Foundations of Trustworthy Leadership

WholeHearted leadership programs are grounded in six foundations of trustworthy leadership:


Clarifying purpose and integrity through an ongoing inner journey

Effective leadership hinges on a leader’s ability to know their own values, to remain present to their colleagues, and to resist the impulse to retreat, react or disconnect. WholeHearted programs provide a hospitable yet demanding space for disciplined reflection around core values and vocational and leadership aspirations.

Applying deep listening and honest, open questions

All people yearn to be heard. Leaders and organisations benefit from practicing a disciplined approach to listening. Open and honest questions help surface human resourcefulness and foster a sense of community with colleagues in service of worthy goals. At WholeHearted, we emphasise the importance of speaking from each person’s unique vantage point and the enduring power of listening.

Holding paradox and tensions in the face of complexity and uncertainty

The daily life of a leader is accelerated, fragmented and filled with unsettling tensions. Leading with integrity requires learning to manage these tensions by working creatively with paradox — the both/and nature of most profound challenges. WholeHearted helps leaders hold tensions as constructive forces for meaningful change and strengthens their capacities to help others discover creative potential hidden within daunting realities.

Building trustworthy relationships in communities/organisations

When work gets heated and people feel vulnerable, leaders must read the emotional currents and help others contribute constructively. Good leaders create cultures in which conflict and anxiety are honestly acknowledged on the path toward meaningful change. Circle of Trust® principles and practices are at the heart of the WholeHearted approach. Leaders participate in a learning community that fosters honest conversations and develops trustworthy relationships.

Appreciating the value of “otherness”

Each person with whom we work brings unique gifts, perspectives and life experience. This diversity can be a source of strength, richness and wisdom for our organisations and communities. The capacity to welcome and make space for different voices and perspectives is integral to organisational learning and trust building.

Growth through seasons/cycles of personal, professional, organisational change

Over time, stress, pressure and uncertainty can grind leaders down. Leaders must develop intentional processes to discover opportunities for change and renewal that lie hidden within the inevitable challenges that fill the arc of a career. WholeHearted programs are built on the understanding that leadership is a very human journey with natural seasons and cycles of discovery, challenge and new growth.

(Based on the Courage & Renewal® Academy for Leaders program)