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Powers of Leadership

After reflecting upon the ongoing challenges of COVID, we’ve made the decision to not offer an in-person cycle of Powers of Leadership this year. As we consider our responsibility around the risks of travel, the physical distancing required for the well-being of all and the mandate for masks inside, we believe this decision is necessary at this point in time. While we deeply grieve the absence of gathering in circle at the Whidbey Institute this year, we trust that this is a pause – and not an end – to the ongoing work of POL. 

An online seasonal gathering for all POL alumni and this year’s registrants will still be offered. We need places to gather more than ever before, and trust this will provide an opportunity to connect and hear from one another. Stay tuned for more details and registration information. 

May you be well in these days of late summer as we savor the bounty in our midst while navigating loss and challenges as a global community.

—Christie & Craig



Powers of Leadership is a four-part retreat cycle designed to convene leaders such as yourself from across multiple sectors, to further develop as “adaptive leaders,” capable of addressing those questions for which there are no easy answers. We live in a time of a rapidly growing global community and the challenges and complexities of leadership are increasing. We need leaders who engage the issues of our day, who deeply know their personal sense of purpose, and who recognize the importance of ‘failure’ as we learn together from life experiences.

It is also essential for leaders to carve out time for reflection, restoration and collaboration. In our fast paced lives, most of us spend our days moving from one urgent issue to the next. While this can be creative and generative work, it can also be exhausting. POL provides the space, with creative, experienced leaders, to consider and reflect upon what’s next for you and your organization to support your long-term purpose. To be with experienced leaders from different sectors is a unique opportunity.

In traditional societies, a village was often built around a “commons,” a public space in which the shared life of the community took place. In today’s interdependent and complex world, the new commons includes diverse cultures and a wide variety of distinct institutions, as well as the oceans, the air, seeds, forests, water, and cyberspace. It is global in scope, yet personal in impact.

Leadership today requires the ability to see patterns in complex systems, the interdependence of diverse communities, and morally ambiguous challenges. We can no longer survive by functioning as separate individuals or independent organizations. The art of leadership requires a connective imagination, an informed conscience, and practiced competence.

The Powers of Leadership retreat series convenes a diverse cohort of people across strategic fields to gain perspective on the currents of change moving in these times.