2018 Courage to Lead Retreat
Family philanthropy leaders, including family and non-family CEOs, board chairs, and other family members serving in a leadership position.
This intimate retreat, limited to 25 current leaders (CEOs, board chairs, and other family leaders) and co-sponsored with the Southeastern Council of Foundations, provides a unique opportunity to discuss fundamental questions of leadership, impact, sustainability and self-care. The retreat will include time for individual reflection and small group dialogue to explore together “habits of the heart” that tap into one's inner wisdom, courage, hope, and hopelessness. The retreat is based on the work of Parker Palmer, noted author and co-founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
10:30 am Registration opens
11:30–12:45 pm Lunch and informal gathering time
1:00–5:30 pm Connecting and Resetting Our Hearts and Heads: Individual and group reflections on ways in which our hearts are being broken in these demanding times and ‘habits of the heart’ for responsive engagement. Some questions we may consider:
- What is the meaning of my leadership and philanthropy in this time of crisis and incivility?
- What does it mean to be a “helper” in this culture?
- How do I hold my deep concern for grantee partners in life-giving ways?
- What risks am I being called to take, what’s holding me back, and where do I find courage to engage the uncomfortable?
Individual and group reflections will be taking place during the day.
5:30 pm Adjourn for no-host dinner
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
8:30 am Breakfast available
9:00 am Re-Opening the Circle: Holding the tension between “what is” and “what could be”
- Check in on yesterday
- Introduction to paradox and tension-holding
- Individual and group reflections on holding tensions between harsh realities and hopeful possibilities in our leadership and work.
11:00 am Closing Circle: What about my experience here do I bring home?
12:00 pm Adjourn
NOTE: Please also consider making plans to attend SECF's Family Foundations Forum to be held immediately after the retreat from June 13-15! NCFP friends will receive member pricing to this event, a signature opportunity for family members, staff and trustees to come together, make connections, and spark collaborations!
Gayle Williams brings 30 years of leadership and management experience in philanthropy and nonprofits. After 19 years (1993-2012) as Executive Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Gayle now works as a consultant to foundations and an individual leadership coach. Her consulting focuses on foundation strategy and executive leadership. Her coaching concentrates on foundation and nonprofit executives, including younger leaders in the sector, with a concentration on transition.
In addition to her coaching and consulting, Gayle is a Courage and Renewal® Facilitator, serving as a facilitator for the Center for Courage and Renewal’s Academy for Leaders, for Courage to Lead in Philanthropy, and for an emerging Courage to Lead circle of people in serving professions in her home community. She chairs the board of Management Assistance Group, a national consulting firm serving social justice movements and networks with the core values of dignity, love and justice. In 2015, she served as Interim Executive Director of Management Assistance Group.
At the Babcock Foundation, Gayle led the board and staff in two ten-year cycles of strategic learning and development focused on equity and opportunity in the Southeastern US. She developed structures and processes for engaging the board and staff in reflective practice and evaluation and led experiments such as the Foundation’s successful Organizational Development Program and its Network Officer role. Prior to the Babcock Foundation, Gayle was Program Director for Education at the Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis, Indiana where she led community-based initiatives on educational equity. During her time in philanthropy, Gayle served on the boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families. Over the years, she has served on several national and statewide nonprofit boards.
Tara Reynolds is the Executive Director of The Wisdom Connection, a small family foundation in northern Vermont. She is a facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal and is the Co-Founder of WholeHeart, Inc., where she brings her expertise in working with young leaders and activists, school communities, teams and philanthropists to create new approaches to solving complex problems. She is a graduate of Haverford College and an alumnae of the Vermont Leadership Institute. She finds joy in the wisdom of children, the beauty of the natural world, and the power of a good open and honest question.
What participants said:
Many, many thanks for bringing in the Center for Courage and Renewal! This 1.5 day session has been a tremendous opportunity to reflect that I never have (or take time for). One of the best sessions I’ve attended!
Intense, thoughtful, emotional. It was great to connect with peers who are going through similar life-changes and exploring similar life-questions about work, relationships, wellness, and the challenge of balancing it all.
…it was exactly what I needed and I didn’t even realize it. So many times I have gone to retreats and for whatever reason I feel pressure to be someone different and pressure to reach a certain goal. Here there was a foundation of safety & wonder that helped me see possibilities that I hadn’t been able to before.
When I arrived at the “Heart of Philanthropy” retreat, I was eager to get down to business generating new insights and directions for myself. But the reality was – I was dog-tired, more exhausted than I ever recalled....I read, journaled and participated in the circle gatherings. I became acutely aware though that my own pattern of productivity was diminishing other aspects of my life. I was not finding time for solitude, meditation, or time in nature. My health felt compromised, sleep was difficult, and anxiety had become a new companion....Of course I still value the importance of responsible work, but I am deriving meaning and value from a deeper place of identity. This may sound unremarkable, but it feels quite profound. “Courage work” has helped me widen the conduit to my inner life and access more of the real me.