Speaking

Keynotes

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams

Cynthia’s experience, expertise, passion, and belief in the power of transformation will leave your participants ready to work on their companies and organizations, their lives, and their missions with a newfound sense of leadership.

Business and Servant Partner Topics:

CEOs’ First 90 Days: Breathing Tips for the Other End of the Fire Hose
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffet

Whether you are considering applying for your first CEO job or have already said, “Yes!” and signed a contract, preparing for your arrival is one of the most important things you can do. You only get one shot at doing it well and being perceived as masterful. How you approach gathering information, holding key conversations, building relationships, and listening will impact your assessment of what needs to follow your first 90 days and how quickly others get on board with the strategic direction. After an interactive session, participants will walk away with a key planning tool for their next transition, a free downloadable book with 100’s of questions, and a reminder of what to consider before saying, “Yes!”

“CHANGE x 10”: Swimming Upstream
“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves” — Anonymous

21st Century Leadership amidst multi-generational talent requires the delicate balance of a trapeze artist, the strategic capacity of a general with a collaborative spirit, the vision of a night owl, the eloquence of Shakespeare, and the energy of Red Bull. What’s coming at us in the next ten years? What should you be doing to develop your potential, and that of your successors, while the future rushes at you? How do you set yourself apart and plan in the most dynamic and innovative era in human history? How do you lead strategically, execute flawlessly, remain relevant, stay on top, retain your sanity, and make the corporate soul connection? What does it take to be a change master in exponential times?

“Being the Facilitator of Organizational Dynamics”
“Perhaps one of the most difficult things for a facilitator to do is to allow someone to struggle. To rescue people from the struggle immediately shuts off an opportunity for them to learn and grow. Supporting and encouraging them through the struggle is much more rewarding for everyone involved.” — Trevor Bentley

So you’ve got the job of CEO. Mastering the creation of a partnership with your board and a coaching environment for your staff, in the midst of the most complex and rapidly changing workplace in history is today’s leadership challenge. Examine the hiccups that can occur in board/CEO relationships that require skillful navigation. Journey to organizational synergy by using coaching techniques with your team. Learn how the role of “being willing” fosters an environment of collaboration and innovation. Reframe the role of leader as facilitator.

Thank you again for your presentation on “Being a Facilitator of Organizational Dynamics” at the ISAE CEO/CAE Boot Camp.  You had a wonderful and positive impact!  We talked about several items at dinner, and I kept hearing how great and beneficial it was and also that it was amazing how much information you packed into an hour.

Addy Kujawa
Executive Director, American Association of Orthopaedic Executives,
ISAE Boot Camp Organizer

Podcast: Listen to “Being Facilitators of Organizational Dynamics

The “Experience” of Leadership
“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter

We’ve all felt it – the presence of great leadership; sometimes for a fleeting moment and if we’re lucky, a little longer. What is present when an individual creates followers? What happens when a group leads in consensus? How can we reproduce those moments and turn them into replicable behaviors that are dependable? What does it take for individuals to commit, be willing, exert the effort, and transcend the day to day? What are you or your company/organization willing to do to “Experience Leadership” on a daily basis and transform your present into one of unbounded possibility?

Watch: “The Experience of Leadership”

High Performance Boards: Sustain, Succeed, & Let Go
“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.” — Ralph Marston

How do you spot a high performance Board? What are the characteristics of its operation from a Board perspective and from a CEO perspective? How do you create an inclusive, sustainable Board culture? What Board behaviors do you want to perpetuate institutionally and what do you want to let go of? What is the best size for a Board? Does structure precede mission or follow how work gets done? What are the roles of the Board? What is the difference between management, leadership, and strategic leadership? Who’s in charge? Who has relationships with the consultants and advisors? What is fiduciary responsibility and how can I get sued? What should I have looked at before I said, “Yes?” Enlist in Board Boot Camp.

Boards: What Every CEO Wishes You Knew & Is Never Going to Tell You
“All who think, cannot but see, there is a sanction like that of religion, which binds us in partnership in the serious work of the world.” — Benjamin Franklin

Boards and CEOs must partner in order to maximize outcomes for the company, the mission, the stakeholders, or the stockholders. Partnership has specific demonstrated behaviors that can be pointed to at any given moment. The absence of other behaviors is also noticeable. Today’s business environment requires a new collaborative partnership relationship in order for sustainability to prevail in the coming years. CEOs and their leadership expectations are extraordinarily different than in previous decades. Boards are packed with retiring Boomers, who are soon not going to have to deal with these variables. Xers will have a brief reign as the number of Millenials and women in leadership accelerate. Let’s have a frank chat about what it’s like to be a CEO today; what CEO and Board partnership needs to look like; and how to prepare for what’s coming so you can thrive with a high performance Board/CEO partnership.

Transforming Organizations: “It’s not about Strategic Plans.”
“The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.” — Ginni Rometty

Yes, we need strategic plans, aligned resources, and relevant products and services. Transformation requires an in-depth examination of strategic vision, human capacity, resources, messaging, and willingness to be something other than what has been present to date. How does the alchemy get created? What are the elements that must be in place? How do leaders need to behave? What are the outcomes of real transformation? Who owns the result? What happens when you experience it? How do you sustain it? Where does personalization and institutionalization of transformation occur?

