The Heart of Leadership

Heart of Leadership Course Description

We are pleased to announce that Gale Leadership Development, LLC has scheduled our next offering of The Heart of Leadership, a program open to the public, April 6, 7, 8, and 21, 22, 2022. This course will be held as an in-person class.

Our foundational program enables people to deepen their foundation of connection with others, themselves, and with their community; to expand their vitality, power, and heart across all aspects of their lives.

This five-day Self-mastery program enables people to take a deep dive into empowering others, the heart of listening, integrity, developing themselves and coaching others, creating collaboration, completing the past, and breaking through whatever constraints and barriers and patterns that are currently operating and constraining them, including creating new possibilities of their lives.

In this program, people awaken to the possibility of living life from their own soaring spirit and from the opportunity to shape their lives and create their leadership. Through discovering and standing for their own unique talents and gifts, participants are freed up to generate work for themselves that is meaningful and that allows for increasing personal and professional accomplishment with decreasing effort. They are released to their passion, spirit, creativity, and power, and enabled to fulfill their intentions through collaborative communication with others.

As a firm oriented around developing people, we are dedicated to the possibility that one’s work and all other aspects of one’s life can be a source of joy, inspiration, ongoing development, contribution and meaning. In the past thirty years of developing people, we have observed that living well and working well are related; that accomplishment, productivity and satisfaction are related; and that forwarding people’s development over time ever increases the power of people to fulfill their intentions and to create environments around them that nourish themselves and others.

While The Heart of Leadership has reliably shown its power through time for people who work in larger settings, this course is also for individuals, for medium or small business owners and single practitioners, educators, or entrepreneurs who have a small staff or few or no employees. Because this program enables your ability to cause alignment and trust, to deepen relationships and connectivity, to create communication across functional areas or cultural boundaries, and to resolve alignment issues, you may obviously wish to take it with others with whom you are actively involved in projects. This is certainly not required, however. Quite personal in its approach and its nature, the program allows people to move forward on their journey of personal development and to create new opportunities for themselves for leading meaningful lives, for being enlivened and satisfied at work, and for producing results across all domains of life.

If you find yourself interested, please review the more substantial description of the program on the following pages. Registration information and comments about the program from previous participants also follow.

We look forward to the possibility of speaking with you, and contributing to you.

The Heart of Leadership


“Work should be and can be productive and rewarding, meaningful

and maturing, enriching and fulfilling, healing and joyful.

Work is one of our greatest privileges. Work can even be poetic.”

Max Depree, Leadership is an Art


“Tell me: what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver


The Heart of Leadership is a developmental program that unleashes the heart and spirit component in work and in life. This rich conversation develops people to live and begin to master what is at the heart of leadership, communication, trust, connectivity, empowerment, and accomplishment. It enables people to create work and life as a pathway for meaning and fulfillment, to create a present and a future where people are released to their own passion, to their ability to release others’ brilliance and passion, and to being productive, accomplished, and fulfilled.

We can hear in our work with our clients, a call for expanding “edge”, competence, and mastery through forwarding the growth and fulfillment of human beings. The work environment is a domain that can contribute to every aspect of a human being’s life, but is often not constituted to do so. We have seen, over and over, this profound call for inspiration in people’s personal and professional lives, particularly now, when it is clearer than ever that we live in a changing and uncertain environment.

The Heart of Leadership addresses that calling. It aims at awakening and engaging the vast resource that is the human spirit. From that awakening, participants are able to create changes in their personal and professional lives that generate breakthroughs in ease, fulfillment, accomplishment, and the experience of making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Through this program, people are able to bring into being the core ingredients for awakening a culture in the workplace and in the other dimensions of their lives of trust, inspiration, partnership, connection with others, accomplishment, success, creativity, and fulfillment. Some of the key elements included are: access to honest, authentic communication based in powerful listening; compassion; honor and regard for one’s own and others’ gifts and unique contribution; a capacity to take risks and embrace mistakes; integrity; forgiveness; the ability to fulfill intentions and accomplishments with ease and velocity through collaborative conversational pathways; keys for creating breakthroughs from breakdowns; and an increased ability to forward and empower others to fulfill their intentions. This program opens up territory for people to connect with living life from a place of profundity, meaning, and inspiration as well as accomplish what they intend. In fact, the two are very much related.

What are the results of the program?

