About Ira Chaleff

Ira ChaleffIra Chaleff is a thought leader in the field of Followership and the founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates.


Ira’s book, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders was first published in 1995 by Berrett-Koehler in San Francisco and is widely acclaimed as a classic in its field.

The second expanded edition was published in 2002, also by Berrett-Koehler. The Courageous Follower was the Silver Winner of the Best Business Book of the Year award in 2002 from ForeWord Magazine, the magazine of independent publishers. A third, updated edition, published by Berrett-Koehler in 2009,  includes a new chapter, “The Courage to Speak to the Hierarchy.”

The Courageous Follower has been published in Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Vietnamese and also in a special Indian edition. It is currently being translated into Arabic and other languages.

An award winning training video, Courageous Followers, Courageous Leaders: New Relationships for Changing Times, was produced based on the book.

Ira was the catalyst for the first national conference on Followership, hosted by the Kravis Leadership Institute of McKenna College and the Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Ira is co-editor of the Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations,  published in January, 2008 as part of the Warren Bennis Leadership Series by Jossey-Bass.

He has published and has been quoted in numerous articles on Followership and its emergence as a newly recognized field of study and practice.

He has conducted seminars and workshops on Followership for a wide range of audiences including NASA, The Foreign Service Institute, The Brookings Institute, Ernst & Young, The Eastern Management Development Center for the Federal Government, The US Navy, The Federal Judicial Center, Georgetown University, Sandia National Laboratories, The Graduate School of Public Accounting at the University of Wisconsin, and numerous other institutions, agencies, corporations and professional services firms.

The Courageous Follower has been incorporated into many curricula, including senior- and mid-level police officer training at virtually every level of the California Law Enforcement community. It was part of the syllabus for the first course on Followership taught (by Barbara Kellerman) at the John F.Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Executive Coaching & Consulting

Ira is President of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates in Washington, DC.

He has been named one of the top 100 thinkers on leadership by Leadership Excellence Magazine and serves on the board of International Leadership Association.

Ira has conducted top-to-bottom organization assessments for diverse domestic and international organizations or their key divisions. Among these are the Credit Union National Association, The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, National Public Radio, the Nuclear Energy Institute and others.

Ira designs and conducts leadership team development programs for organizations such as Federal Executive Institute;  The Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Facilities, Engingeering and Operations; The Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian; and Biotechnology Regulatory Services at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of United States Department of Agriculture.

He offers individual executive coaching for senior- and mid-level managers at privately held and newly public hi-tech companies, law and lobbying firms, corporations, federal agencies and trade associations.

Ira conducts workload management coaching and training for managers and professionals at private sector firms that have included Kraft Foods, Capital One, AARP, Volvo, American Management Systems, Glaxo-SmithKline and BlackBoard Inc.

Political Leadership Facilitation

Ira has served for many years as Executive Director of the non-partisan Congressional Management Foundation in Washington, D.C., providing management studies and organization development services to congressional offices.

He  then served for many years as Chairman of the Board of The Congressional Management Foundation and is now Chairman Emeritus, while still active on the Board. Ira is Adjunct Faculty at the Federal Executive Institute and a Visiting Leadership Scholar at the University of Cambridge, England.

Ira co-authored the original handbook for newly elected members of Congress: Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide, now in its twelfth edition.

He continues to facilitate strategic planning retreats for congressional offices to create stronger focus in the service of their constituents.

Ira has hosted delegations of legislators from other countries interested in studying the mechanisms through which the United States Legislative Branch has developed the capacity to balance the power of the Executive Branch. He has facilitated in-country retreats for this purpose for the Senate of Nigeria and has conducted similar work for the parliament of Sierra Leone.

He has facilitated strategic planning efforts for international organizations such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Club of Madrid, both of which are dedicated to supporting the viability of emerging democracies.

International Leadership Association

Ira is an active member of the International Leadership Association and has recently completed two terms of service in its Board of Directors. ILA is dedicated to bringing leadership scholars and practitioners together in the service of better leadership education, development and service in the public and private sectors.

Ira was the founder and president of the Followership Community of Learning under ILA auspices. Its wiki, The Followership Exchange,  is the premier repository of followership literature currently available.

Ira has been a regular presenter at ILA conferences in the US and abroad.

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Ira Chaleff