Lead Like a Guide

Discover the leadership strengths of world-class mountain guides and see how developing and applying these principles can help you reach for the highest summits in work – and in life. This intriguing approach to business and personal success introduces six leadership strengths of guides: demonstrating social intelligence; adopting a flexible leadership style; empowering others; facilitating the development of trust; managing risk in an environment of uncertainty; and seeing the big picture. The premise? That these same strengths provide a valuable model in the workplace and other networks, whether one is already in a leadership position or aspiring to get there. Dr. Chris Maxwell is a senior fellow of the Wharton School’s Center for Leadership and Change Management.  His new book, Lead Like a Guide: How World Class Mountain Guides Inspire Us to Be Better Leaders, was released in September, 2016.


  • Identify and explore six key leadership strengths
  • Understand directive vs empowering leadership
  • Learn four core needs for empowerment in the workplace


The Power of Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.  Research shows that people who know and utilize their unique strengths have stronger relationships, find more engagement in their work, and lead happier, more fulfilling lives.  This interactive workshop includes a discussion of how to increase well-being, happiness, and resilience.  A pre-workshop survey helps you discover and reflect on your own unique strengths. 


  • Summarize the value of identifying and leveraging your strengths.
  • Describe the psychological and physical benefits of experiencing positive emotion.
  • Rethink how to manage adversity and build resilience.


What is Your Brand?

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.

– Jeff Bezos

Experts have argued that an individual or organization’s “Brand” is the universe of activities you undertake that affects perceptions by others.  Brands are important as they create differentiation from competition, communicate value, and provide piece of mind to stakeholders.  At a minimum, most brands “wear out” in roughly 10 years and need to be reconsidered, particularly when an organization is at a turning point. Let’s examine your “brand” and your organization’s “brand” to determine their effectiveness.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain what we mean by a brand and why it is important for individuals as well as organizations.
  • Discuss the why and purpose of an organization’s brand as a critical factor in determining direction for the future.
  • Describe how organizations reevaluate their brand over time and determine if they need to rebrand.

Diversity and Multicultural Awareness

We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion!

-François de La Rochefoucauld

We all like to believe that we have neither bias or prejudice.  But it is important to step back and ask ourselves the hard question — is that really true? In today’s global environment it is crucial to address bias and prejudice, individually and organizationally. This highly visual and very interactive program uses the Campbell Picture Postcard Deck, created by Dr. David Campbell, Senior Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. Using these pictures as stimuli, participants are guided through a series of questions and discussions that addresses bias and prejudice in a safe and understanding environment.

This seminar has been used very successfully with corporate managers, business executives, university classes, school district leadership teams, faculty retreats, industrial psychologists, police officers, human resource staff members, and two groups of convicted felons (one male and one female)!

Learning Objectives:

  • Create increased awareness among participants about the factors underlying their decisions about different groups of people, especially those with whom they have had little direct contact.
  • Expand dialogue among the members of any organization about issues of prejudice, bias, and increase awareness of the factors that influence how other people make their decisions about different groups.
  • Call attention to the almost limitless variety of people and cultures from across all boundaries of the world.

The Battle of the Alamo

A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.

-Sam Houston

San Antonio, Texas provides a wonderful site for this leadership seminar.  The Alamo is a timeless event shrouded in legend an­d lore. The struggle of 189 Texans against over 2,000 Mexican soldiers for 13 days is a tale that inspires Americans even today and been captured in several films. But underneath the iconic, legendary figures and the constant retelling of the story by Hollywood is a classic case study for leadership which is relevant for all modern-day leaders. This workshop closely examines the leadership successes and failures of the two teams involved — the Texans and the Mexican Army. The day begins with a presentation by a leadership facilitator and an Alamo historian to outline the events before, during and after this battle. Participants then attend a private, docent-led tour of the Alamo where the history and leadership lessons come to life. The day concludes with a facilitated discussion about how the lessons from this epic battle can be applied to current day leadership challenges. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand strategic and tactical leadership and how to make decisions based on these concepts
  • Learn concepts of team dynamics and how to effectively lead a team through challenges and adversity
  • Discuss how to implement leadership learnings from the past into modern-day situations

Learn more about the location:
The Alamo in San Antonio http://www.thealamo.org

The Battle of Yorktown

We must take Cornwallis or be all dishonored. 

–General George Washington

The Battle of Yorktown was the decisive victory that led to American victory in the Revolutionary War and our independence. The Battle of Yorktown serves as a perfect “leadership laboratory” to consider enduring principles such as ethics, strategic planning, team building, decision-making, and conflict resolution to name but a few. 