This program, delivered through a three-day session one month and a two-day session the next month, opens people up to the collaborative nature of leadership, with authentic communication as the base for ever-expanding power in the area. It addresses what is at the heart of leadership, communication, and empowering others. It leaves people causing a relationship with their work that has meaning and substance. It leads people to be able to create relationships with others that have heart and that allows for gracious and effective collaboration, including in the face of breakdowns, so that people are both successful and fulfilled.

Through this program, people have reshaped their work, their lives, their personal relationships, and their organizational environments into environments that are fulfilling and nurturing to human beings, in which people can thrive. Through this program, people have reshaped their cultures from:

  • No trust to trust
  • Little communication to communication that works
  • No partnership to partnership
  • Having barriers and walls between people to healing those barriers ongoingly
  • Control to empowerment
  • “Silo” thinking to creating possibility, opportunity and actions collaboratively
  • Longing for what they don’t have to being satisfied with what they do have (or creating it) 

Appreciation, communication, and integrity become the background of the culture in a sustained way. These environmental or cultural shifts have allowed individuals, partners, and organizations to produce surprising, concrete, and extraordinary results. In these five days, participants create breakthroughs in their ability to listen, in their ability to speak from commitment, compassion, and inspiration, and in their ability to create innovation from problems and breakdowns. New freedoms, openings for action, and new outcomes are produced. 

Some of the questions we address and develop people to live from are: 

  • Where does leading a meaningful life and empowering others come from?
  • What is my purpose (in life and work)?
  • How do I deepen my relationship with others? What is the unique contribution I am?
  • What is the role of completion, forgiveness, and integrity in living and in leading?
  • How do we accomplish completion/learning before moving on to the next project?
  • How does appreciation release my own creativity and the creativity of others?
  • What blocks appreciation?
  • How do I get access to connecting powerfully, committedly, and generously, with both others and myself? (especially when I don’t like them)
  • What are the conversational pathways for fulfilling intentions collaboratively?
  • What are the principles for creating and sustaining trust through time?
  • How can I resolve interruptions and breakdowns with ease and grace?
  • How can I create breakthroughs from breakdowns?
  • How can I engage the teams I work with to be in effective communication and action on an ongoing basis? 

While most people would agree that leadership and management based in hierarchy, paternalism, and control are no longer viable, there are few schools educating people to be able to make a new kind of leadership–both in our work and in our private lives and families – operational. We suggest that to move forward into the next era will take a new kind of leadership: a leadership that is based in fulfilling one’s own life, releasing one’s self to one’s own heart, joy, wisdom, and soaring spirit. From there, one can take on being someone who releases others to fulfill the possibility that they are. We are not well trained in releasing our own and/or others’ brilliance. This program provides that training.

Who can participate?  

Anyone who is interested in and willing to committedly and seriously explore questions that allow for an explosion in creativity and freedom, taking action on enriching their personal and work life with meaning, expanding their ability to create alignment and trust with others, and fulfilling their intentions with velocity. 

Because the program enables your ability to break down walls and to create communication across functional areas and resolve alignment issues, you may wish to participate with other people, either personally or professionally, with whom you are actively engaged. This program is a potent and reliable resource for developing a greater level of unity and connectivity with others, for the present and the future. However, participating in it with others with whom you live or work, though useful, is certainly not critical or required. 

How is it organized?  

The program is delivered in two sections: the first is three days in a row, followed by two days approximately three or four weeks later. The first three days provide a breakthrough in authentic communication, completion, integrity, forgiveness, creating a meaningful future, a deep regard for one’s self and others, healing with others, and the distinctions for creating trust and partnership on an ongoing basis. The second two days cover the conversational pathways for fulfilling intentions collaboratively, in an integrated way with others, and the keys to reliably creating breakthroughs from breakdowns. Participants report dramatic breakthroughs in their personal and professional lives from the first three days; many of the comments in the “Previous Participant’s Comments” section stem from people having participated in a workshop based solely in the distinctions of the first three days. 


The tuition for the program is $2,195.00.

The Heart of Leadership takes place 8:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.

Further information

If you have any questions about the program or this program’s applicability to you and/or your business, please call Amba Gale at (206) 842-2692, and leave a message, or you may email Amba at amba@galeleadership development and she will contact you.

How to register: 

1)  Please fill out the registration form, attach your tuition or a $250 nonrefundable/non-transferrable deposit (made payable to the Gale Leadership Development, LLC) and return it to: 

Amba Gale
16416 Agate Point Road NE Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 

2)  Or email the registration form by sending it back to Amba as an attachment, at amba@galeleadership.com and copying Ruth Blaney at r.blaney@usa.net.  

