Growing LEADers – LEAD Institute

Growing LEADers – LEAD Institute

Applications Now Open for LEAD 2024

Invest in yourself and your community! Apply for LEAD Institute 2024 by 10/2/23:

Want to learn more? Please join us for an in-person information session 8/24. Click the button below to register for the FREE info session held from 10-11 a.m. on August 24th at the Community Foundation for Monterey County:


About LEAD

LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Institute is a year-long leadership development program for nonprofit managers aspiring to greater leadership. ‘LEADers’ commit to ten intensive, monthly seminars at the beautiful Harden Foundation in Salinas, where they connect for professional growth and facilitated learning with presenters like Dr. Catherine Hambley, PhD and Sharon Papo. LEAD Institute serves Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, and includes professionals working in the arts, environmental conservation, addiction treatment, housing, and other critical issues for our community.

Brain Science & Leadership

Twenty rising nonprofit leaders gathered at LEAD Institute in March 2023 to build self-awareness and practice effective communication skills grounded in brain science. Joined by Doctor of Psychology Catherine Hambley, PhD, the LEAD cohort explored the science of emotions, biases, and body language to grow as community leaders.

LEADers practiced Peer Coaching while “blindfolded,” in chairs facing away from one another, then later face-to-face, to visualize the importance of non-verbal communication in creating supportive team relationships.

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Dr. Hambley, channeling a favorite quotation.

LEADers practiced asking open-ended questions that foster insight rather than give instruction.

Our brains are evolved to respond strongly to negative feedback. “Unsolicited advice is received as criticism.” Managers should aim for an 8:1 ratio of positive to “corrective” feedback to overcome the negativity bias, Dr. Hambley advised, and both positive feedback and feedback intended for “learning and change” should be grounded in specific actions and their impacts to create a learning culture.

Core Values for Leadership Decisions

LEAD Institute seeks to bring together a diverse and dynamic cohort of values-driven leaders. At the April 2023 session, LEADers identified Core Values for leadership decisions, explored the Core Focus of their work, and shared tips and tools for productivity management. Presenter Sharon Papo encouraged the cohort to “take charge of the chaos,” take meaningful steps towards important goals, and learn how to say yes and no. “Time is a non-renewable resource – you need to say 100 ‘no’s’ in order to say one big YES to what is most important,” she said, reiterating the theme for the April session: Focus.

“Time is a non-renewable resource – you need to say 100 ‘no’s’ in order to say one big YES to what is most important.” – Sharon Papo

Core Focus is about determining your “why” and your “what” – your inspiration and your niche – to clarify the work you and your organization are meant to do. LEADers also looked at their weekly task list to optimize performance impact and determine which items on a to-do list can be “TACO’d: Terminated, Automated, Consolidated, or Outsourced.”

LEAD Institute is committed to building an inclusive and equitable teaching community where LEADers can explore complex topics and support each other in building new skills and strengthening leadership practices. These inspired and inspiring LEADers graduate ready to take on greater responsibilities and thrive.

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