Leaders They Do Not See: The Tender Powerful & Troublesome 

We have acted from the invisible and witnessed others doing so. Invisible can mean “hidden” or “unable to be seen” and at times may even be treated as “not worthy”. We know that recognition and affirmation depend on personal perception and the culture of the system.

In this exchange, Karen Wilhelm Buckley and Karolina Iwa want to honor the ways in which our own leadership can be invisible and grow our understanding of invisible leadership in a variety of situations. Let’s explore: What does invisible leadership contribute? What happens when those who benefit don’t recognize invisible leadership? What does holding back look like? Do we go underground, or dismiss our own contribution, or become more assertive? What does the system lose? What else might be possible as we acknowledge and affirm the continuum of less visible leadership?

Together we’ll broaden our definition of leadership as we discover the power and contribution of leadership that does not stand out in front or lead from on high - whether through visual recording, operating behind the scenes, following an intuitive hunch, listening long before talking, or employing a steady persistence.

Collectively we will delve into our own experience, both what we’ve done or not done, as well as what we’ve seen. We’ll check our assumptions, question intent, and discover the reasons for acting from invisible leadership.          

Sessions will build on each other

March 4

Thursday 9-11:00am PT

Invisible & Powerful Self

  • Explore and map out the less visible sides of leadership, how the invisible & less visible flow along a continuum.

  • Recognize “invisible” leadership in yourself - what brought you here? Your somatic experience? Your questions or considerations?

April 1

Thursday 9-11:00am PT

Invisible & Powerful Other

  • Recognize the wisdom and contribution of invisible leadership in others.

  • Explore useful tools of acknowledgement and skillful support from a tender and a brave place. 

May 6

Thursday 9-11:00am PT

Invisible & Powerful Us

  • Discover the skills of collective leadership that includes the continuum of visible and less visible for a bigger impact on the social field.

  • Share best practices for activating leaders who see a need and act from inside the matrix of shared leadership.

$50 for non-GLEN members. Zoom links will be available when you register or donate.


Session Facilitators

Karen Wilhelm Buckley

Karen Wilhelm Buckley is Co-Director and Founder of The Wisdom Connection and principal at Communicore Consulting. Her work to develop leaders with an integrated wisdom, one that includes the best of the masculine and feminine, has informed her speaking, publishing, coaching and consulting since 1980.

Karen loves to help women and men accomplish their missions – she loves to help build businesses, transform relationships, and create a deeply satisfying life.

Karolina Iwa

Intercultural Psychologist, is managing partner, social entrepreneur, & large group expert at Progressive Partners. Lives in Berlin & head wizard of the Leadership Festival. She writes on her website that she is a . . ."self-organisation geek — a social-metaphor hunter — a passionate human. I am constantly searching for greatness and beauty. for a deeper understanding of how things work. and how we can make them work, for and with us. looking at what is visible and what remains hidden"

Our Intention

We hope to affirm the mosaic of the tender and powerful gifts we bring as leaders. Although sometimes unseen, ignored, or even denigrated, when we open the doors of perception, we see how the subtle, less overt sides of leadership disturb, coalesce, agitate, soothe, and even direct us in important ways.

 We’ll affirm and acknowledge as we seek to understand different underlying motivations including commitment beyond ego, self-protection, hesitant shyness, and a desire for indirect influence.   

We’ll explore our relationship with less visible leadership and collectively discover how we might nurture or facilitate less visible leaders.         

Key Questions for Exploration     

  1. What are the frameworks and cues to recognize and amplify the invisible sides, gestures, results of invisible leadership?
  2. What are the reasons for acting from invisible leadership?
  3. What is the potential contribution, particularly when affirmed, acknowledged, and invited as leaders?
  4. In what ways do you recognize yourself as an invisible leader and increase your personal impact and contribution?
  5. What is our role in creating the conditions for less visible leaders to thrive?