3)  Or fax the filled – out form to us at (206) 238-9999 and mail the deposit to Gale Leadership Development, LLC, 16416 Agate Point Road NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. 

We would be happy to speak with you about the program, look with you at how it might be able to benefit you personally, those in relationship with you, or your organization, and to answer any questions you may have.

Previous Participant Comments following The Heart of Leadership

Participating in one of Amba’s classes is unlike any other experience I have had in the past. Her intuitive ability to understand others creates a safe space for people to share who they are and allows for an atmosphere of honesty, respect and appreciation…which we can all use more of in our lives.

We started working with Amba back in 1996, and her programs have made a lasting impact on our company and for those who have attended.  She brings out the best in people by creating an atmosphere of openness, respect, and appreciation.  I would recommend The Heart of Leadership to anyone seeking a more purposeful life both personally and professionally.

Larry Nakata, CEO
Town and Country Markets


(The following is a letter written to four new employees of Stonefire Grill by Mary Harrigan who were about the attend the Heart of Leadership. Mary is an original co-founder of Stonefire Grill.) 

I want to share with you both the profundity of this week for each of you as well as for our company along with my own personal experience in the work I have participated in with Amba over the years.

As you know, it was several years ago, (2012 I think) that we first began our work with Amba. Since that time, countless members of our team have experienced the Heart of Leadership and more. In addition, because I feel so passionately about the work and the powerful potential it holds for our lives, I have sent many members of my family including my husband and all of my children and their spouses to the course watching relationships healed and transformed through this work. I say this to you because we are at a very critical time in our company and each of you hold a powerful role in our success going forward. Heart of Leadership has the power to forward you both personally and as influential leaders within Stonefire Grill.

The work you are about to do is like nothing else you have ever experienced. I promise you. Embracing it and allowing yourself to be open to what it can mean for you personally is the intention I hold for each of you. In doing so, you will open new doors in your leadership, your relationships and your impact on all of those around you. Your willingness to be open and listen is key.

For me personally, Heart of Leadership was the beginning of a journey of transformation that I never, ever imagined I would find myself on. To be clear, I am still on that journey as the work is never done but I am filled with gratitude every day for the powerful shift it created in my thinking, my communicating and my leadership. It created openings for deeper and more meaningful relationships in all areas of my life and the tools I have acquired and developed have been game changers, life changers, to be more accurate. Watching those around me, the people I love most in the world and all those I love within Stonefire have the same powerful experience has been magical. It is truly a gift.

At Stonefire as you know, we have a very purposeful and intentional culture that intertwines our values with our operational day to day. We do not and cannot separate them or compromise them. I know this to be a critical key to our success for the past 19 years and it will always be a critical, continuing component of our success going forward. HOL provided the missing links to how we as a company speak, act and live our values every day. It opened a whole new world of communication that has forwarded us as leaders, as mentors and as a team working together in support of one another as we operate and continue to build a company. It provided the tools to not just speak our values, but to allow them to live in our actions.

With all of this being said, I am so excited you are about to experience it! I stand for each of you to open your minds and hearts, to have fun, to laugh, to discern and to be surprised in the next three days and I stand in full support of your roles as leaders in our company and the uncovering of the gifts that each of you bring to us in your own unique yet equally powerful beings. It’s all right in front of you waiting to be seen anew.

The added bonus of this week is that you will make new relationships that will both surprise and delight you as individuals from all walks of life come together and discover their one, same humanity. It is a beautiful bonus.


Amba is a big powerful kick in the pants…and Ruth is LOVE. My feelings for them run profoundly deep.
Know that I am thinking of you each day routing you on as you forward your lives in a fantastically beautiful way.

With love,


Mary Harrigan
Founder and CEO, Stonefire Grill Inc.

(Gale Leadership Development worked with Hewlett-Packard Company in various divisions, particularly the Inkjet Business, through various courses and formats for fifteen years. The following are comments by Greg Merten, Operations Manager of the Inkjet Business during the time Gale Leadership Development worked for them. Comments from other HP staff follow) 

My career has been much more rewarding and successful since taking this program and other ongoing work over these past years, largely due to my new found willingness to confront the risk of changing myself to be more effective with other people. It has changed my whole life. This has also been true for many people in my organization whose approach to life and work have been fundamentally altered by learning and applying basic principles of effective human relations they have learned from Amba. 

(Below are comments Greg made re: the contribution made to his organization.) 

I believe the work we have done on causing, learning, and enhancing relationship creates a virtuous cycle. You can go ever deeper and deeper in creating relationship. You can associate the more powerful the relationship, the more powerful the results.

