Leading Mindfully

  • Leading Mindfully
  • Strong professional relationships are the basis for sustained success. After all, leaders can only create valuable organizational results through the help of other people. But as a leader, how do you connect with and influence others when you feel as ungrounded by rapid change as everyone else? In this stimulating experiential program, participants learn self-development and deep-listening skills for leading, interacting, and communicating more mindfully.

  • At a Glance

    In spite of a hurried, 24-7, technologized, global and competitive environment, "You cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first," according to Peter Drucker. Leading Mindfully enables you to grow your capacity for centered leadership that leads to more effective personal and organizational results. You will leave the program with practical tools you can apply immediately to your work and life.  

    The Program

    Grounded in academic research in neuroscience, psychology, rhetoric, and performance, this course will help you identify and transform personal triggers and habits of attention that influence your ability to take action. Research shows that more mindful leaders enjoy higher quality of life, have teams that perform better, and sustain themselves over the long run. With consistent practice, leaders can connect within themselves, with others, and with their organizations and stakeholders with a greater sense of clarity, flow, and effectiveness.

    The program features a signature exercise that is designed for observing your own leadership in action. Additional exercises inspired by meditation, yoga, improv and acting are woven throughout the programs. Much of the program underscores the reality that when you are a leader, you are always "on stage." 

    Serving as your own case study in Leading Mindfully, you are the lead character in your own leadership story. Participants will be asked to bring their own leadership challenges to work on during the program. Participants will leave with a mindful leadership action plan and immediately applicable learning. 

    Morven Farms arch Leading Mindfully is a blended learning journey that begins with an online group meeting before you travel to Charlottesville, followed by the residential program held at the beautiful Morven Farms- a secluded, yet accessible retreat gifted to the UVA Foundation to to be a destination for critical thinking and reflection. Located just 15 minutes from Charlottesville, Morven is the ideal setting for participants to learn together in one of the historic houses, as well as spend time on their own in the gardens. After the residential program, we will follow-up in a few weeks with an online group meeting to help sustain your learning and behavior change.

    Where You'll Excel

    • Discover the link between quality of attention and quality of results
    • Understand your automatic reactions and shift to more intentional responses
    • Learn to take centered action and interact more effectively
    • Lay the groundwork for improved well-being and relationships
    • Fulfill your leadership potential and support your organization's purpose


    In Leading Mindfully we'll specifically focus on:

    • How to See Your Leadership Blind Spots
    • Why You Show Up the Way You Do as a Leader
    • Centering Yourself: Putting Your Own Oxygen Mask on First
    • Walking Your Talk and Embodying the Role of the Leader
    • Words Perform, Actions Speak: Key Messages that Connect and Move Mountains


    You'll walk away from Leading Mindfully with:

    • Methods for centering yourself and projecting a leadership presence that rings true in you and with others
    • Ability to clarify your intentions and communicate them persuasively
    • Increased capacity to have real and candid conversations
    • More range in your ability to engage and inspire others
    • Ideas for creating a mindful organizational culture and organizational impact


    The Leading Mindfully program is for high-potential and experienced senior managers and leaders. The program is especially well-suited for those who need to not only reduce stress, increase resilience and better manage themselves, but for those who also want to improve their performance by becoming more self-aware, engaged and effective. Participants should be capable of participating in gentle restorative yoga practice; no prior experience is necessary.


    Elizabeth Powell

    Associate Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business
    Kluge Endowed Chair, UVA School of Nursing 
    Powell created and teaches "Communicating through Leadership Presence," an executive MBA course that is dedicated to exploring the axiom that "when you are a leader, you are always on stage." Through an original and eclectic blend of techniques drawing from rhetorical, acting, yoga and mindfulness exercises, Lili helps her students speak their minds and their hearts, even when their voices shake. She is the co-author of Women in Business: Changing the Face of Leadership  and is currently at work on a new book called Present: Wise Practices for Leadership Presence. Powell holds a B.A. in psychology and rhetoric and communication studies and an M.A. in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia. She also earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric from Northwestern University, with a concentration in performance studies.

    Jeremy Hunter

    Associate Professor of Business Administration, Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University
    Hunter created and teaches "The Executive Mind," a series of challenging and transformative executive education courses that have run for ten years and are dedicated to Drucker's assertion that "you cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first." Hunter's courses challenge leaders to relentlessly transform themselves to face the demands of a complex and volatile world. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Mindful, the Los Angeles Time s and National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Dr. Hunter holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Wittenberg University, an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago. Visit his website at www.jeremyhunter.net.

    Location & Accommodations

    Morven (daily sessions) & Marriott Charlottesville (lodging)
    Charlottesville, VA

    Leading Mindfully is hosted at UVA Morven, a educationally-focused retreat center that invites innovation and self-reflection. As a participant, you'll stay in a private room at the Marriott, adjacent to Charlottesville's Downtown Pedestrian Mall. Accommodations are included in your tuition.

    Tuition & Certificates

    $6,500 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the Marriott Charlottesville.

    By taking this course, you will earn one week of credit toward a Certificate in Leadership or Management.