Applying the “Informal Theorem”

Much of the leadership development theory that emanates out of J. Robert Clinton is a confirmation of the obvious if we reflect long enough to recognize it.  His “Informal Theorem” is a good example of such an intuitive truth:

“The more informal the training medium the more potential for in-depth impact in the life of the trainee.”

One of the most powerful venues I have for such in-depth impact in the lives of younger leaders is an annual week-long boat trip on Lake Powell in the Arizona desert.  It’s an unparalleled opportunity for guys to play hard, share deeply, and relate profoundly.

The group this year – 18 CRM staff or potential staff – will be scattered to the nations in the coming months:  Latin America, Asia, Europe and Africa.  But what has transpired in their lives, and the relationships they have built during this one week in September 08, will stay with them the rest of their lives.  Deo Gratias!

9 Responses to “Applying the “Informal Theorem””

  1. Lyle Says:

    You have mentioned Clinton books you read at times, but I’ve been re-reading your Anatomy of a movement again and would like to ask for more recommendations of Clinton books. The Making of a Leader is supposed to be too shallow, according to CLinton himself.

  2. Jonathan Greene Says:

    Great looking blog! I agree that informal training is a powerful tool. In my experience, formalized training places instructors on a platform that can become a hinderance to relatability.

  3. Bobby Says:

    When do I get invited to one of these?

  4. Sam Says:

    Bobby: You’re too old.

  5. Sam Says:

    Lyle: You can find most of Clinton resources at

  6. Bobby Says:

    Oh…that hurts…below the belt! Bad form

  7. Sam Says:

    Nothing bad form about it. Just the truth.

  8. Lyle Says:

    Knowing what’s out there is not the problem, but choosing. I know it depends on one’s needs and place, etc., but is there one or two key, foundational books that you think we need to know, after which we could better decide for ourselves what is needed?

  9. Weekend Linkage « life as usual must go… Says:

    [...] Applying the Informal Theorem, from CRM’s president on a trip I was blessed to be a part of.  I wrote about it here. [...]

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