The Heart of Leadership
April 17, 18, 19, and May 14, and 15, 2024
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”…
“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
–Parker Palmer, Let your Life Speak
“Tell me: what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
You are invited to participate in a profound immersion – in a conversation, called The Heart of Leadership, an opening into a vast territory of completion, and creating new beginnings, as you emerge into a new and profound connection with your Essence, your Roots, you authentic Self.
The Heart of Leadership is a practical, profound, rich, transformative conversation that connects you with your heart and your spirit, in all domains — parenting, work, giving yourself self-care, opening up new avenues for your self – expression, your creativity, strengthening your ability to handle challenges gracefully, and resolve them quickly, awakening your joy and aliveness, even while living in a challenging and ever changing world.
Through the principle of awakening your awareness, you connect with your deepest self, your Wisdom Self. You strengthen your roots through Being and being profoundly and newly connected to your Self and to others in your life, and to your own, new life.
Most of us have a future that is given by the past; we throw the past out in front of us and walk right in it. What might it be like to have a future given by your own voice, your own creation? A future given by spacious vast and wider horizons that are grounded in even deeper meaning, fulfillment, accomplishment and joy?
This rich conversation develops you to live and begin to master what is at the heart of leadership, communication, trust, connectivity, empowerment, and accomplishment, through awakening awareness. It enables you to create your work and life as a pathway for meaning and fulfillment, to create a present and a future where you are released to their own passion, to your ability to release others’ brilliance and passion, and to being productive, accomplished, and fulfilled.
In his book, Leadership is an Art, Max Depree says:
“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.”
We can hear in our work with our client companies, a call for expanding “edge”, empowerment, and mastery through forwarding the development, growth, and fulfillment of human beings, connecting their passion with their work. 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 such 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, you will find that the heart of your leadership lies within. Along with others, you will be a collaborator in awakening a culture in your workplace and in the other dimensions of your life 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
- a deep access to compassion, for yourself and others
- an ability to shed those aspects of your past that are limiting or constraining in the present
- a profound respect and honor and regard for your own and others’ gifts and unique contribution
- a new opening in your capacity to take risks and embrace mistakes
- a deep connection with your own integrity; and access to forgiveness
- the ability to fulfill intentions and accomplishments with ease and velocity through collaborative conversational pathways
- the conversational keys for creating breakthroughs from breakdowns
- an increased ability to forward and empower others to fulfill their intentions
- being able to practice and master the art of accomplishment through communication
- achieve a breakthrough in living from joy
What are the results of the program?
The Heart of Leadership 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.
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
- Listening reactively to listening creatively, responsively
- Little communication or no communication to communication that works
- No partnership to partnership, even in relationships where trust has been broken
- Having barriers and walls between people to healing those barriers ongoingly
- Control to acceptance, surrender, empowerment, ease
- “Silo” thinking to creating possibility, opportunity and actions collaboratively
- Longing for/ being dissatisfied about what you don’t have to being content with what you do have (and creating it)
- Wishing, wanting, hoping, expecting to being at peace with what is
Appreciation, communication, gratefulness, integrity, and listening from the heart become your new home.
These shifts have allowed individuals, partners, and organizations to produce surprising, concrete, and extraordinary results. New freedoms, openings for action, and new outcomes are the outcome.
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 $2395.00.
The dates of the next offering are April 17, 18, 19 & May 14, 15, 2024, between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.
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:
16416 Agate Point Road NE Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
2) Or email the registration form by sending it back to Amba as an attachment, to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
4) Or register online.
Previous Participant Comments following The Heart of Leadership
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.
relationships deepened; trust restored hundreds of millions of dollars accrued to the the bottom line
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.
Worldwide Manufacturing Operations Manager,
Inkjet Business Hewlett-Packard Company
lasting impact on our company
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 greatest gift
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.
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, 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.
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?
Founder & CEO, Food Service Industry
In October, 2022, Amba led a Heart of Leadership for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Network, at a time that the pandemic is still raging, and predominant, particularly for children. These were some of the letters that were written to the sponsors of the course:
this is a course that changes you
I was in the October inaugural cohort of the Heart of Leadership. What we learned and practiced live in the course recognized all of us as whole, unique individuals who through our vulnerabilities and empathy can build an even stronger team than just with ordinary leadership skills. What a different approach to a leadership course than typical! It was a course that brings the student through a variety of emotions, asks the student to really self-reflect and begin earnest work on relationship with self as well as with others to bring leadership to a new level. It has been said that a good course leaves the learner with more knowledge but a great course changes you. This is a course that changes you.
