Summary of Co-Active Leadership

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Co-Active Leadership book summary

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  • Analytical
  • Background
  • Inspiring


In teaching co-active leadership, which emphasizes helping others, Karen and Henry Kimsey-House stress knowing yourself and building enduring relationships. The authors say that “co” refers to life’s interdependent, communal, responsive aspects, and “active” covers what each individual should do. Their leadership model assigns five necessary dimensions to management and leadership to help you take a humane, values-based approach.

About the Authors

Karen and Henry Kimsey-House co-founded the Co-Active Training Institute in 1992; today it reaches thousands of people worldwide.


Co-Active Leadership means coming together, acting in unison, and understanding yourself and others. 

In the Co-Active Leadership method, “co” symbolizes life’s interdependent, communal, responsive aspects; “active” indicates what you need to do individually. Co-active leadership emphasizes viewing each person as complete and connected with others.

The co-active philosophy, or the “Co-Active Way,” recognizes people’s innate abilities.Most people need to expand their day-to-day awareness to combat the inherited beliefs that undermine their confidence and capacity for leadership, however. Presuming that people have inherent talents enables you to increase the probability they will display their true abilities. For instance, everyone has the strength to innovate and overcome obstacles.

The co-active approach to life emphasizes its immediacy, fluidity and variability. It calls on you to immerse yourself in the present without worrying about the past or the future. Attempt to see other people as more multidimensional than you’d immediately assume if you just categorized ...

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