This website uses cookies. Learn more via our web privacy policy. For questions, please email
Ronald A. Heifetz - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content
Leadership Institute Columbus State University The Forum

Ronald A. Heifetz

Ronald A. Heifetz

Ronald Heifetz is the Founder of the Center for Public Leadership and the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Heifetz advises heads of governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, and speaks extensively, throughout the world. He cofounded Cambridge Leadership Associates.

Heifetz is renowned worldwide for his unique method of teaching and for his groundbreaking theory of leadership practice. His courses on leadership at Harvard are legendary; they consistently win the alumni award for most influential course at the Kennedy School and draw students from throughout Harvard and neighboring universities, MIT and Tufts. His courses are the subject of the book, Leadership Can Be Taught, by Sharon Daloz Parks (Harvard Business Press, 2005).

Heifetz’s research focuses on building the adaptive capacity of societies and organizations. His first book, Leadership Without Easy Answers, (1994) is a classic in the field and has been reprinted and translated many times. He coauthored the best-selling Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading with Marty Linsky (2002). His third book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing your Organization and the World, (2009) was coauthored with Linsky and Alexander Grashow.

A graduate of Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, and the Kennedy School, Heifetz is a physician and cellist. He trained initially in surgery before deciding to devote himself to the study of leadership in politics and business. Heifetz completed his medical training in psychiatry. As a cellist, he was privileged to have studied with Russian virtuoso, Gregor Piatigorsky.