As we have Thanksgiving 2022 in our rear-view mirrors and are in the thick of this respiratory illness surge, I am finally finishing the draft of this email to express my gratitude to you both for having supported this course even in the midst of a financial crisis. I think the fact that we have had ourselves tested almost immediately with the surge of respiratory illness has shown us again how important this course was, as we have key leaders who attended who are now navigating the current crisis with such skill and grace, remembering to support staff through the uncomfortable. My thanks to both of you for your leadership and support as well as always remembering that your teams are made up of unique individual people, not just numbers. Thank you for that as well.
Andrea DOnalty, MD FAAP | Medical Director Primary Care Network
Administration | Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network
renewed energy to serve
Thank you so much for making it possible for many of us to attend the Heart of Leadership training. The first meeting started with a group of weary and burnedout leaders and after the 5th day we ended with revitalized, passionate leaders who left with renewed energy to serve. There were so many personal breakthroughs, and you could almost physically hear a new collective heartbeat in the room. We are open to possibility and ready to embrace the obstacles as opportunities to grow. I know there was great cost to giving us this opportunity, but I do believe the dividends will be great. This group of leaders will go back to their workplaces ready to take stands in important areas that are necessary for the future growth of our institution, and even more importantly we will find new pathways to get children the quality accessible care that our families desperately need. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Christine Bozich, MD | Medical Director,
Mary Bridge Children’s Urgent Care Network
OSHA Provider Supervisor | Woodcreek Pediactrics Mary Bridge Children’s
a more inspirational leader
I wanted to reach out to you all with a very large thank you. Heart of Leadership was a life changing experience. I am a newer leader that was granted the opportunity of leadership within Mary Bridge, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that alone. But the heart of leadership was an amazing turning point not only in my career but within my life. I am now a more inspirational leader for all the possibilities that lie in front of us every day, filled with integrity and empowerment for our Mary Bridge Team.
This experience has greatly improved my life in more ways than one and am so thankful to each of you for making this a possibility even when the path did not seem clear. This truly has built my passion back for life and for the endless possibilities for One Team Mary Bridge.
Heather Woodard CMA, Clinical Supervisor
Gig Harbor Mary Bridge Children’s Pediatric Urgent Care
monumental roi and transformation
I am reaching out to express my deepest gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Heart of Leadership. I’m struggling to find words weighty enough to adequately convey what this experience has done for me and to me. I have been with Multicare for 12 years and in my field for 22 years. But, today felt like the first day – totally new, exhilaratingly exciting and full to the brim with possibilities.
I am certain that I cannot fully grasp the strings you had to pull in order for HOL to materialize. I am, however, certain that the ROI will be monumental and transformational in perpetuity. So many of my HOL cohort commented that HOL was right on time, at the perfect time. I could not agree more.
Of the many (many, many) revelations I experienced, one, in particular, was tremendously meaningful for me. I realized I had unconsciously been operating in a fear and scarcity mindset and had settled into helplessness and hopelessness in regard to the huge barriers and problems the kids and families in our community are facing. I felt disengaged from our patients as people and was going through the motions without my heart being engaged. One Mary Bridge did not feel possible.
After 5 days of hard (HARD) work and connecting with my colleagues in ways I could not have imagined possible, I am 100% certain that we are creating One Mary Bridge and that our One Mary Bridge will create endless possibilities for kids and families and for our teams. I don’t recall ever being this excited about our work.
This experience was such a gift to me, professionally, and to me and my family, personally.
Thank you x 1,000,000.
Lis Ryan MSW, LICSW
Director, Pediatric Care Continuum
Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Clinics
making a huge imapct, living life to the fullest
I have been extremely humbled by HOL. I have learned more than I can express including to “consciously conversate”, and how to make relationships transformational instead of transactional. I am a better listener. There was a forgiveness component to work with a partner there to forgive people in the past (including myself) that would limit or make me question what is possible for the future. I learned to make a huge impact, live out my vision, and live life to the fullest. I learned how to declare breakdowns and turn them into breakthroughs. I learned to create possibilities or find “another path”. Again, there was so much more learned than I would ever be able to say. The presenter, Amba, looks for miracles every day. It is incredible the time, talent, and “heart” that one person can hold to change the world one day at a time.
Strong relationships were built from all who attended. This is so important, not only for collaboration for MY future projects, but from a different mindset of understanding how I want to be able to help THEIR goals and obstacles as well. If everyone in the organization at some point could attend HOL, the amount of return on investment would be like nothing I have ever seen. Just from the few days I have been back, there has been apologies, meetings, and movement to things that had been stagnant or stuck.
Working with people like Marianne and Ben (and all the rest of you who I haven’t met) who cared enough to make this happen during these financial challenging times to change people’s lives is ultimately a gift to me.
