Gift-centered leadership series
This multi-session small-group experience is designed for growth-conscious leaders who want to build their capacity for gift-centered leadership. We define “leader” as a person who is in a position to influence others towards a desirable vision. Organizational leaders of all kinds, life-coaches, counselors, therapists, consultants, teachers…all leaders.
Leadership growth is about becoming a better human. It’s about more than laying a new set of leadership “tools” on top of the current you. That just covers up the mess and makes it harder to get at what really needs to change. Leadership is the act of intentionally becoming more of the person you want to be. Knowing and using your gifts wisely is an essential part of "you."
As a leader, you are going through an extraordinary time. Right now. And again tomorrow. It never stops. We are all changed in significant ways from the events of the last few years and we are all in the process of figuring out how to move forward. Leaders who are really present, have a growth mind-set and an open heart will emerge from the past few years with significant gifts and leadership skills to offer those around them.
You may feel it in your bones that this is the hardest period you’ve ever been through as a leader. You might notice when the alarm goes off in the morning you don’t have that usual urge to get right to your job. You may have hidden feelings of wondering if this is the right job for you. You feel less “successful.”
All those feelings are a natural part of leadership in difficult times.
Difficult times, for both leaders and the people around us, often pull us into crisis management, taking care of all the urgent things happening around us. It provides some relief to see some things getting done. For leaders, it’s a feel-good trap.
The people around you are watching and depending on you to lead, not manage. They want to know the leaders they depend on have not lost their vision, not lost their passion or their urgency for trying new things. Especially now. You are modeling what they will see as possible for them. What do you want them to see?
What is the most powerful leadership ground you can stand on? Is it your authority as a leader? Is it your intelligence, intuition, and compassion? Is it your coaching skills? Is it your years of experience? Or is it the powerful alignment you have created between your life purpose and the work you are doing?
The stopper is out of the bottle. What are you going to do with the Core Gift that’s inside? Are you going to harness the power in it, or are you going to let it lie dormant?
Your Core Gift is influencing every action that you take. Are you getting the message that it wants to have more of a conversation with you?
When we stop remembering and depending on our Core Gift, we lose motivation, forget the powerful underlying reasons connecting us to our work, and fall into the trap of spending more time managing and less time leading. We lose hope that we are being who we are really meant to be.
Your Core Gift is one of the three pillars of hope that you can depend on in difficult times. The second pillar is strong relationships. The third pillar is believing you are connected to and serving something much larger than your individual needs. Without knowing and using your Core Gift, the other two pillars are difficult to access. Our Core Gift is the primary offering we have to give to others. It’s how we most want to be seen and valued. And our Core Gift is the primary connecting thread between us and whatever we are serving that is larger than us. Our Core Gift is essential for living an aware and undivided life.
“As a leader, I have found the exploration of gift theory and practices, and the opportunity to work with others in my organization who have taken on a leadership role in changing our culture to be gift-oriented, to be the most nourishing and sustaining part of my role.”
Deb Everley, CEO, Kenora Association for Community Living, Canada
Gifted leadership is the result of a leader consciously integrating their Core Gift into their daily practices of leadership, and also understanding the daily temptation to harness the shadow of their Core Gift whenever they are not coming out of their best self. Living fully into our Core Gift is a daily practice—some days are better than others.
When your Core Gift is in alignment with your leadership tasks, people will see you as grounded, energized, firm in the decisions you make, and coming from your highest purpose. Trust is the result. Leaders inspire that same grounding in others.
Don’t play small. It is in your best interest—and the interest of everybody in your circle of influence—for you to play large. To be in the fullest expression of all of who you are. To be the leader your best self knows you can be. Isn’t that what you want from the people around you?
So take this time for yourself. You work hard and you deserve some time to breathe and focus on yourself. This is not “non-work” time. It is an investment in your leadership capacity, your health, and in the belief that leadership is about, more than anything else, the willingness to look inward before you look outward.
What are the benefits of gift-centered leadership?
- You recognize and strategize how to contribute the foundational gift you want to bring to all situations you are involved in during the workday.
- You become more approachable as people see you for more than your “position of authority” but also for the gifts and sensitivity you bring as a human into your relationships.
- Your sense of joy at work is increased because you are in alignment with your path.
- Your willingness to share power and collaborate is increased because you are clear what you are bringing and what others need to bring. You no longer need to hoard authority out of fear no-one else will be able to lead like you do.
- You more willingly engage in tasks—even tasks you postpone or don’t want to do—because you are energized by the awareness of giving your Gift in other parts of your workday.
- You are more attuned to notice the gifts others are bringing. Your respect and appreciation for others grows as you see their powerful uniqueness.
- You have a heightened awareness of the Gift shadows in yourself and others.
- You forgive more easily, knowing gift-giving increases the opportunity for strong feelings.
Who can participate?
This small-group experience invites a maximum of 10 leaders including: executive directors, executive team members and other organizational leaders; coaches, teachers, counselors, consultants and other business owners. Please contact us if you have any questions about eligibility.
Participants must have a Core Gift statement. If you currently do not have one, or would like to refresh yours for more specificity, you can purchase a Core Gift interview via the 2023 Offerings page at a reduced rate prior to the start of this series. You will have a facilitator choice of Katie Elliott or Bruce Anderson for your interview. Please contact Bruce for more information about this option.
This offering may be for you, or you may want to sponsor an emerging leader in your organization who is invested in gifts and can help embed the theory and practice in your work culture.
6 sessions (once every two weeks for 3 months)
1.5 - 2 hours per session, depending on content.