Before we started working with you, when there were problems in the business and people brought up issues, because we didn’t know how to communicate, relationships got damaged. We were less able to take on difficult issues with each other because there was no trust. Now, because we work on trust, we are able to take on new levels of achievement…we can take on issues because there is trust.

I can demonstrate hundreds of millions of dollars were accrued to the bottom line because of our development work.

We are able to deal with difficult strategic issues proactively vs. reactively. Where the relationship is insufficient we used to put off dealing with issues. Now we maintain sufficient relationship.

We share learning across the enterprise. Whatever learning we get, we share with our brother or sister so that everyone does well. This is different than a “just me.” The metric is the system, not the individual. So our competition is now productive vs. destructive.

Our rate of learning is accelerating with every generation.

Greg Merten, 
Worldwide Manufacturing Operations Manager,
Inkjet Business Hewlett-Packard Company 

I’ve developed my comfort and ability to be in relationships with others — from my most intimate others to the most casual. I’ve uncovered a process for unfolding my life and moving toward my personal vision and my dreams. That is now grounded in a series of commitments—statements of promises and pledges … which I hold sacred at the level of my soul. It is clear to me that people see me as the CEO in this organization, differently and more positively. My leadership has been freed up in my commitment to personal development for me and for our whole school community. The level of trust has been greatly enhanced and the leadership team has been empowered to pursue their dreams. A belief in the future is emerging in the last twelve months where it did not exist a year ago.

I now know in my heart and in the most profound places in my soul that leadership can provide an opening for work to be inspirited — where all who work in our organization can discover joy and fulfillment in their work.

In May of 1995, the school district conducted its first annual employee satisfaction survey. One of the demographic indicators included in that survey was participation in the Gale Leadership Development programs.

Employees who participated in one or more of these classes were more satisfied in key areas such as trust, belonging, appreciation, their ability to influence what happens in our school district, and how well informed they feel. My observations confirm that the programs significantly altered the overall level of satisfaction among all our employees as a result of their participation. For example, the presidents of both employee unions participated in the August 1995 course. Each spoke powerfully to the entire workforce in early September at the annual employee convocation about the power of personal responsibility, and working together as a team. Those stands continued throughout the year in the leadership of their organizations.

Bruce Harter,
Superintendent of Schools Corvallis, Oregon School District

Amba’s contribution to Parametrix has had a profound effect on people’s personal and professional lives. Thanks to Amba, the firm now has a powerful Vision to guide us strategically into the future. We have embarked on a journey to identify our Core Values and set into motion incentives to ensure we “live the core values.”

For those of us who have participated in the program Amba conducted for us, partnerships have resulted throughout the company built on trust, respect, appreciation and meaningful communication.

For me personally, Amba has inspired my courage to explore opportunities, confront issues and risk change – both personally and professionally.

Amba’s common sense approaches have awakened my soul and allowed me to speak from my heart. If you’re open, Amba can change your life!

Gerry Jones
CEO, Parametrix Engineering

I did not realize that my old, sooty, run down steam engine called Punishment was pulling a whole box car full of thinking errors and old behaviors and when I stopped the engine the box car stopped with it. Now I have a bright, shiny, brass engine called FREEDOM belching out pure, white steam and I am so glad of it!

I didn’t mention this during the course but many months ago Jim G. and I were having a conversation about the Heart of Leadership and I mentioned that I felt that I needed to forgive my parents. He replied that you could help with that. I guess so! I am so grateful for Jim planting that seed and for you providing the safe space to cross that threshold!

For the first time in my life I am beginning to understand what it means to just be. To stand in the beautiful clearing, the meadow full of life, color and warmth, and just be – observe and enjoy. That is why I am not fishing when I am in my meadow clearing, because that would be doing!

I find the idea of inventing a conversation to achieve a specific outcome so powerful! The realization that I can indeed CREATE a conversation. I don’t have to converse in the old ways, but can find new ways to communicate. I have also realized that is hard work!

I am slowly but surely embracing the idea that I do indeed help others in many kinds of ways. Help them to do better, to heal, to see new pathways, to consider new ideas. What a multitude of gifts that I have been given that I can use to touch the lives of others, and I do so on a constant basis, effortlessly and with joy.

Amba, thank you so much for the rich, life-changing experience. There is so much that I am carrying forward with me and I do so with happiness and peace.