Customer Service Experience
“The customers’ perception is your reality.” — Kate Zabriskiey

Create a distinction in how customers interpret each interaction by becoming aware of the factors that impact how you are perceived. Are you engaging in a relational or a transactional approach? How do the generations’ communication styles impact their experience of our sophistication in delivering unforgettable customer service? Is every employee’s behavior a consistent demonstration of your customer service commitments, values, brand, & strategy? Are you still focused on the metrics and not the customer’s values, by generation? What Customer Service Brand has been assigned to you? Design powerful experiences that build on momentum through consistency. Explore key areas to transform and master extraordinary customer service, attuned to the generational impacts that are affecting how our customers experience us.

Executive and Leadership Presence
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” — Sheryl Sandburg

Collaborators, followers, and customers are always watching. Awareness of the distinction between “how you ‘be’” versus “who you ‘are’” and their impacts are key to creating executive and leadership presence that defines your career path. Masterful integration of these skill sets and your choice to be aware will determine the arc of your professional leadership. Leadership has fundamentally changed in companies and organizations. Our behavior choices, coupled with our competence and ability to work through people will define the trajectory of our career impact and our organization’s success.

Coaching: What’s in it for Me & My Employees?
“Coaching takes a holistic view of the individual: work, corporate values, personal needs and career development are made to work in synergy, not against one another.” — British Journal of Administrative Management

Millennials – the majority of the workplace as of 2015 – want feedback, now, and lots of it. As leaders, managers, and employees, we’ve been taught the value of mentoring, leadership programs, performance reviews, personality profiles, and 360’s as tools for team building and professional development.  Another proficiency for the tool kit is coaching. Enjoy a session gaining a basic understanding of what coaching is and is not; the benefits of coaching and roles in coaching; and what happens in a coaching session as you consider creating a coaching environment in your workplace.

Optional Addition: Coaching Role Play or Group Coaching Session

“PUT ME IN COACH, I’M READY TO PLAY TODAY”: Creating a Coaching Environment
“86 percent of companies said they used coaching to sharpen skills of individuals who have been identified as future organizational leaders.” — Excerpt from “What An Executive Coach Can Do For You,” Harvard Business School

Millennials – the majority of the workplace as of 2015 – want feedback, now, and lots of it. As leaders, managers, and employees, we’ve been taught the value of mentoring, leadership programs, performance reviews, personality profiles, and 360’s as tools for team building and professional development.  Another proficiency for the tool kit is coaching. Gain a basic understanding of what coaching is and is not; the benefits of coaching, roles in coaching; and what happens in a coaching session, as you consider creating a coaching environment in your workplace.

There are multiple paths, each of which has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Incorporating “What’s in it for Me & My Employees” into this session, You’ll also learn considerations for implementation, options, and stumbling blocks, so you can get started integrating this approach into your people development strategy, improve communications, get ready for the millenial influx, and use this technique in succession planning.

Watch: Creating a Coaching Environment in the Workplace”

From Here to….What’s Next? Planning for the Next Phase of Your Journey Before You Retire, You’re Fired, or You Lose Your Spark
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” — Anatole France

Throughout a career, there are key crossroads moments. Choices made fundamentally shape a leader’s development. We must decide what jobs we do and do not take, with many variables coming into play. A series of personal questions come to us at various times. Am I just in a down phase, or am I losing my spark? Am I in the internal firing line of my employer’s problems, and what affect could it have on my career? When is it time to leave? When I retire, what am I retiring to? Is the mission I’m serving in alignment with my values? What/Who is calling and do I want to answer? With a personal journey as a backdrop, come along for a unique group and personal interactive coaching experience to begin exploring and designing the next phase of your own leadership journey. Leave with an outline of next steps to begin your transformation.

So You’ve Been at This for Awhile……
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. — George Bernard Shaw

The seasoned CEO session! Using a combination of the latest association survey data about the industry and member engagement; contributions from the attendees on the spot, and open dialogue about what is keeping you up at night; we provide time for seasoned CEOs to learn, think, and create together. How are you handling the majority of your Board being younger than you for the first time? How is your association leading in the biggest generational transition in history? What are your greatest fears as you face the last 15-20 years of your professional life? What don’t you know how to do anymore (and may be afraid to admit?)  What’s changing about the board/staff partnership?  What skills gaps are you concerned about in the last phase of your career? What do you wish you’d known ten years ago that you’d need to know now?  What would you like to talk about? Come and be fed, participate, and design with your fellow seasoned CEO’s.

Succession Planning: “Who’s There When You Look Behind You?”
Perspective without engagement of different generations is wasted wisdom. — Dr. Crawford Loritts

Monday morning, the VP hands in their two-week notice before your first cup of coffee. At the end of the Board meeting, the CEO announces their early retirement in two months. The key Project Manager develops a terminal illness. The Chair Elect resigns from the Board. The daughter notifies her parents she’s not taking over the family business. How did we find ourselves in this position? What conversations have not been had? Who failed to believe that change is the only constant? Why didn’t we look up and ahead? Explore succession planning as a dynamic, sustainable process in your company or organization.