The frequency and length of sessions is specifically designed so it will not be overly burdensome for leaders to integrate into their work schedules.
There will be no homework or quizzes:)
To create a trusting community, we ask that participants attend all sessions except in cases of emergency, and that they are equipped with Zoom audio and video so we can see and speak to each other. This is not the kind of event where you can listen in while doing other tasks.
The value of this offering is balanced between content and confidential live conversations. If you cannot attend a session, you will receive the content slides and activities sheets for that session, and you are welcome to contact another participant for an update on the session.
“This is about building the habit of looking at everything through a gift-lens. Really helpful and challenging. I’ve been questioning my own capacity to lead and thinking maybe I need another job. I don’t feel that way now. This has provided the insight, challenge and safety I need for this kind of reflection. I don’t know where else I would get this from. I like the regularity of meeting. Two weeks feels like a long time between!”
About the sessions
These sessions are designed to feel like fresh air. Time away from the usual constraints and stress to focus on you and your gifts. To stay balanced and lead from wholeness, leaders need much more of this time than they generally take. We expect laughter, serious inquiry and silence as we move through each session together. We want you to feel energized and refreshed as a result.
Each session has four parts.
- Specific content about how to integrate your Core Gift into a part of your leadership behavior and responsibilities.
- Participants bring current organizational issues forward and look at them through a gifted-leadership lense for understanding and solutions.
- Sharing stories with each other about using your Core Gift during your workday so we can honor and witness each other bringing our gifts forward and learning together.
- Non-rushed space for the unexpected questions and discussion that arise whenever growth-oriented leaders gather.
Your gifted story: The thread of your giftedness revealed
We’ll start with introductions! Then we’re digging into learning: What are the primary GIFTED stepping-stones that put you in your leadership position? How do those stepping-stones both support and challenge your gifted leadership style? Participants will have the opportunity to see the common threads in stepping-stone gift stories, and how they have been naturally led towards leadership and found both the blessings and the trouble they were meant to find.
Your Core Gift: What do you have faith in?
All of us have a belief system we’ve developed about “what’s bigger than us.” Those belief systems are embedded in our Core Gift. This session explores, in a multi-step process, how “what you have faith in” surfaces in your work behaviors and is linked to your Core Gift producing a mind, body, spirit alignment towards wholeness.
Your Core Gift: Supervision, influence and alignment in your leadership
How does your Core Gift support and cause harm in your supervisory/coaching style? What gifts in others cause your gift to erupt from the shadow side during interactions? How do you create healthy alignment between differing Core Gifts?
When your Core Gift mis-behaves: Shadows, forgiveness and healing
Some say that the most valuable learning for them about Core Gifts is the increased recognition of when their Core Gift is being used in an unhealthy way. This usually means the leader is using their gift to gain control, be seen as the smart one, manipulate outcomes, reduce competition, or express anger. It’s not a pretty picture, but all of us have known those moments. What is your “go-to” when your gift shadow is most evident? How can you express forgiveness for yourself and others when gift shadows arise? How can these shadows contribute to healing?
Your Core Gift and the 8 domains of organizations
This session explores how your Core Gift uniquely contributes to each of the 8 common functional domains in an organization, whether you have 500 employees or a one-person coaching business. You’ll increase your awareness of what your gift contribution can be in each of the domains, your tendency to under or over-focus on each domain, and other specific gifts that you need around you in each domain to be successful.
Tending to your Core Gift's desire to mentor and be mentored
Good leaders are always scanning the landscape for mentoring opportunities. This session debunks many of the usual assumptions about mentoring (Myth #One: Mentoring is age related), identifies how your Core Gift helps and hinders your mentoring capacity, and gives you reflective time to identify the three most potent mentoring opportunities in front of you now.
“Discovering my Core Gift allowed me to see the connection between what was innately inside me and my calling to help and lead others. It became the bridge from leading with fear and pessimism to leading with love, commitment and purpose.”
Wendy Carpenter, CEO, Penny Lane Centers, California
Participants can expect:
- To more fully integrate your Core Gift into your daily routines and interactions
- To identify the growth-edges to more fully integrate your Core Gift with your leadership activities
- To increase your feelings of alignment between your personal path, leadership, and your organization
- To solidify your personal vision of what gift-centered leadership means to you so you can bring that awareness to the leaders you supervise
- To be more aware of the triggers for your gift shadows and develop healthy reactions and alternatives
- To spend reflective time with other leaders to build confidence in gift-giving and share stories of success and failure to create a shared sense of gift wisdom
- To develop a more comprehensive and practical understanding of gifts so you can come from a place of gift-centered authority in answering questions and promoting gift development in your organization
- Participants must be able to connect to Zoom with both audio and video so we can hear and talk to each other.
- This is a highly interactive learning event. It is not the kind of session where you can do other tasks while engaged with us.
Sessions are held every other week on Wednesdays and last between 1.5 and 2 hours depending on activities:
May 31. June 14, 28. July 12, 26. August 9.
9am Pacific,10am Mountain,11am Central, 12pm Eastern, 4pm UTC
Contact us for more information and scheduling.
Single participant rate: $499 USD (or 4 payments of $125 per month)
Organization rate (max. 10 participants): $4000 (or 4 payments of $1000 per month)
If you need to purchase a Core Gift Discovery prior to the start of this series please contact Bruce.
Note: Limited partial scholarships based on financial need are available, particularly for individuals and groups working predominantly with marginalized individuals and groups. Contact us for more information.