Leading Well: Growing the Elephant | Center for Leadership | Florida International University | FIU
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Leading Well: Growing the Elephant


March 14, 2023
9:30am-10:30am (doors open at 9:00am)
Reception and book signing to follow (in-person)

Thank you to our reception sponsor ttg.

This event is free and open to the public.

Click here to register to attend in-person
Florida International University
Graham Center Ballrooms
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199

Click here to register to attend via Zoom
Zoom link provided upon registering

Leading Well was developed to engage the community we serve through conversations with academics, business executives, executive coaches, community leaders, and leadership experts. These wide-ranging discussions cover topics from personal growth to leading others, and human development to leadership best practices, with a goal of engaging leaders at all levels. Through this series, we provide access to expertise, insight, advice, and best practices on topics related to leadership, leadership development, and leading well.

Special Announcement


The first 30 people to arrive will receive a copy of
“Growing the Elephant: Increasing Earned Advantage for All" by Chris Altizer and Gloria Johnson-Cusack.

About the Event

Growing the Elephant – Increasing Earned Advantage for All (Practical Inspiration, 2022) authors Chris Altizer and Gloria Johnson-Cusack lead participants in an experiential approach to leaders’ roles in engaging others in challenging discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Whether leading self or others, or guiding those who lead others, participants each explore in a safe-yet-brave environment “the elephant in the room” of advantage. Participants are introduced to practices that enable being with the discomfort of recognizing and working with unearned advantage to then grow opportunities for earned advantage – for all.

Concepts to be discussed include:
  • Productively reframing ‘privilege’ in DEI
  • The GAM - Growth Advantage Mindset
  • Self, Other, and Self-on-Other Awareness
  • The GAM of Leadership – Dimensions of Power
Practices to be discussed include:
  • Reflections - meeting people where they are
  • STOP - stop, take a breath, observe, proceed
  • The Value of Intentions - what and why in DEI

This session does not require reading the book or expertise in leadership development or diversity, equity, or inclusion. It does require an open mind to explore and reflect on challenging questions and learn from others in the room – whoever they are, wherever they are from.  

The Presenters

  • Christopher Altizer


    A retired, recovering HR executive with every unearned advantage short of height, Chris Altizer now consults and coaches executives globally and teaches at Florida International University College of Business and the FIU Center for Leadership. From this privileged position, he joins Gloria in addressing the elephant in the room – the elephant of unearned advantage. 

    A published author, researcher, and cited expert in human resources, Chris holds an MBA with honors from Columbia University, MAHRD from Northeastern Illinois University and BA from Hampden-Sydney College as well as MBSR teacher qualification through UC San Diego. He is a certified Yoga Teacher and 5th degree black belt martial artist.

  • Gloria Johnson-Cusack


    A servant leader and changemaker, Gloria Johnson-Cusack, MPA, provides consulting services to leadership teams and boards of foundations and other institutions committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in education, financial security, and health.

    Gloria teaches frequently at the graduate School of Professional Studies, Columbia University in New York and serves as Board Chair of the Firelight Foundation supporting communities in Africa. She has been an executive in philanthropy, government, academia, business, and nonprofit sectors.

    As a person of African-American and Haliwa-Saponi ancestry, Gloria came from a segregated background in the United States and moved from being middle-class to working-poor to decidedly privileged. She uses her lived-experiences to build bridges. Gloria holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from American University and Columbia University.

Thank you to our reception sponsor ttg Talent Solutions


This Leading Well event is presented by


With support from


In an effort to optimize participation in our events we strongly urge you to register online to reserve your place and arrive early to claim your seat. While we are unlikely to turn anyone away, we are limited to the capacity of the lecture rooms and event spaces. Many thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

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