Doug Snell
Operations Manager
Hewlett Packard

A brief history: My sister-in-law and I stopped speaking to each other about 3 years ago when I (over)reacted badly to the last in a string of social offenses (oh the folders that had to be shredded!). At that point, she refused to come to any family gatherings if I was going to be in attendance, cutting off the rest of my family for my inappropriate behavior. My brother and I continued to talk, but less and less as time went on, to the point that I had only seen him a couple times at holidays in the last year or so. I told him I would apologize to his wife, but she refused to speak to me, so we were at an impasse. I had always considered sending her a letter, but could never quite get past my anger and hurt feelings long enough to sit down and find the words.

Within the first few hours of Heart of Leadership, I knew I needed to make another attempt at mending this rift, and by the end of the 1st session, I decided it would be my project, complete with an accountabilibuddy holding my feet to the fire.

Even though I hadn’t been able to write an apology for 3 years, I was surprised at how difficult it was to sit down and say “I’m sorry”, with no strings attached. No “when you did this, it made me feel like that”; no nuanced subtext calling out her part in the story. Just an apology with hope of forgiveness. I finally made a pretty floral card and wrote 3 simple lines. I drove to a florist where they live, and asked for my card to be delivered with a basket of live flowering plants (I’d planned to send a bright bouquet of flowers, but something that was going to die in a week felt like the wrong message), and then I waited.

When we returned to Heart of Leadership, it had been a week since my apology had been delivered, and I’d heard nothing. I was surprised at the level of my disappointment. Through the years, I had convinced myself that I was better off not having to spend time with her. I’d wrapped her up with all her faults and put her on a shelf in the closet to someday be tossed out with worn out shoes and handbags. It hadn’t occurred to me I might actually miss her. My relationship with my brother, oh yes, I missed that, but not her! When my brother finally called the weekend after the last two days of HOL, I was thrilled. He asked if I had time for lunch the next day, but it was clear it was just with him. That’s ok – at least he finally reached out without the excuse of a holiday! We met and the first 30 minutes were agonizing. He was wound up and angry about every subject that came up. Finally he told me his wife had received the flowers and had no intention of forgiving me. I calmly told him that was fine. It was her prerogative. I just wanted her to know the door is open. He settled down after that, and we had a nice lunch together for the next couple hours. I realized much later that telling me she wasn’t going to forgive me must have completely stressed him out. No doubt he expected me to be bullish about it, and I think my calm response helped him realize my intentions were sincere.

Three weeks later I received a text: We would like to have you over for dinner next Friday.

So last Friday I went to my brother’s for dinner. We had a wonderful time. My sister-in-law was warm and welcoming, and anyone seeing us would have been surprised to learn we hadn’t spoken in years. Finally my brother left the room to get something, and she said “He’s really missed you. It’s been so hard on him.” I stood up and gave her a hug and told her how sorry I was and how thankful that she was taking this step toward forgiveness. She said “It’s a clean slate. It’s all a clean slate.”

Thank you all for the energy and care you put into our time together at Heart of Leadership. It is one of those experiences that will carry me the rest of my life! 

Lynette Elliott
Executive Assistant to Jason Parks, President
Multicare’s Pulse Heart Institute

I have come to believe that leadership is a force that causes value to be created where it might not otherwise be made available. I have also come to find that my effectiveness as a leader has much to do with the intersection of my commitments and collaboration skills. Over the past twelve months, I have been exploring this terrain in a one-on-one coaching partnership with Amba Gale.  Looking back I am startled by the impact of Amba’s methods and by the business results and personal progress that I am achieving.  I have found two aspects of this coaching particularly valuable.  First is the power of wrestling with choice and the clarity of commitments (stands) that will drive my business leadership and my living.  Second is the attention paid to communication, listening for the concerns and contributions of partners, and working on distinctions that shape the quality of collaboration on and off the job. Amba’s approach to this work is relentless in her search for “insight matched to practice”…commitments that yield value in the workplace and across the field of life.

Boyd Lyon
Hewlett-Packard Company


I was invited to attend HOL by my supervisor Al, and from what I witnessed by others previously attended I was confident this course would make me a better employee; but in the end I gained so much on a personal level from being with you. 

To put it simply for myself, “who am I in the matter?” I say this to myself often, and each time I repeat it I realize it applies to connections both personally and professionally throughout my life. The first three days spent going through how we listen, but how we really listen, has opened me up to so many more conversations with folks I never would have otherwise engaged. My husband and I actually talk more because I listen for the listening. Our connection grows deeper all the time because all of the tools I have learned and get to use every day. Also, we read the Book of Awakening, together, every morning. Again, because of you we have found another way to connect. 