This workshop begins with a brief seminar to provide an overview and leadership context for the Battle of Yorktown.  This is designed to help participants gain a clearer understanding of the battle, key leaders, as well as the critical events that preceded it. A leadership facilitator and a Revolutionary War historian will use the battlefield to illustrate critical leadership lessons and concepts. The day will conclude with a group discussion about the concepts and principles discussed throughout the day.  We will further consider how these apply leadership lessons apply to us as we face the challenges of a complex, fast paced, ever changing world where the actions of leaders can make all the difference. 

For this seminar we will stay in Colonial Williamsburg and visit the museum as well as other sites in the village.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss leadership styles and their importance in leading an organization
  • Understand and apply the concepts of adapt, innovate and overcome effectively in an organization
  • Open discussions around strategic leadership, strategic vision, crisis leadership, leading in a crisis, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence

Learn more about the locations:

Seven Revolutions

*Presented by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)*

In 1992, the Center for Strategic and International Studies embarked on an initiative to address and analyze the key policy challenges that policymakers, business figures and other leaders will face out to the year 2035 and beyond. It is an effort to promote strategic thinking about the long-term trends that too few take the time to consider. The key points of this research have been captured in an exciting, fast-paced multimedia presentation that has been given around the world––from governments to private corporations to academia to nongovernmental organizations. It is an effective tool for pushing audiences to think outside of their areas of expertise and beyond their familiar planning parameters.

The titular Seven Revolutions are:

  1. Population
  2. Resource Management
  3. Technology
  4. Information & Knowledge
  5. Economics
  6. Security
  7. Governance

Learn more about the CSIS and the Seven Revolutions here

Initiative and Innovation

Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions.
–Bo Bennett

Success is not by accident. Most organizations are not unlike sports teams whose success is often measured in the training and hard work that is done before the game is played. The American entrepreneur has also been well-known for both initiative and innovation. These have often been the difference between success and failure. How do leaders foster a climate of innovations and creativity in their organizations?

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the difference between initiative and innovation, and why both are important for any organization.
  • Consider why leaders believe encouraging innovation is essential to the success of any organization.
  • Examine where we see innovation occurring and how to create a climate that fosters it. 

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7th 1941 a day that will live in infamy…

– Franklin Roosevelt

December 7th 1941 is an iconic date; the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The actions of leaders on both sides of this historic battle made the difference in the turn of events on that day—for better or for worse. During this leadership workshop a leadership facilitator and Pearl Harbor historian will lead participants to the various sites where critical decisions were made and actions taken on the island of Oahu. These include Pearl Harbor, the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Missouri, Hospital Point, and the Punchbowl Cemetery. At each stop we will examine key aspects of the attack and leadership lessons that apply as much to us today as they did on that fateful Sunday morning. The day concludes with an active discussion about how all leaders can learn from the good, and the bad, leadership decisions made on this historic date. It is no overstatement to say that Pearl Harbor is one of the most important and intense “leadership laboratories” in our history.  

*On-the-Road Option
Save time and money with our Pearl Harbor On the Road Workshop! This workshop can be hosted aboard the USS Hornet in the San Francisco Bay, the USS Iowa in the Port of Los Angeles or a location of your choosing. Both the Iowa and the Hornet are examples of the type of ships used during the attack and provide a very unique experience for participants.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the actions of leaders on that day and what tools they used for decision-making
  • Identify effective leadership strategies in complex, high-pressure environments
  • Open discussions around strategic leadership, strategic vision, innovation, communications in an organization, “leading the boss” and organizational culture/change.

Learn more about the location:
Pacific Historic Parks http://www.pacifichistoricparks.org/
USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum https://www.uss-hornet.org/
Battleship USS Iowa Museum http://www.pacificbattleship.com

What Corporate Leaders Can Learn from the Military

There can be little doubt that military officers have learned the art of managing high-risk, high-stakes situations in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. In many ways, the required skills can almost seem contradictory. A clear mission is provided from a higher headquarters but mission execution requires rapid adaptability. Furthermore, modern military officers must also manage complex but technically very precise systems. All of this must be done while following an admonition provided by General Colin Powell: “never let them see you sweat”. There can be little doubt that these same skills are required for leaders in today’s business world if they are to be successful in a climate of enormous competition and uncertainty.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine key leadership principles that are normally associated with sound military leadership.
  • Consider how these principles can be applied in a corporate environment.
  • Review key leadership concepts such as management vs. leadership, authority vs. responsibility, leading during a crisis, etc.