I do this by equipping leaders with the cognitive, emotional, social, intuitive and cultural competencies needed to cultivate healthy communities and a socially just world.
I have always been fascinated with how people get along. My goal was always to find a profession where I could help people create high-performing teams and healthy relationships. In high school and college, I was obsessed with sport psychology, John Wooden’s pyramid of success, and Vince Lombardi quotes. There was, however, one distinct moment when I became crystal clear about the work I wanted to do. It was the moment I realized that THIS IS MY WORK. Not the job I wanted to have. Not the next stepping stone to success. My soul had been called to action, and my profession became my purpose.
It was my last semester in undergrad, and I was cruising through my final Contemporary World Affairs class of the year. We watched a documentary, called Long Night’s Journey Into Day, which included stories of apartheid in South Africa. It was the Amy Elizabeth Biehl story that really knocked me off my feet. Amy was an American graduate student and anti-apartheid activist in her mid 20’s. She was brutally murdered in August 1993, just outside Cape Town. Listening to her story, I felt overwhelmed with rage and sadness. But what happened next stirred my soul.
Four people were convicted of killing Amy. In 1998, they were pardoned by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Amy’s parents, Linda and Peter, petitioned in favor of their pardon. After the hearing, Amy’s father shook the murderers’ hands, and reportedly said, “The most important vehicle of reconciliation is open and honest dialogue … We are here to reconcile a human life which was taken without an opportunity for dialogue. When we are finished with this process we must move forward with linked arms.”
Amy’s parents started the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust to empower youth and prevent further violence. Two of the men convicted of Amy’s murder joined her parents, and went on to work for the foundation’s programs.
I was confounded. Never in my life had I heard of such a radical act of compassion and reconciliation. I didn’t even know humans were capable of that magnitude of empathy, forgiveness, and healing. That is the power of stories.
At that moment, I KNEW. I knew I had to experience this capacity for compassion and transformation. I knew I needed to teach anyone and everyone how to do it too. I knew it could change the world. In a brief moment, I understood the complexity and the potential of human relationships.
I went on to earn my M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, where I was flooded with information about the causes and impacts of violent conflict. Afterward, I established a niche in education. I taught community leaders, educators and children around the world social skills to prevent bullying and to resolve conflicts peacefully. I returned to graduate school years later, and earned another M.A. in Leadership and Organizational Development, where I learned more systemic ways to build healthy organizations.
I focus on leadership psychology teaching leaders, teams and organizations about the human dynamics that impact peak performance, create workplace joy, and help serve the global good. I encourage economics for peace, and teach leaders the skills needed to liberate the power of human relationships.
click to stay connected. Receive Exclusive offers, practical wisdom & intimate reflections.
CHECK OUT MY SPECIAL PROGRAMs dedicated to feminine leadership