Also, not having to be right all the time, and coming from “I already know” point of view when engaging with others I will say is hard. But each day I find both small and big opportunities to travel down a path that opens appreciation and trust of others. Which brings me to the next big thing that opened up for me, shedding files. Cannot say enough how invaluable this has been for me. It’s such a simple concept, but bringing it into the light the way you have has allowed me to not live in stories I have created about others, which inversely creates shedding the files created on me. Huge deal for me. Living my life without expectations of myself or others is so freeing, I can just be wherever I am and not thinking about what I need to do next. Bronson (my son) gets real time with me, no matter if 10 minutes, or all day; I’m really there. 

Thank you for all you do in this life. You create a safe space for all those around you, and I will cherish the course always. 

Maggi Brooks,
Pacific Coast Fruit Company


Amba has a gift that is rare in my experience though I have taken many courses, seminars, workshops and conferences – especially during my Human Resources years when I was seeking things for my company as well as for my own personal development. She is able to take a body of information that, while not necessarily a brand new topic to you, is presented in such a way that you have a whole new level of listening, ownership, and genuine learning that truly inspires you to design action plans to make positive changes in your own life. It is equally applicable to personal life and professional life, and people define their own purpose in taking the course in advance and are free to work in the area where they will find the most benefit. For me that area changed after I opened up to the new pathways for deeply exploring my own personal inventory, but that was an unexpected surprise that I continue to be grateful for. 

Susan Keith, Owner
Defining Directions, LLC

Now I know that the first three days we were emptying the cup and the last two days we filled it back up again, with a new way of being. The last two days, everything came together, all the puzzle pieces fit. I learned how to communicate in a simple, powerful and positive manner. Being a pragmatic person, I love the practical nature of the Heart of Leadership course. It is information that I use every day in everything I do. 

When I returned from the Heart of Leadership, people noticed something different about me. What I have is a more clear communication style and a clear idea of what I stand for, which has a profound impact on my life and my relationships. 

Angela Aliabadi
South Tacoma Auto Sales

As a result of my work with you, the power of my work with people has increased tremendously. I now give myself permission to make much more of myself and my experience available to people, and I’ve stopped holding back out of various considerations. My work has become more empowering and more focused on commitment. I derive much more satisfaction from work and am happier, so everyone in my personal life has benefited as well. At the material level, my income has virtually doubled. Best of all, I feel that at last I am actually living my commitment to making a difference in this world every day. 

Lyn Davis Genelli, M.F.C.C.
San Francisco Center for the Healing Arts

I cannot thank you enough for the enlightenment you provided for me this time around! The first run through of Heart of Leadership was absolutely life changing; coming at these teachings from a different angle, a more mature perspective of the world, and with new life challenges was certainly a new kind of incredible. What you contribute to this world is miraculous and I am so grateful that I am blessed enough to have been given the opportunity to be coached by you! 

Becki Waskey
South Tacoma Auto Dealership

(This is a participant from a previous in-house Heart of Leadership, whose husband chose to take a public one shortly after she completed): 

I feel truly blessed that the universe brought you to me and Colin. I am indeed blown away by the deep work that he has done and continues to do. He committed wholeheartedly to the process and I believe he will contribute to his employer and himself in ways that he never would have thought possible. He seems “lighter and unburdened” in a way that I would not have dared hope for him prior to his participation in the course. I am especially grateful because he mended a fence with an old friend that I was sure would never be a part of our lives again. 

I have also learned so much about myself through this process including that I have way more “chich”of self doubt running in the background than I could have possibly realized prior to the course! I catch and correct myself almost daily and I wonder how I functioned prior to realizing it was going on. It is a big piece of work but I am confident I will find a way to work through it and gain strength by addressing my fears. I want you to know that you have changed our lives forever by exposing us both to POSSIBILITY. I am eternally grateful. 

Jaynelle Nash,
Pacific Coast Fruit Company 

The following is a copy of a letter written by one of the Store Directors, sent to the Board members of T&C Markets, that are supporting their employees in being in The Heart of Leadership. 

Amba and others, 

I just wanted to let you know about a phone call that I just received. Erika’s mother just called to thank me and the company for having her daughter take part in HOL. She was nearly in tears talking about how it has changed her life and how big of a difference it has made in both of their lives. Erika has always been very close to her family and she cares deeply about them. Mom said that she has purchased one of the books from the reading list and will be reading with Erika and working together with her. 

Sometimes we don’t hear about the ripple these types of experiences can have. I can only speak about the wonderful transformation that I see with Erika at work, but it is nice to hear that it translates to that other thing, what’s it called? Oh ya, life. 

