Dr. Michael Speer
Michael Speer, Ph.D., history – Independent consultant and adjunct faculty member, University of Maryland, teaching courses in leadership and group dynamics; former board member, A. K. Rice Institute; founding board member, Chesapeake Center for Public Leadership; former Director of Training, U.S. Government Accountability Office; former President, Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations.
My passion is helping people discover their authentic selves and leadership. Leadership takes place in groups, where we all lead and follow, so I also work to help my clients and students understand how groups form and develop, how individuals and groups reciprocally influence each other to avoid anxiety, and to work on- or off-task—to name a few dynamics that leaders need to know about.
I believe it is important for us to work honestly with each other, naming our feelings and thoughts, even though these almost always have frightening politically incorrect aspects. I work from a position that says powerful unspoken feelings and thoughts are unlikely to stay hidden away but will somehow surface in ways that are destructive, compared to working through them in an overt way.
Generally, the group relations theory that I have learned about as well as my years of experience lead me to believe that real leadership always involves risk. Our human aversion to taking these chances may be one reason we all yearn for more leadership in our world today.
In additional to my professional roles, I share my life with my husband and partner of 31 years, and love living without a car in Washington, DC.