Courageous Leadership, LLC helps executives, boards and teams in organizations to increase collaboration and organizational impact by teaching the evidence-based tools to act with operational excellence and ethical courage in the face of challenging situations.



Your team will be able to recognize the power of social situations and the situational pressure that causes us to act outside of our values and best thinking, especially in business, increasing the risk of scandals, misconduct and missed opportunities. Using the work of renowned social psychologist, Dr. Phil Zimbardo, and Dr. Lynne Henderson, along with 80 years of psychology research and the latest neuroscience, our evidence-based programs help build the skills that support optimal performance under pressure.



Equity & Inclusion

Work with management teams to assess current obstacles to greater candor, collaboration and team performance. Help devise, implement and track programs to improve individual and team skills and organizational impact.

We specialize in working with leaders and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary teams to create a meaningful sense of belonging to increase engagement, equity, and excellence, and build highly effective values-based organizations. Participants learn the power of belonging and the unconscious and mechanisms for inclusive and equitable relationships and systems. Please see a sample of our work here

We specialize in helping organizations design and execute programs to achieve leadership and team capacities critical for ongoing learning, full engagement and well being in the midst of significant challenges.  Our programs creates a sense of belonging and shared leadership to achieve core business and developmental goals using evidence-based tools to improve courageous communication, creativity and social support. 

Leadership/Team Development

Participant feedback:


​"The teaching on how we function under threat and how we can have meaningful responses--breaking down all the neuroscience to easy steps to follow and teach others.” 


"Overall, the course was a "living/experiential course" in the sense that it was immediately applicable--immediately felt."


“When I feel included, when people feel included they can face racism, social injustice,…privilege and fragility and all the ways we get triggered and don't say what is true or necessary.”


-Mary Senchyna

Who We Serve


  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Leadership & Team Development

  • Ethics & Compliance

  • Healthcare     

  • Government

  • Financial Services

  • Technology  

  • Social Enterprise/Non-Profit  

  • Higher Education



​We offer workshops on the Power of Social Situations and Social Fitness Training TM. Social Fitness Training is an evidence based cognitive-behavioral model with a strong track record of helping individuals and groups systematically recognize and retrain their reactions under stress. This model was developed by Lynne Henderson, Ph.D., over the course of 25 years at a Stanford clinic, and is based on over 80 years of psychological research, with key insights from neuroscience. 


The Courageous Leadership team and certified facilitators are available for presentations at conferences, executive forums, leadership development and team building off-sites and events. We have conducted highly interactive presentations at Google, MIT, Stanford University's Compassion and Business Conference, The Robert Toigo Foundation, Watermark, The Omidyar Networks Executive Forum 2013, and many more. Please see links to past speaking engagements, Tedx Talk, and MIT Talk.


Executive Coaching


Coach executives and high performance individuals to provide, receive and encourage candid communication and feedback.  Help surface the behavioral patterns that get in the way of effective leadership and devise and implement plans to retrain reactions under stress.


Courageous Democracy 

Like you, we’re concerned about divisiveness and rancor in our society. We took what we have learned over the years with our clients through the Courageous Leadership and Courageous Equity & Inclusion programs, and then sought out people reaching across differences to [re]build trust and a sense of shared purpose. We then created the Courageous Leadership for a Courageous Democracy initiative in 2016 to provide evidence-based tools to reach across widening political divides and create a more caring, innovative, and sustainable democracy.


We were fortunate to find amazing partners like a large foundation, Junior State of America, and Rotary International [LINK], who helped design, test, and refine the Courageous Democracy program. Our partners at Jonathan Haidt’s Civil Politics [LINK], who provided evaluation for these initial programs, report that Courageous Democracy programs delivered some of the highest positive impact they have ever seen, and the most impact in terms of bridging divides.



In 2018, we completed our first year-long Courageous Democracy program with approximately 400 high school students from the Junior State of America.  The results surpassed our expectations with 88% of students reporting they were much more likely to engage in courageous conversations across difference. We saw increases in positive views about people in different political parties, and an increase in their motivation to work together on societal challenges. You can read more in These Kids are Learning to Have Bipartisan Conversations [LINK] and The United States of Anxiety.

Meanwhile, we have been partnering with Rotary International for more than two years, conducting multiple district and community trainings, with equally positive outcomes and feedback.



We have learned that “collective courage”—the ability of the people to act with open hearts and minds in the face of fear or discomfort from ideological, cultural or social differences—is essential for a sustainable democracy. Collective consists of learned skills, built through practice with social support, and honed through work on shared goals. 



Having a strong proof of concept, a well-tested program design, and outstanding results, we’re engaging partners from the corporate, civic, and philanthropic sectors to expand and spread Courageous Democracy. We feel—and hope you share—a particular urgency to support and scale up efforts to create a more inclusive and responsive democracy, where all respectful and responsible points of view are included. This program is administered for social good, and funded by individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. For more information on how you can get involved, contact us.


All Courageous Leadership programs are built on social science. Over eight years of working with colleagues and advisors, (including Phil Zimbardo, Lynne Henderson, Paul Gilbert, Kim Cameron), we created an interactive program to help leaders and teams in organizations. Our programs help people recognize invisible systemic influences and subtle social cues, manage internal reactions under stress, and override unhelpful human reactions (e.g., otherizing, avoiding, and lashing out). We train people to more-consistently act with compassion, ethical courage and ingenuity. Courageous Leadership’s programs and evidence-based tools have been used with clients like Google, MIT Sloan, the Omidyar Group, Microsoft, Pfizer, Kaiser Permanente, the Hewlett Foundation, Columbia Medical Center, the Australian Government, Post Carbon Institute, American Leadership Forum, and others.

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