Thank you so much Amba for all you have done once again. 


Since The Heart of Leadership training, I have noticed beneficial changes. I sense better engagement from my colleagues. We seem to be moving forward in developing a shared mission and vision for our program. More importantly, the process of trying to engage others is no longer a source of frustration for me… well maybe not completely resolved but it is much better. I seem to have developed a little more patience for the process to work. Listening deeply training has been particularly helpful although I’m certainly in an early “catch and correct” stage- this skill will take time. Another benefit has been to transition my focus in patient care more towards their functional goals, rather than the medical diagnosis, and this has made clinic much more rewarding. 

Dr. Ryan Barnes, Pysiatrist, Multicare
Neuroscience Institute, Physician Leader
Spokane, Washington 

The following are comments participants have made after just the first three days of The Heart of Leadership: 

As I have continued to apply my learnings from the first session, I find myself listening as deeply as possible and working to take absolutely everything in. Not interrupting and not looking to fix, but looking absorb what is being said and listening in behalf of. Additionally, I am finding it easier to identify paradigms within not only my business, but my personal life and looking to understand why and how I can impact these paradigms. I feel that my approach to my professional and personal life has changed and I am working to implement a better version of myself. This is being accomplished through listening, compassion, empathy, sharing and declaring victories. 

Additionally, the relationship with my brother has opened up. A week after the course through the encouragement and support of my partner, I got the courage to call my brother and ask for his forgiveness for the part I have taken to contribute to the state of our relationship. Upon his acceptance, I felt a huge weight being lifted off my body and soul. Not only is he willing to work to better our relationship but we have both decided to put the past in the past and move forward to the future. Reminding ourselves the importance of family and togetherness, I am looking forward to the opportunity to build a future with him in my life. 

Brian Berman
VP of Marketing, Stonefire Grill 

Alignment with my Stands has been at the forefront of my awareness. 

Specifically I got to a place where I was confident and strong enough to insist on taking steps to move forward with my divorce for the sake of my emotional well being and my kids’. 

I’ve made room in my being by taking responsibility for my recently ended marriage, even though I fought hard to save it, I was responsible for the years I was passive and unaware. I was responsible for not showing up sooner. Opening this awareness of responsibility has allowed me to forgive myself fully, and my husband, and let my grief move forward and I’ve pressed into radical acceptance more than ever. I am still grieving and I know it isn’t linear, but it has allowed me to shift into a place where I can move past being a victim. 

I also mended a work relationship and ended another toxic relationship, which was very freeing and healing. 

I intend to keep pressing forward toward growth and consciousness in my being. Fully in awareness and I am committed to thrive. 

Sarah Swalley
Floral Manager, Town and Country Markets 

So much has opened up. The awareness of building files, proper listening, catching and correcting, paradigms have continued to be on my mind. I have also been able to have several incredible conversations with my wife and with James over the past couple of weeks that have been so insightful. One of my biggest breakthroughs is understanding I am worthy and I am good enough. My stand to be confident has produced several powerful discussion points, that as a result I feel like I am in such a better place. I have also witnessed that presence with my family is contagious. My wife noted a couple of days ago that she has noticed how much more present I have been when I am at home and it has made it a lot easier for her to also be more present. Then she described the overall added level of happiness that has been felt in our home. 

I came in with high, yet open expectations of what I would gain from the program. Being an easy-going, optimistic person, I wasn’t sure how a lot of the program would be applicable for me, but the impact has been immeasurable. Days 1-3 brought so much awareness to the surface, and I feel like it laid the ground work for success in so many areas of my professional and personal life. I look forward to learning in days 4-5 how to propel forward, now that my engine has been dusted off and started. 

Travis Shatt
Perspective Wealth Partners 

Since attending the HOL I have been more cognizant of my approach and how I am coming across. I have been working on creating a safe space for others to be successful and where I can make a difference. When I notice I have not created that space I have caught myself going back and fixing it with the person involved. 

A great example of this is our expansion into a statewide business unit. There has not been a lot of trust within my team with those that they will be working with on the other side of the state. As I work to bridge the two sides of the state I have found myself resorting to what is comfortable for my teams rather than helping them create space for those new on our team to become successful. When I realized this we had a conversation surrounding what success looks like on both sides of the state and it will be defined differently in different regions. 

I hope that I will continue to be able to keep myself self-aware enough to continue to catch when I have slip-ups and that it is like a smile – when you pass along a smile you gain a smile making the world a happier place. With this course I hope that I am creating space for success that makes difference. 

