Conversations 2017
Authentic Leadership Leverage
A Conversation of Discovery, Adaptation, and Impact

When you're "in the zone" as a leader things just seem to hum; they seem natural, easier, and filled with purpose. You have many areas of focus through which you can achieve great leverage and real impact…but you can't achieve much acting alone. However, acting alongside engaged and inspired others, anything is possible. When in the zone as your most authentic self, you radiate outwardly to develop more potential for impact. This immersion offering explores the connection between your intentional grounding in your own authentic inner strength, trust, and wisdom…and…your search for greater impact and leverage for change.

I maintain that a leader's highest and best hope for leverage and greater (sustained) impact on one's organization, community, and world is by focusing on:

  1. Organizational Culture - fostering a culture of trust, reciprocity, and transparency;
  2. Planning - choosing how and with whom to plan; and
  3. Philanthropy - engaging major donors, investors, and partners in genuinely meaningful dialogue.

In many instances these areas of organizational life suffer from leaders' benign neglect, not by design so much as by sensing the required work is too amorphous to guide and shape. In other instances, leaders intervene with a strongly directive hand -- often with the best intent -- in ways that end up feeling manipulative or unsustainable. The result can leave leaders feeling inadequate, ineffective, and further isolated-all while still feeling responsible for larger outcomes.

Many of the best leaders believe that to be successful and fulfilled, they must truly open themselves fully (open mind, open heart, and open will) to ground their work/approach in their conscious awareness and act accordingly. This conscious awareness -- which is typically not single-sourced or one dimensional -- is, nonetheless, an animating force for right action and good. Because it is an expression of what is truest and best about the individual, it produces a radiating humility and greater ease in approaching the engagement of others whose innovation and energy is essential to harnessing the untapped potential of any organization. Properly grounded, leaders can then: contribute in new, healthy, sustainable ways to organizational culture; unleash imaginative initiatives that help the entire organization and key stakeholders learn from the future and from one another; and foster a sense of gravitational pull for donors and investors who seek true alignment between their highest imagined personal impact and the social transformation your organization aspires to bring about.

Format and Setting

Through all prior Conversations, we've come to believe -- and trust -- that we all have something to teach and something to learn. We've also come to recognize that some of the most beneficial conversations include times of high interactivity and other times of quiet reflection. We've also come to believe that learning is often enriched in a community of practice approach, where connection is made, supported, and sustained. Therefore, we see Conversation 2017 as a coherent package of components over a 9-month period that includes one immersion workshop/retreat, reflective readings before and after the retreat, participation in moderated audio conference calls, and individual virtual coaching throughout the period.

We design our small gatherings to foster interactivity and deep learning. In the workshop/retreat setting, there's no lectures; no PowerPoints; no "sage on the stage." We prefer a guided exploration of our topic, done in a way that builds a sense of community -- a safe environment for genuine exchange where we can (re)discover our individual work and contribute to envisioning something powerful and shared. Additionally, we discover the benefit of being on a similar path with others from whom we can learn, often those least like ourselves. This immersion builds community among practitioners that can be further explored and amplified over the succeeding months of connection and exchange.

Who Should Attend

Those for whom this learning/sharing immersion most resonates are people who are:

  • Recognizing that they are moving too fast to really have time to reflect on the full potential of their leadership intent on issues/populations beyond themselves;
  • Have been "at it" long enough to realize that their deeper sense of grounding and satisfaction is not about another technique, but about something deeper;
  • Aware that they can no longer abdicate responsibility for their own conscious professional development if their employer's line-item budget doesn't cover this;
  • The kind of leader/learner who does best in a nourishing environment-sustained for nearly a year-of a cohort of practitioners, each of whom have something to teach and to learn;
  • Able to clear their schedules for 3 days

Diversity/mix (of experience, sub-sector, level of organizational responsibility, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.) is a high priority for each cohort, as is breaking out of the traditional blinders about "leadership" as defined by one's title.

Desirable backgrounds could include:

  • Long-serving leaders transitioning (in mindset and/or physically) to a new space;
  • Innovators, change agents, organizational development folks, and people drawn to the art of collaboration;
  • People with broad operations responsibility, for whom the idea of organizational coherence is central to their felt success;
  • Pairs, triads of leaders leaning in to an initiative, desiring an opportunity to challenge their assumptions about leadership and leverage;
  • People for whom the notion of some spiritual or humanistic centering or grounding is seen as a deeply held value; and
  • People who are confident, appreciative, and curious.

Individuals are nominated for consideration to participate -- not because of any exclusivity; rather, we take great care to assure a proper fit with experience and expectations. Once nominated, we'll arrange with you a short phone or Skype connection to properly become introduced and to begin to explore your interests.

  • To nominate someone for consideration (including yourself), indicate that here.

Confirmed participants are sent a few brief reflections prior to the workshop/retreat gathering, thereby building a rich scaffolding for our Conversation. Our time together is deeply reflective, so we invite participants to hit pause when arriving, minimizing the use of tethered devices to be fully present to the exchange, absorbing and contributing in richer ways.

Each workshop retreat will be hosted by Conversation alumni who personally and organizationally model the kind of leadership authenticity and impact we seek to explore.

Following the workshop/retreat, we'll be connecting with you to support your continuous reflection upon, and application of, the learnings. Supporting you on your path is a central part of our commitment to the Conversation concept.

Timing of Future Offerings

  • November 1-3, 2017: Portland, Oregon - hosted by Concordia University
  • April 18-20, 2018: Minneapolis, Minnesota - hosted by CohenTaylor Executive Search Services

Tuition and Registration

  • $2,500. Additional participants from the same organization register for $2,100. (Note: tuition can be paid in installments prior to the workshop retreat.)
  • Includes: Pre- and post-workshop reading, 2.5 days of instruction, reflective materials (handouts, storyboards, and book), lunches, and subsequent participation in virtual peer community/leadership coalition, and virtual support/mentoring for nine months.

Value and Benefit

Participants will:

  • Experience a deep grounding in their own authentic wisdom and inner value, seeing the direct connection between their "being" and "doing."
  • Learn how to reframe and positively influence three processes central to their organization's success: organizational culture, planning, and philanthropy.
  • Build and voluntarily join a community of leadership practice -- a tribe or coalition -- -of like-spirited individuals from their surrounding region (and nationally).
  • Draw ongoing insight and value from a mentor/coach for an extended period, thereby benefiting from tailored situational guidance on new and reinforced leadership initiatives.

To be considered for invitation to our next offering, please contact us here.

Thanks for being part of this network and for joining me in leaning into conversations that matter.

For More Information, Contact

Gary Hubbell


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