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Bring Who You Are To How You Lead
An Experiential Workshop

2-day Workshop

  • Do you sometimes feel burned out or overwhelmed at work?
  • Do you wish you could bring yourself more fully into your leadership role?
  • Do you long for a sense of teamwork and community?
  • Do you want to act with more skill and creativity?
  • Join us and learn the three essential skills every leader needs in their workplace:

    Presence | Engagement | Wise Action

    How can we respond with authenticity, courage, and skill to the leadership challenges we face in the world today?

    Authentic Leadership is a powerful approach to leadership that encourages us to bring the best of who we are into how we lead. It is a process—a journey—anchored in self-awareness and the courage to genuinely show up for the moments that matter, and effectively lead the changes we want to see in our lives and work. This experiential workshop provides practical methods for fostering self-awareness, inspiring and engaging others, and taking wise action with confidence and compassion. Drawing on principles and practices from contemplative traditions as well as contemporary approaches to leadership and organizational learning, we will create a collaborative learning lab that will foster deep personal insights, enhance interpersonal skills, and increase overall leadership effectiveness.

    You are invited to bring yourself fully to this experience, including the questions and issues that matter most in your life and work.

    You will explore and work with the three competencies of authentic leadership—presence, engagement, and wise action—within the shared context of a diverse group of leaders. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, you’ll go deeper in your practice of authentic leadership. You will leave feeling inspired and encouraged to bring yourself more fully to whatever life presents, with clarity and confidence as you step forward on your path.

    Who Attends


    Leaders who want to create healthy and generative organizations and communities that cultivate authenticity, collaboration, innovation, joy and effectiveness as they engage in the complex issues of our time

    Change Makers

    Experienced and emerging leaders and change makers in business, education, healthcare, government and nonprofit organizations


    You, your team, or your organization

    “We can be the solution. We have the ability to create a whole new paradigm in our world, through business. We can reclaim the values in our work environments and begin to shift mindsets.”

    Jeff Tkach

    Chief Growth Officer, Rodale Institute

    What It’s Like

    A Safe and Challenging Learning Community

    You will find a safe yet challenging place to stretch your ways of thinking and open to new possibilities for leading with more success in your organization. This unique leadership development experience not only expands your skills, but also connects you to a talented network of professionals.

    Brings Together Expertise and Proven Methodologies

    The experience brings together expertise in the practices of mindfulness, creative process, and systems thinking. Drawing from proven methodologies, the faculty teams bring a multi-faceted approach to authentic leadership development.

    A Non-traditional Learning Focus

    Current research concludes what many of us intuitively know—that traditional leadership programs fall short because they focus on transmitting technical information and content and too little on developing leaders themselves.

    A Learning Process with Years of Experience

    For 17 years, the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University has been ahead of the curve, integrating mindfulness, creative process, and systems thinking into a powerful model of authentic leadership development.

    “My journey has been one of allowing confidence to emerge and trusting that what I have to offer is sufficient for what the situation is asking of me. In cultivating a mindset of open inquiry and risk, I continue to face and embrace new challenges and opportunities.”

    Kim Kita

    Director of Special Projects and Partnerships, Colorado State University Operations

    “The Foundations of Authentic Leadership has been a journey to get in touch with my true self, to discover tools and techniques to practice presence, hence to bring authentic leadership into my life and work. The meditation, action-learning, and co-creative moments have made this program highly effective and stimulating. The Foundations of Authentic Leadership has been an experience that has deeply changed me so that I can now be more aware and effective as a change maker. Also, having the chance to become part of a larger community is also very important in my path of authentic leadership as change maker.”

    Simona Orlandi

    Marketing Intelligence Advisor, Coach & Team Facilitator

    “A big part of what made this program special lay beyond the actual syllabus. The facilitators radiate a sense of clarity and heightened awareness, and really know how to manage the group dynamics to get out the best in everyone. I rode home with my heart full of love and the reinforced conviction that there are far more precious people on this planet than you can meet in a lifetime.”

    Dennis Pachernegg

    Copywriter & Strategist

    Lead Faculty

    Susan Skjei

    Susan Skjei

    Lead Faculty

    Over the last 25 years, Susan has worked with thousands of leaders in the US, Canada, and Europe to cultivate mindfulness and authenticity, strengthen relational skills, and effectively lead the changes they want to see in their organizations and in the world. Formerly a Vice President and Chief Learning Officer in a fortune 1000 company, Susan is currently the director of the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University. Drawing on neuroscience, Buddhism, complexity science, organizational learning and leadership, the center offers programs in Authentic Leadership and Mindfulness. Susan is an Acharya (senior teacher) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and consults internationally.

    How many authentic leaders does it take to shift a culture?

    “Culture doesn’t change because we think it should -in fact organizational cultures are notorious for not changing – no matter how many interventions we try. What can change a culture is a leader who behaves differently in challenging moments. Instead of reacting with defensiveness, a leader who can take a mindful ‘pause’ can make all the difference in both the process and the outcome. Of course, pausing alone is not enough -during the pause we can access our “felt sense” in the moment and make new choices based on our values and what is best for the whole situation. This takes courage as well as insight – qualities that can be developed through practice. So, how many authentic leaders does it take? Just you.”

