Our Approach

Two decades of doing this work has taught us the vital importance of approaching leadership development with a close attention to the sustainability, renewal, and well-being of social leaders. Historically, these aspects were treated as a “nice to have” accompaniment to the so-called hard skills and professional networks that supposedly formed the foundation of effective leadership. From our perspective, however, these “nice to have” accompaniments are what is essential.

While Perennial’s approach draws upon some of the most useful aspects of traditional leadership training, such as building technical skills and developing relationships, we nurture our participants’ growth as leaders more by focusing on their inner lives.

We guide them to name, articulate, and reframe their realities, which gives life to a powerful and life-changing new awareness. This generative force produces leaders who are inspired and reconnected to what matters. Such leaders are often very successful at achieving the traditional leadership outcomes of strategic fundraising and effective management. What makes the Perennial difference is that these outcomes are not our destination. They are an ancillary benefit to our approach. When we focus on inner lives, outer lives benefit.

Our Design Elements

Co-creating Space for Transformation

Co-create a space where we feel safe, open, listened to, and heard, and in which we are able to engage in authentic dialogue and connection.

Experiencing Dynamic Learning

Dynamic Learning

Integrate various forms of learning—received, experiential, peer, and individual—and apply them to lived leadership challenges and life experiences.


Patience journaling at a Perennial retreat

Dig deeper using a process that explores our assumptions, patterns, and constructions about who we are and how we see the world.

Building a Community of Support

Form a community to renew, restore, and reground ourselves in our purpose, vision, and commitments to social change.

Meaning Making

Meaning Making

Construct and derive individual and collective meaning so that we gain clarity and connection to our experience. In a program, this piece is often the difference between participants experiencing deep transformation and simply having a collection of superficial experiences.

Choosing Love and Connection

See every moment as an opportunity to choose love over fear, and connection over separation. That choice creates the fundamental conditions for wholeness and transformation. It is the basis of our being and our programming as we work to reflect, renew, and create change within ourselves and with each other.