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Leading Through Self Awareness

“The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.”

~ Toni Collette ~

How effective are we as leaders? Do we have the inner capacity to recognize how our attitudes and actions impact others? As leaders, do we come across to others as authentic and compassionate people?

JoAnn Schindler, organizational consultant, co-director of the Authentic Leadership West Coast Regional Team and regional faculty at the upcoming Foundations of Authentic Leadership Program, believes that the foundation of authentic leadership is anchored in self-awareness. While many leadership workshops focus on skill building or presenting from an outward perspective, JoAnn points out that very few emphasize the importance of the intense inner work that needs to be done by every individual in order to bring and maintain their presence fully into any given situation.

With her experience in leadership coaching, JoAnn has always been intimately involved in bringing authentic leadership awareness to people. She is passionately committed to creating and maintaining the principles and practices of authentic leadership to people in local communities and regions.

JoAnn is a strong proponent of the Foundations of Authentic Leadership program’s three levels of Presence (“I”), Engagement (“we”), and Wise Action (“it”). These principles encourage participants to align contemplative practices from a strong wisdom tradition with contemporary, well-respected approaches for skilful engaging with other people in working with change at a systems level. JoAnn recognizes, however, that once a workshop is over, most people want to know how to keep the practice alive and how to continue to be in conversations with one another as a community.


With this in mind, JoAnn has collaborated with organizational consultant Steve Byers to create two authentic leadership communities of practice to establish and maintain a community that reaches beyond the transformative and life-changing workshops.

One of the unique aspects of having communities of practice is that people can actually foster and share a feeling of community through presence, engagement and wise action. As co-host of these communities of practice, JoAnn guides people through the process of creating a container of hospitality, inquiry, and nowness where they can continue to invest in themselves by showing up, being vulnerable and taking risks in an environment of safety, which is an important component of authentic leadership.

JoAnn encourages individuals to take a leap of faith and invest in themselves. By cultivating personal strength and courage with openness and vulnerability, every individual will be able to bring value to their community and, by extension, to the world.

As a member of the Seattle Shambhala Center and a former faculty of the Organization Systems Renewal (OSR) graduate program, JoAnn Schindler has woven together a professional practice of organizational development consulting, leadership coaching, group facilitation, and teaching for the past thirty years. She is the co-director of the Authentic Leadership West Coast Regional Team and lives in Seattle, Washington.

JoAnn Schindler

Co-Director, Authentic Leadership West Coast Regional Team

Foundation of Authentic Leadership

Bring who you are to how you lead

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Presence | Engagement | Wise Action
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