Now (WIN)?” for individuals, relationships, teams, organizations, and communities.

Attentional Leadership asserts that influence takes place through physical (tangible), emotional (affect), psychological (constructs/ideas), philosophical (values), and spiritual (principles/scientific Truth’s) means—that where focused attention is placed with intention, influence is exercised—with change as the by-product.

Attentional Leadership recognizes that one’s capacity to influence (at any level) is transacted moment by moment, with future intent informed by past results.

Attentional Leadership posits that these Internal (physical, emotional, psychological, philosophical, and spiritual), External (self, relationship, team, organization, and community), and Time (long-future, short-future, focus/moment, short-past, long-past) have a 3-dimensional inter-connected relationship—providing a binding and a bounding framework from which to explore the dynamic nature of influence and leadership that is both theoretically sound and practical in application.

Grounded in Flow theory, ALT seeks to offer a scalable and dynamic model for broad use and application for developing leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities. Below is a graphical summary of ALT:

Attentional Leadership Theory (ALT) asserts that:

  • All Meaningful Life Arenas are technically unique (law, medicine, business, sport, the arts…) but governed by similar leadership principles.
  • It provides a framework to explore the inter-relationship between internal, external, and time-based dimensions of influence/leadership.
  • Complex circumstances/challenges require attention to be placed at the right place at the right time (within the 3 dimensions) based on the demands of the moment.
  • Influence/leadership success or failure (at any place, time, or level) is contingent upon utilizing the right principles, strategies, tools, methods, and processes required of the moment—answering the question “What’s Important Now?” or (WIN).
  • Given the speed of change attentional flexibility is critical for 21st Century leadership.
  • Influence/leadership skills are learnable and transferrable throughout the life span.

For an in-depth exploration of ALT or Finding Your Flow email: or visit

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