Bravery vs Recklessness - Knowing when to stand up and when to stand down


Ruth Pearce, JD, PMP, CCT, ACC, CiC

Learn about Ruth Pearce

Ruth Pearce founded A Lever Long Enough (ALLE LLC) in 2016 to coach and support project managers and team members. Her mission is to transform workplaces into inclusive collaborative communities. She does that through coaching, training, speaking, and day to day conversations!

Her vision is to bring the art and science of character strengths and community building to project managers. Based on twenty years of direct experience in the field supported by extensive study and research in the science of Character Strengths and Positive Psychology, Ruth’s book Be a Project Motivator: Unlock the Secrets of Strengths-Based Project Management was published in November 2018.

In addition to running her own business, Ruth launched the Community of Practice for VIA Character Strengths in 2022 and will be launching the Community of Practice for the Multidimensional Inventory of Personal Intelligence this year. She has three LinkedIn Learning courses on Mindfulness, Burnout and Character Strengths and is developing a fourth course about Bravery for Project Managers in 2022.

Ruth is a Fellow Coach for BetterUp and trains coaches to be coaches with the Center for Coaching Certification.

One of Ruth’s favorite testimonials is from Caroline Kohles, Sr. Director Health & Wellness, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan:

What is going to be the most remarkable part of any workshops we create is the opportunity to spend time with [Ruth]. [She is] gifted. In the theater, [she] would be what is known as a triple threat (singer/actor/dancer).

She has: 

1. an in-depth knowledge of this topic and personal experience

2. an incredible way of including everyone 

3. an ability to get through a lot of substantial information that is relevant and topical in a short period of time.


Keynote themes

Change comes from people speaking out against norms and at the same time creating trust and belonging in the groups they inhabit. Project managers are often confronted with situations where they need to share unpopular news or opinions and they have to choose which battles to take on and how to present their message. Based on work by Dr. Todd Kashdan on the Art of Insubordination and related work by Dr, Charlan Nemeth on dissent, Ruth's session will explore the reasons we act to “fit in”,  dos and don’ts of challenging the status quo, and ways to win others over.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain why we spend so much time fitting in
  • Identify ways to challenge group think
  • Explain what studies show about the effect of dissenters on groups and decision making
  • Develop a plan for being brave rather than reckless when navigating the challenges of project management