NEW: Leading as Sacred Practice

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Retreat with Gisela Wendling, David Sibbet, Alan Briskin and Holger Scholz

(The retreat will be in English. Translation is available.)

Gisela Wendling

David Sibbet Alan Briskin

Holger Scholz

Gisela Wendling, David Sibbet, Alan Briskin and Holger Scholz invite you to participate in a five-day retreat and collaborative inquiry. Together we will seek guidance, share knowledge, and come together in honor of the sacred.

Leading as Sacred Practice
5.-9. September 2016
Seminarzentrum Beuerhof, Vulkaneifel
Retreat begins 1:00 PM Monday, September 5 and ends at 3:00 PM Friday, September 9.

Leading as Sacred Practice PDF Brochure

Download PDF Brochure

Purpose of the Retreat

Join us as we awaken the sacred and ignite our passion for leading as sacred practice. As important, we will do this in community, moving beyond the edges of our personal understanding and toward something greater, holistic, wiser, and collective.

Groups and networks are forming consciously -– and spontaneously – around the world to discover and respond to the urgency and demands of these times. This is the context and back-drop of our work together. Join us for a lived experience of the sacred and become part of the unfolding nature of this global movement.

Retreat Approach

We will give special attention to designing and facilitating a retreat space that supports a collaborative and creative exploration of leading as sacred practice – a topic that is not commonly talked about in secular settings. We will explore existing practices of the sacred and create new ones. This gathering intentionally invites participants and retreat leaders to be colleagues and co-explorers in this endeavor. The retreat will involve 30 participants, four leaders, and a support team following a well-designed process of sharing, dialogue, time on the land, work in learning groups, visual mapping, individual exploration, journaling, eating together, and being in ceremony.
There is not any particular spiritual discipline being espoused in this gathering. The gathering will be led by leaders that are deeply rooted in dialogue practices, facilitative leadership, rites of passage, collective wisdom, vision questing, and have roots in traditional spiritual traditions including Earth and wisdom traditions. We have all held leadership positions that called us to step up to our deeper callings.

What to expect

In this retreat we will:
• Learn how to create a safe and generative space for reflection and insight—alone, in dyads, small groups, and together as a collective.
• Strengthen our knowledge of ceremonial practices and rituals offering practical pathways for an- choring the sacred in our daily lives, and in the work we do in our organizations and with clients.
• Experience activities that help grow competencies in leading, facilitating, and hosting within a sacred, ceremonial space.
• Learn how to act from not knowing and trusting life in the face of disruptive change and turmoil.
• Honor our collective experience and as co-learners harvest our unique insights on behalf of transformational leadership and sacred practice.

Who should attend

This retreat is intended for people who lead group process as consultants, facilitators, change agents and for organizational leaders who are called to collaborative, holistic ways of leading their companies, businesses, and nonprofits.
It is for professionals seeking to work differently and for women and men asking fundamental questions about how to integrate the sacred into their leadership roles. We come together to share our questions, struggles, and insights.
We expect that the experience will have lasting personal impact and would want you to open to that possibility.

Mindset: Perspectives for guiding our time together

Here are some of our fundamental assumptions that we will explore and build upon during the retreat.

What do we mean by transformational leading?
By transformational we mean fundamental shifts at all levels: right action, beliefs, behavior, and future consequences. By leading we mean being capable of initiating and guiding when there are not well-defined goals and processes. In organizational settings leading may mean carrying the responsibility for an organization’s health and direction or facilitating others. In communities it may mean collaboratively mobilizing energy and action toward the benefit of the whole. From a humanistic perspective leading can be about self-authorization and empowerment, and appreciating how “seeing” others and deep listening can be transformational in and of itself.

What does it mean to be open to sacred intent?
By sacred we like Ann Dosher’s definition of sacred as “that which has value in and of itself and gives meaning to the whole. ”This definition invites exploration rather than making a conclusive statement about what is the sacred. It is related to the idea of sacrifice and service. The word sacred often indicates numinous and intangible qualities that beg for special respect and nurturance.

Does leading with sacred intent require practice?
Practice is the ability to do something again and again in order to become better at it. It often means doing something regularly as an ordinary part of our lives, or living according to the customs and teachings of a particular scientific or spiritual understanding. We will inquire into and experience practices that serve sacred intent.

The Place (This short video introduces the place.)

Our collective inquiry into leading as sacred practice requires a supportive setting which we have found in the undisturbed and secluded location of the Beuerhof in the middle of Vulkan Eifel. There is plenty of open space as well as ancient and sacred places for special experiences. It is a place to be in touch with each other and the land, an environment that helps focus our energies and emanates warmth and hospitality.

One of our co-leaders, Holger Scholz, grew up on the Beuerhof. His deep familiarity with this land gives us the opportunity to connect with its unusual history and the sacred purpose that this land has served over time.

Workshop Leadership Team

Alan BriskinAlan Briskin, Ph.D. is an award-winning author, artist, and leadership consultant. His most recent book, the co-authored The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly, was the Nautilus Silver award winner in the category of Conscious Business and Leadership.
His other books include The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace and the co-authored Bringing Your Soul to Work and Daily Miracles, which earned the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year award in Public Interest and Creative Works. He is also a contributor to the recently released The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the 21st Century.

