Image: Christy Shepard (L), Stellamaris Mulaeh (C), and Susan Sears (R) attended IU Executive Education’s Holistic Leadership Series.
It was 6 p.m. in Kenya when Stellamaris Mulaeh logged on to her computer. Even though her work day was over, she was joining a leadership development series being hosted live thousands of miles away in Indiana by IU Executive Education.
The time difference and distance didn’t matter to Mulaeh. She wanted to learn, form connections with others around the world, and become a better leader.
Mulaeh works in the nonprofit sector in Kenya and admits that after the past two years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, she needed fresh ideas and inspiration.
“I needed to refill my jar as a leader so that I could be much more effective, much more deliberate in influencing change in the institutions and people I work with,” she says.
Susan Sears, who works for IU Health in Indianapolis, also needed a recharge.
“I just felt kind of stuck, like I was traveling without a compass,” she admits.
The two were part of a group of global leaders enrolled in the Holistic Leadership Series offered by IU Executive Education and Consulus, a global innovation consultant group. They’re teaming up again to host the 2022 Holistic Leadership Series beginning November 17.
The program is based on Consulus’ HERO holistic leadership model:
- Heart and spirit: The personal values and character that inform decisions and actions.
- Embracive thinking: The ability to learn new information, think critically, embrace diverse thought, and apply knowledge to real situations.
- Relational dynamics: How leaders’ physical presence, habits, and emotions impact how they relate to others.
- Operational leadership: Functional leadership skills, such as creating a vision, planning, directing, and more.
“This was a leadership program experience that I had never experienced before,” Mulaeh says with a smile. “It was a program that emphasized finding yourself and your values. It wove different components of the sessions together in a way that I found very powerful.”
Mulaeh’s enthusiasm is evident when she talks about the series. Sara Johnson, director of IU Executive Education, says that’s because this isn’t your typical leadership series.
“These sessions help leaders discover and redefine who they are and their purpose for growth and leadership,” Johnson explains. “We’re helping them learn to creatively build high-trust relationships with their teams—relationships that will carry them and their organization through challenging and complex situations now and into the future.”
This series is designed for mid- and upper-level leaders who want to learn to lead in a new way to meet the challenges of the new world by leaning on experience and expertise from an international group of faculty, guests, and colleagues.
“This was an opportunity to work with and learn from people not only in different service areas but in different countries and on different continents,” Sears emphasizes. “There is such a wealth of experience with the facilitators especially as they bring in leaders from all over the world to talk to us.”
Christy Shepard said the payoff for her came from the collaboration with fellow series participants.
“I always build my toolbox when I learn from others,” she says. “Having been in consulting for more than a decade, I get into a routine with how I view the work I present to clients. This series offered a completely different way of looking at that information, which really hit home for me. I was very excited to look at my own work through a new lens.”
Mulaeh says she has already proposed to her colleagues in Kenya to join the course. She says the series challenged her knowledge, and perspectives, and caused her to reflect on what needs to change within her.
“We’re seeking a different way of doing things, a different way of enabling change because as we enable change, we have to have that change within us,” she says.
That inward focus to create outward results is a vision Shepard shares as well.
“We’re on this journey for a reason,” Shepard says. “There’s a commitment somewhere deep down in us, and the Holistic Leadership Series made me take a look at why I do what I do, for whom I do it, and how I can commit to doubling down and doing it better.”
The series features one two-hour webinar every three weeks beginning Thursday, November 17, and ending on April 20, 2023. The series is limited to a cohort of 30 participants. The cost for this eight-part series is just $1,999, with a 10% discount for the first 10 registrants. For information about the Holistic Leadership Series and to register, visit this link. Participants who complete the program will receive a digital certificate from IU Executive Education and Consulus.