Again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
Manager, Mary Bridge ENT
unique and powerful experience
At the current stage of my career, I have been through multiple trainings related to organizational communication, professional effectiveness, and personal insight; however, the outcomes I embraced and the benefits gained from The Heart of Leadership were so unique and powerful, the experience was unlike anything I had encountered previously.
As a result of the five days, I have become more self-aware so that I am now able to catch and correct behaviors or patterns of thinking that are contradictory to organizational values or sabotage interpersonal dynamics, even if in very subtle ways. Through support of the group, participants learn how to be fully present, listen with integrity, build trust, and create a safe space for others to be successful. I have already seen the positive changes as I have implemented these principles and priorities in rounding with my clinic team resulting in productive energy and healthy relationship building. The positive impact on dyad relationships could be immeasurable. Perhaps the most fundamental skill from Heart of Leadership is the ability to recognize “existing files” that have been created in the mind, which stymie thinking, create barriers, oppress people, limit creativity, and nurture mistrust. Letting go of these leads instead to creative thinking, opportunities for innovation, and empowerment of people. The ultimate outcome is integrity and thoughtful leadership. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to strongly consider taking part in The Heart of Leadership.”
Medical Director, Neonatal Follow Up Program, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital
hol occurred at just the right time
I wanted to share that another indicator that HOL occurred at just the right time was the recent surge in volume we have had in the last few weeks with an unprecedented amount of kids with respiratory illness (driven primarily by Flu and RSV). This has created immense strain on our Mary Bridge teams as we look to take care of a huge spike in volumes with a workforce that is already feeling tired and worn-down from the Covid-19 pandemic. I have personally been able to use a few key learnings from my time at HOL…with an increased ability to “shred files” and ensure that I take each conversation for what it is and avoid bringing unnecessary baggage to the conversation. This has helped with a healthy perspective and hope that we can continue to spread this type of energy throughout the organization.
Benjamin Whitworth | Chief Operating Officer Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network
Manager, Mary Bridge ENT
inspired my courage
powerful vision for the future
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!
CEO, Parametrix Engineering
significantly altered the overall level of satisfaction among all our employees
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.
Superintendent of Schools Corvallis, Oregon School District
HAVING THE BEST HEART OF A LEADER
When I was first “voluntold” by my company to go to the Heart of Leadership, I had no idea what to expect. I assumed, after reading a bit about the class and about Amba, that we would be singing “Kumbaya” in a circle while doing some yoga and talking about how best to go about talking to people at work. Little did I know, we would actually be pulling from within us what we want to focus on changing for the better. Not just to better ourselves but to be better for everyone we come in contact with. Yes, there were moments of meditation and a song or two involved, but it was nothing like what I imagined it would be. I went in thinking I would be focused on my professional life and how to be a better leader and person in that realm, but I quickly realized that I wanted to focus on my home life, especially with my new fiancé, and how I can truly listen with my whole heart to her, and deepen our love for each other. I know this practice will only spill over into my professional life, and in turn, I will be a much more loving, joyful, and peaceful person. All of this just by listening a little more intently. Who would have thought it could be that easy? Now to stay focused, catch and correct myself when I start “going off to the Bahamas,” and really care about those I am with in the moment and for a lifetime. I am truly grateful for this experience and am blessed to have met the people in the course who helped guide me on this new path that I have embarked on, and especially to Amba and Marianne for putting together and maintaining such a wonderful course. I now feel that I have the Heart for Breakthrough on my new adventure in life to having the best Heart of a Leader in both my personal and professional life.
a multitude of gifts
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.
Startled by the impact of amba’s methods
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.
opened up to more meaningful and real conversations
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.
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
a rare gift
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
more satisfying business and personal life
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
lighter and unburdened
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.
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
beneficial changes for coworkers, patients
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, Physiatrist, Multicare
Neuroscience Institute, Physician Leader
a huge weight lifted
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.
VP of Marketing, Food Service Industry
What a powerful experience!
What a powerful experience! I have gained so many tools from Heart of Leadership – both in outward tools and inward understanding. I have been consistently utilizing your techniques for improving communications. The concept of recognizing and acknowledging ‘files’ has been particularly helpful, as it allows me to clear the path and allow for true listening. I have ‘overcome’ the breakdown I was working on with my ‘project’, only to uncover deeper, and more meaningful breakdowns. It has allowed me to go much deeper than I realized I needed to go. (I discovered some of what I didn’t know that I didn’t know!). I find that I am entering ‘difficult’ conversations more easily and even looking forward to them, as the world that lies on the other side of these mis-understandings and mis-alignment is more productive, more relaxed, and more fun!
VP of Sales, Pacific Coast Fruit
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.
Perspective Wealth Partners
retirement without fear
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 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.
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 shittin’ 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.
President and Head of School, Idyllwild Arts Academy