Watch international leaders in a workshop on “Succession Planning.”

CONTACT US for a Tailored Presentation

Co-create your presentation with a trusted partner. We’ll meet you where you are and design an experience for your attendees that will exceed your expectations.

SOUL PARTNER TOPICS

Soul Sittin’: Designing Your porch to Porch Plan
“All you have to do is sit at the keys and be ready to receive.” — Lionel Ritchie

Rocking chairs on porch

Join the author on the porch for some Soul Sittin’ to spark your renewal. Come to the mountain in the storm, travel the back roads to the farm, and share the wanderings that shaped a journey.

As we roam together, remember, and retrace the steps of your story. Connect porch to Porch, and co-design your life over and over again, with the Source as your touchstone. Do the work, and you’ll have a plan that will provide you more hope, security, and fulfillment than you have ever dreamed. Accept the invitation to do some Soul Sittin’. We’ve saved you a seat.

Participants will work on their porch to Porch Plan with the author providing guidance throughout the workshop or retreat.

Start your journey with The Empty Front Porch: Soul Sittin’ to Design Your porch to Porch Plan

Living through Spirit: Soul Sittin’ to Reconnect, Redesign & Renew
“You can be a host to God or a hostage to your ego.” — Wayne Dwyer

Chairs in Circle

We can go it on our own, or we can travel with the best Navigator to ever sit in the passenger seat. We can close our eyes, ears, and hearts, or we can open them to more possibility than we could ever dream. We can draw inside the lines, or we can paint extravagant masterpieces that leave indelible impressions for generations to come. We can live fully and completely, or we can accept gray outlines of a life that never matched the best that was waiting for us. What is the difference in our experience? How can we master a life well-lived? Who can walk with us on the journey? How do we shape a life Living through Spirit?

Listen to a brief podcast on “Soul Sittin’ to Reconnect, Redesign, & Renew”

Download the Soul Sittin’ to Reconnect, Redesign, & Renew Worksheet

Transforming Lives into Callings
Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair. — Rick Warren

Book Photo

Some have a knowing from childhood – a compelling sense of purpose. Others’ journeys unfold, and gifts are unveiled along the way. God speaks in our experiences if we seek Him, listen for Him, and we observe ourselves in our interactions. Discovering our gifts and their best use is a daily act of humility and obedience. Choosing a life of service is a choice to not be in charge. How do we know we’re living the life God has called us to? Against the backdrop of a personal journey, examine 6 Steps to Transform Your Life into Your Calling.

Listen to Elisa Gary interview Cynthia about “Transforming Lives into Callings”

Listen to Cynthia’s presentation on “Transforming Lives into Callings”

Who is Calling & Do I Want to Answer?
I was living an extremely burdensome life, because every time I prayed, I became more clearly aware of my faults. On the one hand, God was calling me. On the other, I was following the way of the world. Doing what God wanted made me happy; but I felt bound by the things of this world. — St. Teresa of Avila

My Dad, the Rev. Spraker, tells me of the three times it took for him to realize that he was being directed into a life of supporting the mentally ill as part of his ministry. Hindsight yields clarity in the rear view mirror as we notice the road signs, the messages, and the opportunities that are placed before us that we overlook, as we rush to the life we want or the one others think we are supposed to live. First, have you accepted that you have a reason for being alive? Second, have you acknowledged that you are accountable for how and whether you answer the Forger of your life? And most importantly, what is your answer going to be? Are you ready to walk away from a life in order to walk towards THE life that is waiting for you? Come explore your choices and consider your options.

“The Stained Glass of York Minster”
People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Cynthia is the first person to write a definitive work on the stained glass of the East Window in York Minster’s Chapter House, located in the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, while earning an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York, England. She also studied and authored work on the stained glass in The Lady Chapel and enjoys sharing her love of York Minster and its history in the beautiful walled medieval city of York.

York Minster CM & York Minster Chapter House
Thank you, thank you, Cynthia, your presentation was so interesting!   We were dreaming about the whole PEO chapter going to York.  I went home and told my husband that I wish I had heard your presentation before we went to Yorkshire.

Carol McPhee
PEO, Charlotte Chapter
He Stayed for Her: Extraordinary Men in the Midst of Alzheimer’s and Chronic Illness
“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” — Tia Walker

Family-Soul-Sittin

Cynthia has watched two grandfathers, her father, and her husband care for the women they loved in the midst of chronic illnesses, life-changing experiences, and the powerful after-effects that transform lives. Today’s society has diminished the role of men, fathers, and their extraordinary ability to be the foundation and stability of the family during ordinary and difficult times. Journey with Cynthia as she celebrates the men who have demonstrated being loving “in sickness and in health” and the women to whom they were a blessing.

Contact Cynthia for a Tailored Presentation

 
Co-create your presentation with a trusted partner. I’ll meet you where you are and design an experience for your attendees that will exceed your expectations.