Holly Burke
Executive Director of Quality, Pulse Heart Institute

Working with Amba has been both a personal and professional transformational journey. It is without a doubt, the greatest gift I have given to myself and to my team. 

She has provided in both her course work and her supernatural ability to quickly reach the heart of the matter, an environment that contributes to the ongoing leadership development of my company and a deepening of our culture and values. In addition, my awareness around my own leadership is heightened and contributed to in working with Amba through personal growth, accountability and an understanding of who I am, who I work to become and the endless possibility my life holds. 

Amba’s message is beautifully simple: true leadership begins within each of us. When this message is grasped and truly understood, lives are transformed and in turn, the workplace becomes one of accountability, appreciation, honest communication and results. Seriously, does it get any better?

Mary Harrigan
Founder and CEO, Stonefire Grill Inc. 

The following are comments participants have made after just the first three days of The Heart of Leadership:

Dear Amba,

I woke up this morning to my first day of retirement from HP. During my nearly 19 years there, I had the pleasure of working with some amazing people like… . I mention those two because they were the ones who made it possible for me to attend workshops with you many years back – and that changed my life.

The perspectives you opened up for me made it possible to retire with a feeling of excitement, of eager anticipation for what’s ahead. I’ve worked without interruption for 50 years. As they learned of my plans over the past several months, so many of my colleagues have asked “Retire? What will you do with yourself?”

I feel the fear that they are projecting. And yet, because I internalized your coaching to make the most of transitions, indeed sometimes to catalyze them, I approached the act of retirement with the same vigor that I put into everything else I do. I was fortunate that my last manager allowed me to build and work a succession plan over the past year so that when the day came that I was no longer there, they could carry on smoothly without me.

Today is that day. This is the first action I’m taking on this first day of retirement: to express my eternal gratitude to you for what you’ve made possible. You helped me open my heart and mind to what is possible and what is important. My shifted my thinking about life in ways that that has allowed me to let go of fear.

Much love,

Bill Wagner

Thank you so much for it making possible for me to attend The Heart of Leadership retreat last week. I stand for knowing that I am forever changed.

You asked if I have seen any changes since the class and the answer is unequivocally, yes. I have noticed that the “tapes” that seemed to run endlessly are now replaced with the technique of catch and correct. Although I know that I am just a few days away from the retreat, I already have numerous occasions that I handled differently…now that I know the cost.

One of the experiences I had was on my flight from Seattle to Baltimore. It turns out that I was seated between an elderly couple. When they arrived at the seat, I asked them if they wanted to sit together. Although they said that they did not, they proceeded to immediately reach and or talk across me. I am very patient in situations like this so I went into my place of tolerance and took out a file on them! The only thing they had going for them was that they were old….and I really, really like old people. But it was 8:00 in the morning and I needed some sleep.

Of course, because of the class I realized that I had taken a file out on them. At one point the lady, Veronica, leaned over to ask me if I had taken my phone out of airplane mode. She saw me playing solitaire and wondered why she wasn’t able to bring up the game on her phone. I showed her how to open it and then asked her if she had ever played Whirly Word (a word search game for the IPhone). I opened the app and explained it to her and she and I spent the next hour playing the games and laughing so hard I could hardly stand it at times.  At one point she said, “this is hard because there is only 1 vowel.” And I said, “well there’s sometimes Y”. and she said, “Are you shitin’ me? Where’d you ever her that? Is that something new they’re teaching in school?” When I spelled the word “sky”, I said, “See, and sometimes Y.” and we both burst out with laughter.

Although this seems simple, I can assure you that I would NEVER take time to get to know someone on a plane. Actually, I even resent people for trying to pull me into conversation.

Also, when I went to my reception later that day, I was speaking with another Head of School when I realized that I had GONE TO THE BAHAMAS!!! When I caught myself, I started trying to listen deeply from nothing. Then of course, I started asking questions. It turns out that the man was the Head at a school his mother founded 40 years ago. The school is boarding for 42 boys only and his work is noble and fascinating.

Amba, I can’t thank you enough for caring enough to introduce me to a new way of being. I grew up in a very religious home and had a very religious life. I have seen God’s hand on my life and in my circumstances, but this is the first time I feel that I am in God’s presence with my  whole self. You have helped me understand the cost of my insecurities and fears and I have decided to save the only person I could save.

Armed with a handful of techniques, I remain in gratitude to you and your gift.

Pamela Jordon
President and Head of School, Idyllwild Arts Academy

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