Dr Michelle Hammond teaches organisational behaviour and work psychology at the University of Limerick, and earned her PhD at Pennsylvania State University. Growing up in the US, she realized that she had an interest in making workplaces better in her first job in an ice cream shop at age 15. She noticed that even a few simple changes could make the working experience so much better for staff. She has always been fascinated with understanding the different ways people think. This lead her to study psychology, move and work abroad, marry an engineer, and raise three very different little personalities. She is particularly attracted to exploring life’s interesting paradoxes, such as when holding leadership positions doesn’t always equate to feeling like a leader, being involved in family and community is both wonderfully enriching and sometimes depleting, and sometimes needing to take a few steps back to move forward. She has co-authored an award-winning book on leader development, published widely in academic journals, and is a registered psychologist in Ireland.
Dr Rachel Clapp-Smith has always been fascinated by the topic of leadership, but her concept of leadership was truly broadened when a year studying abroad in Munich, Germany morphed into a 5-year stint managing multi-cultural teams in the IT industry. She discovered that IT was not her passion, but global leadership is. She quickly put herself in a situation where she could explore global leadership development in detail: academia. Since then, Rachel has persistently tested her cultural frames of leadership by traveling internationally when possible and exposing her two small children to multiple cultures. Rachel has coached managers enrolled in the EMBA at Purdue University Northwest and found that coaching can benefit managers at any stage of their career.
Case study: Conor the Inspired – Making Sense of Leadership Challenges