Co-founder of The Collective Wisdom Initiative, his interest in alternative education and compassionate health care environments led to his being the principal consultant for over ten years to the George Lucas Educational Foundation and a founding member of the Relationship Centered Care Network.   He is a consultant and an executive coach helping leaders apply practical wisdom to complex issues of organizational change and transition. Kaiser Permanente, Institute for Health and Healing, and the Goi Peace Foundation have been long-term clients. Alan has given keynotes and conducted workshops on collective wisdom throughout the United States and internationally, including Canada, England, Germany, South Africa, Australia, and Japan. He has co-led retreats with spiritual leaders including Reb Zalman Schachater Shalomi and Reverend Lauren Artress, whose re-discovery of the labyrinth has become a world wide movement.


Holger ScholzHolger Scholz is the founder of Kommunikationslotsen. His professional passion is cultivating our natural capacity for facilitating and mentoring as a practical means of working with leaders and organizations. As a Kommunikationslotsen consultant he has worked with individuals, groups and entire organizations. Holger became involved with large group interventions in the 1990s. During this period, he came into contact with American ideas about organizational development and process consulting. As a result, he has been able to progress the approach known as „change management“ by incorporating visualization and facilitation and to broaden it into a genuine style of facilitation – Kommunikationslotsen was born. Together with Neuland, Kommunikationslotsen develops products, tools and literature. Holger is the author of the Basic Bundle (16 Cards for Natural Facilitators) and co-author of the Learning Maps, which include Open Space, World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, Dynamic Facilitation and The Circle Way.

Holger now creates and hosts spaces for meaningful passages and transformation. He hosts circles and inspires leaders to let go and not know.

Much of what Holger implements in his work is based on his training as a large-group facilitator, coupled with his personal experience of Native American traditions, ceremonies and cultural techniques, with which he first came into contact at the age of 25. In „Leading as Sacred Practice“ these paths join both his professional career and his personal life-experience.


Gisela WendlingGisela Wendling, Ph.D. is Director of Global Learning at The Grove Consultants International. She provides organization development, leadership coaching and program design services to business, non-profit organizations and communities. Her expertise is based in over twenty years of working with a wide range of organizations in the private and public sectors. She holds a doctorate in human and organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University. She is former Director of the Masters Program in Organization Development at Sonoma State University, CA. For several years she facilitated the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply, a statewide, multi-year, multi-sector stakeholder initiative focused on applying whole systems approaches to developing sustainable water management solutions. At The Grove she is the leader of the Grove’s new Global Learning and Exchange Network (GLEN) and she teaches in the Psychology Ph.D. program at Meridian University, CA.

Being German-born and raised and with field experiences with indigenous people in South America, Africa and Australia, she brings a multi-cultural perspectives on change, transformation and indigenous spiritual healing traditions. Her research focuses on re-envisioning rites of passages as a human systems change framework which re-introduces attention to the sacred as a core dynamic into the work of leading, facilitating and serving. Her cross-cultural perspectives and understanding of rites of passages make her work with her clients insightful, psychologically sensitive and transformative.


David SibbetDavid Sibbet is founder of The Grove Consultants International, leader in visually based tools and services for innovation and change. He works with corporations, government, and non-profits throughout the world. David is author of Wiley & Son’s best-selling Visual Leadership Series: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes & Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity, Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, & High Performance and Visual Leaders: New Tools for Visioning, Management, and Organization Change. David is also designer of The Grove’s Sustainable Organizations Model, the Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance System, The Grove’s Visual Planning Systems, and Facilitation Series. He is a recipient of the Organization Development Network’s Lifetime Achievement.

David holds a MS Journalism from Northwestern University, a BA in English from Occidental College, and a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. He was a staff member of Coro Center for Civic Affairs in the San Francisco area for eight years directing leadership development programs. David is a student of Arthur M. Young and his Theory of Process and has received an award from the Anodos Foundation for ToP’s practical application. Raised as son of a Presbyterian minister, David understands Christian Protestant perspectives but is also long-time vision quester and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Seeking an integral perspective across these traditions is a passion.


Early Bird (until 31th May): €1,700.00 (approx. $1,870).  Price includes tuition, accommodations, and meals.  A 19% VAT tax will be added on registration.

Standard I (June until 15th July): €1,896.00 (approx. $2,085).  Price includes tuition, accommodations, and meals.  A 19% VAT tax will be added on registration.

Standard II (16th July until 2nd Sep.): €2,100.00 (approx. $2,310).  Price includes tuition, accommodations, and meals.  A 19% VAT tax will be added on registration.

Retreat begins 1:00 PM Monday, September 5 and ends at 3:00 PM Friday, September 9.


Please press „Zur Terminübersicht“, find „Leading as Sacred Practice“ in our list and press „Training buchen“ to register. Or you may use this quick-link. The registration process is hosted by our partner XING Events.

Zur Terminübersicht