The Leader Session is a week-long curriculum focused on how admired leaders use communication to drive performance and cultivate followership. The ideal candidate is of Director to Managing Director / Vice President level, and will attend classes between the evening of Sunday, May 19th and late morning of Friday, May 24th. To encourage individual development and coaching, we limit participation to 20.

Across more than 20 hours of instruction, Alan Nelson and Carolynne Thomas will lead a developmental discussion across five areas:

  • Assumptions of Leadership Communication
  • Communicating Strategic Direction and Leading Through Change
  • Cultivating Advocates and Building Social Capital
  • Using Communication to Motivate, Inspire, and Drive Performance
  • Projecting Credibility and Executive Presence

The course focuses on strategic frameworks and day-to-day leadership communication behavior. It is not a presentation skills course. It is also not an “out of the box program,” and the topics of discussion within these five areas will reflect the specific roles and challenges of the enrolled cohort. That said, enrollees should expect specific learning and practical counsel across a subset of these topics:

  • On becoming an admired leader
  • What you should learn from cognitive neuroscientists about affecting personal and organizational change
  • Viewing organizations as conversations
  • Five axioms of strategic leadership and communication
  • The three dominant communication styles
  • A model of leadership communication effectiveness
  • Using narratives to set strategic frameworks
  • Integrating communication of mission, values, vision, and strategy
  • Crafting messages of strategic intent
  • Creating strategic action
  • Building social capital and winning internal elections
  • Narrowcasting and the art of stakeholder management
  • Cultivating professional and personal advocates
  • Consequences of the change curve
  • The myth of the burning platform
  • A general strategy for communicating change
  • Communication and accountability
  • The art and science of media selection and the tyranny of email
  • Leading virtual teams
  • Creating effective conversations about risk and uncertainty
  • Delivering feedback to inform and influence
  • Communicating up
  • Parasocial interaction and the principles of executive visibility
  • Designing compelling messages and advocating for ideas
  • What you should know about information design
  • What to expect (and demand) from your communication infrastructure
  • Leading on stage
  • Projecting confidence and credibility
  • Motivating and inspiring others
  • Projecting executive presence

What past participants have to say about the Leader Session:

  • “The Leader Session experience was truly extraordinary, with excellent and hugely relevant content delivered by a passionate and knowledgeable session leader focused on the practical application of the ideas and techniques. Add into the mix the breathtaking Sundance facility and it all provided for a memorable and very valuable event. I highly recommended this session for business leaders.”| IT SVP, Fidelity
  • “The Leader Session is truly unique. It’s specifically designed for senior leaders looking to drive results through better communication. The content is practical and immediately applicable, and the environment of Sundance creates the space for reflection, new thinking, and the cultivation of peer relationships that last long after the program. This is not a fluffy session – it requires full engagement and honest self assessment, and is worth every bit of time and energy invested.”| Corporate Communications VP, McDonald’s
  • “I’ve attended many leadership seminars and executive training courses, but none were as well planned, thoughtful, and actionable as the Leader Session. I walked away with keen advice, great memories, and new relationships. Highly recommended.” | IT VP, Fidelity

Tuition, which includes all materials, meals (less alcohol), activities, and accommodations, is $9,000. For admission information or to enroll, please contact our Event Coordinator at 610-644-5597 or