Lead with Your BEingness™
What I know for sure:
Our work is sacred and so are we.
We cannot teach what we do not embody.
We lead from who we BE, not just what we DO.
In order to transform our schools, organizations, and systems
we must first transform ourselves.
I'm a leader of leaders and healer to healers.
I support leaders in transformational growth under a key premise of my unique signature approach: the “Do vs. BE” paradigm. How can you go from “leadership do-ing” to “leadership be-ing?” Your do-ing will not be authentic or sustainable without your clear and embodied “BE-ing.”
There’s an easier way. I know this to be true.
At our best, we lead and serve from our BEingness.
This is precisely how we manage and develop a central part of our leadership by asking, “How do I want to be experienced as a leader, especially in equity and inclusion?”
Affectionately deemed “Goddess-at-Work,” I support leaders in embracing what I term “professional spirituality” – the vision, skills, practices that enhance your work and leadership. Professional Spirituality is anchored in spiritually conscious and research-based leadership development that results in your self-mastery, healing, and skillfulness. It is leadership development that integrates emotional intelligence competencies (Adult SEL), equity & inclusion, and resilience-building. This allows you to lead from a place of wholeness and empowerment - what I call your “BEingness.” Your BEingness is your embodiment; it’s the driving force of your leadership creativity and presence. It’s the “feeling tone” of how your leadership is experienced (the felt-sense of the heart) by others. When you lead from your BEingness, you lead with your #1 superpower. And you get results and improved outcomes for those you serve and lead.
The blessing is that in my more than 25 years as being a leader of equity and inclusion, I have cultivated both the emotional/relational competencies and the technical skills to support, coach, and develop them in others. In my workshops, dialogue is always compassionate and direct - that is why participants get results. This is work I am deeply committed to and have done enough of my own inner-work to be able to meet this work with the grace and compassion that is needed to grow others in this critical aspect of our leadership development.
Here’s where our leadership is often problematic:
First, we bring the unhealed elements of ourselves to work daily. Unhealed leaders hurt schools. Unhealed leaders hurt organizations. Unhealed leaders lack skillful courage.
Second, we are looking at the wrong data. It felt like there was nothing within the system that would help me to be my best as a professional. The system was not a problem I created but also not a problem I could absolve myself of. I was being part of a system that I didn't have internal resources to have an impact on. I, like everyone else, was looking at the wrong data and the data shows where we need to heal and transform.
What is Possible
In the course of one year, by using my unique transformational approach, we went from severely underperforming to award-winning. I have experienced this same phenomenon again and again for myself and those I work with. Your personal transformation is your professional transformation and our self-transformation leads to systemic transformation.
If you are bored with and insulted by mediocre professional learning and leadership development...
If you are weary of the lack of connection with those you serve —and even yourself...
If you are exhausted from going through the motions of a broken system that is too tired, too rushed, or too scared to innovate or be creative…
I have a new possibility for you—and it comes from first-hand experience.
Now, I am a Leader-of-Leaders, called to train and develop others to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time: restoring our humanity to one of equity, inclusion, and belonging.
By accepting and acknowledging the right data, our leaders can transform from the inside-out using a rare combination of self-mastery methodologies, racial healing frameworks, and healing-centered/resilience tools to cultivate conscious, connected, and courageous leaders worldwide.
Where My Approach Began
I started my career as a young teacher, loving the work but not the underlying tension of a broken system as well as the racist undertones towards “those kids.” My soul couldn’t take the pain of contributing to a system that recycled hurt and oppression as the norm. After 8 years, I left. I left to start an educational healing journey that took the form of a private school designed for Black children called ASA (ah-sah). ASA invited me to look at educational trauma, to look at the pain that our systems instill on the souls of Black people, other People of Color, and all of the fear, pain, and shame endured by us all (White People included) serving in our systems. When the 2009 recession hit, our healing oasis closed.
Karma is real: a short time after leaving ASA, I was offered the job as principal at the very school I left. It was like entering the “The Twilight Zone.” The demographics of both staff and students had not changed, the data had not changed, and - worst of all - the conversations had not changed...the system was still the same. So, I did what I knew to do: use the same healing principles and tools that guided my own personal journey and bring them into a professional context. I began to practice “professional spirituality.” I healed and transformed from the inside-out. In turn, my healing as a leader healed and transformed the system itself—and even those I served.
Come, let’s heal.
Come, BE with me.
Together, you will do the work, and I will show you how.
CLIENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS SERVED
100 Black Men of the Bay Area
African-American Regional Educational Alliance
Aspire College Academy
Association of CA School Administrators
AVIA Health Innovation
Black Infant Health, SF Public Health Dept.
Brentwood Union School District
Bronxville Schools, NY
Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy HS
CA Department of Justice
California Gear Up!
CA School Board
Castro Valley USD
Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully
D.R. Roberts Events & Women’s Retreats
Elk Grove USD
Hollyhock Teachers Program, Stanford University
L.I.F.E Courses, Inc.
Menlo-Atherton High School
New College, San Francisco
New Ventures West
New York City Dept. of Education
Principal Leadership Institute, UC Berkeley
Raising a Reader
Rapid City Area Schools, South Dakota
Redwood City Government
San Diego USD
San Leandro USD
San Lorenzo USD
San Luis Coastal USD
Solano County Office
Stanford University Women's Leadership Innovation Lab
The University of British Colombia, Vancouver Canada
Villa Lindo Equity
Improving Educational Outcomes & Leading the Way
Before returning to full-time entrepreneurship in August 2019, I was California’s Regional Executive Director at Partners in School Innovation, where I served on the national Executive Leadership Team and led regional teams to improve
educational outcomes in the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Further, I was the co-founding director of the state-wide Equity Leaders Academy of the Association of CA School Administrators. I’m honored to be an adjunct professor at Mills College School of Education where I co-designed a first-of-its kind course, “Trauma-informed Leadership with an Equity Lens,” over 6 years ago. And having deep roots in mindfulness and education, it makes sense that I express this passion in my service as the National Board President of Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM) and founding Board Member of Academy for Restorative Education (AFRE).
How did I develop in this way?
I practice what I teach. I’ve had a daily meditation practice for 25+ years.
Intuitively, I knew that the key to leadership success was self-awareness and personal growth and development - and not what I could traditionally find being offered as professional development by our educational system. Using this deep knowingness, I earned my Certified Integral Coach designation by New Ventures West. Additionally, I am certified with Genos International and Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. Lastly, I am so honored to have been personally trained by Dr. Brene Brown to support courageous leadership and belonging by being a Certified Dare to Lead™ Trainer.
Perhaps Noteworthy About Me?
I adore fresh flowers and am grateful to Trader Joe’s for keeping them so affordable! “Snail Mail” is my love language, and I love greeting cards and stickers. Since 3rd grade, Hello Kitty has dominated my office supply addiction and is an expression of my inner-child. While I’ve always dreamt of living half the year in the islands, I currently live on Ohlone territory of the Muwekma Ohlone People (also known as Oakland, CA) year-round with my easy-going, sports-fanatical husband. I spend lots of time forest-bathing in the Redwoods with my wise spiritual mentor, road-tripping the coastlines, inviting deep-silence (and even deeper conversations), and walking in my purpose world-wide.
Praise for BE-ing with Tovi
Tovi is amazing and facilitated a truly excellent presentation. It both had the "magic" intangibles and the concrete takeaways I can share with my school team.
I have dedicated my life to serving and nurturing
others to create their best lives—from teaching to coaching to leading.