    Regional Faculty

    Portland, Oregon

    Steve Byers, MA

    Steve Byers, MA

    Coach, Consultant, Adjunct Faculty, & Advisor

    Steve helps leaders and leadership teams by supporting three interrelated capacities. Leaders must develop and exercise systems intelligence; they must learn to recognize and respond to adaptive challenges; and they must set an example that encourages mutual learning. When these three capacities are present, wise action is possible. He works with leaders and teams and community groups and nonprofit boards in the public and private sectors. After 12 years of independent consulting, Helping Human Systems, he recently joined the Athena Group in Olympia, WA. Steve serves as faculty for the graduate Leadership Studies Program at Saint Mary’s College in California, facilitates the Art of Hosting / Art of Participatory Leadership, and offers custom workshops in systems thinking, team communication skills, and conflict engagement. He has been deeply involved with Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) since 2012 and is a co-leader of the ALIA Community of Practice in the Pacific Northwest. His teachers include Chris Argyris, Peter Senge, Margaret Wheatley, Peter Block, Linda Booth Sweeney, and W. Edwards Deming. He grows a lot of food and flowers in his garden, loves to paddle a kayak in the southernmost part of Puget Sound, and treasures every moment with four grandchildren, their parents, and their grandmother.

    Jessica Riehl, MS, MFA

    Jessica Riehl, MS, MFA

    Facilitator, Scribe, Photographer, & Designer

    Jessica uses collaborative-based design processes to gain insight and empower change. She employs visual and systems thinking, mindfulness, storytelling, ethnographic research, cameras, markers, and post-it notes. You could say, she helps a client make their thinking visible and dramatically increases the number of engagement hours per meeting. As an entrepreneur, nature lover, photographer, and former Naval Officer, Jessica brings a unique perspective that informs her design process and facilitation. She is currently working on projects to help teach character strengths to elementary school students through art and defining the newly emergent field of systems scribing. Her interests include walking, traveling, reading, making art, building community in her neighborhood, and being with her family. She is located in Tigard, Oregon where she lives with her son, husband, and two cats.

    “The Foundations of Authentic Leadership is a beautiful program. I found the program takes a glimpse into the ancient tradition and teachings, along with a powerful experience into the approach to authentic leadership, skilfully guided by Susan Skjei and colleagues. It is possible, in this short program, to be open to deep and significant learning – this was true for me personally and I observed for others during our time together. I am pleased to recommend it.”

    Jane Allen

    Leadership Coach & Consultant

    Authentic Leadership Competencies

    Authentic Leadership competencies include presence, engagement and wise action, practiced within a shared context of a diverse group of leaders.

    The course will enable you to:


      Identify the issues and trends that matter to you and call your authentic leadership into action
        Understand the benefits of authentic leadership and why it is essential in these turbulent times
        Identify the “moments that matter” in your leadership practice


      Discover the impact of your leadership presence
        Cultivate leadership presence through mindfulness practice
        Explore and overcome personal obstacles to your leadership presence
        Strengthen your capacity for clarity, connection and courage through self-awareness


      Practice deep listening as a gateway for skillful engagement with others
        Discover how fear can be an opportunity for further confidence and connection
        Learn to cultivate a safe, respectful and honest workplace culture that encourages authenticity

    Wise Action

      Explore a model of change and wise action based on 5 authentic leadership archetypes
        Understand your strengths using the 5 authentic leadership archetypes
        Use the power of intention to bring authentic leadership into your life and work

    Pricing & Registration

     Friend: Save 10% (2 Registrants)
     Teams: Save 15% (3-5 Registrants)
     Organizations: Groups of 6 or more

  • Contact Us for details
    Partial scholarships available for those who qualify.

  • Scholarship Application Form
  • Donate to the scholarship fund during registration
  • “I rediscovered my inherent purpose in life and how I could realize that purpose through my work. I discovered that obstacles were just opportunities for personal and professional growth. I now successfully lead and support my spirited team with a keen sense of possibility. What a precious gift to wake up proudly to my own authenticity and potential.”

    Resa Register

    RTT Director, Radiation Oncology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Group

    Meet the Faculty

    Next Preview Call:

    January 9th, 2019, 12-1pm PT (2pm-3 CT)

    Zoom Video ConferenceJoin in from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android.

    Please click here to access the conference call page with connection information and phone numbers to dial into the Webinar.


    Call 1 – Oct 4, 2018

    * Replays will be available within 1-2 business days. Audio transcripts are available upon request.

    During the live event, you can interact with other participants and faculty within the video webinar or by dialing into the call.

    Upcoming Course:

    Susan Skjei
    Course Facilitator

    Accommodations & Travel

    Travel By Air

    • Boulder has many lovely hotels.
    • We recommend the following because they are conveniently located to the public bus that runs to the Nalanda campus

    Other lodging options:


    (720) 608-1238 | [email protected]

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