David Whyte, poet and corporate consultant, will present for The Virginia Tech University Graduate School Distinguished Lecture Series on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 12:15 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center Multipurpose Room.

The title of Whyte’s presentation is “Leadership: the Art and Science of Conversation”. Whyte uses poetry to examine leadership in today’s organizations and “to understand how we apply ourselves to this strange phenomenon called work,” says Whyte.

“David’s presentations are a unique blend of poetry and literature that convey messages which are very relevant to the issues that organizations and employees face today,” says Karen DePauw, dean of the Graduate School.

According to Whyte, real leadership is rooted conversation. Also, in order for conversation to be effective two philosophies must be embraced: First, colleagues must be treated with respect and not merely bit players in the leader’s career drama. And second, there’s no conversation without vulnerability.

“Real leadership in now based on self-knowledge,” says Whyte.

An associate fellow at Templeton College and Said Business School at Oxford University, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many European, American, and international companies, states his website.

Whyte earned a degree in marine zoology and worked as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. He led anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon, and the Himalayas.

Whyte has authored six books of poetry and two best-selling books of prose. He recently completed the manuscript for his upcoming prose book titled, “The Three Marriages: Work, Self and Other."

Whyte’s presentation is free and open to the public.

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