Marion Neubronner
5 min readJul 5, 2017


Why most Leadership Development is Personal Development

I have sent myself on many personal development courses and each time, I come back not just a better person but a better leader. A lot of good leading involved managing our own triggers and our hardwired reactions to challenging people situations. Yet too many leadership programmes just teach behaviorial strategies or scenarios without touching the core of why and how people behave in the first place.

Many leaders rise to positions often by their expertise without the accompanying people skills. Too many leaders become leaders because it is a role not one else wants and so they are left holding the bag. Either way, these employees have little or no extra training or support with reading people or understanding their own underlying motivations. They get good and being good at their work but may push or alienate others in their task orientated approach to work.

Believe me, I am a recovering taskaholic. Thankfully balanced by a huge peope-holic tendency. These are the top 5 personal development/leadership development programmes I have attended and a summary of how being part of the course and their community shifted and elevated how I saw people leadership and how I helped my coaching clients too.

Business School for Entrepreneurs (BSE) and Money & You. You cannot attend BSE without first attending Money & You. First lesson in the 3 day Money & You is for you try to internalize is that we can actually have a Win and Win for both parties in business. Not simply a Win-Lose. Collaboration rather than competition in order to build a new world — like how Buckminister Fuller (the philosopher whose writing we reference alot in this programme) saw it. The concept of being present and embodying your essence and intention was the lesson that brought most people to tears and insight. Past alumni are very much involved in the programme and they hold a space for that interactive learning. After Money & You, you can sign up for the week long BSE. The week long team dynamics and games were intense. We had to fire people and hire people and also inspire people to win cash prizes that we ourselves put our money down for. The international participation made it a cross cultural leadership experience as well. I had many takeaways from watching myself and others play. Find out more at

Search Inside Yourself. The name says it all. I watched the videos on GoogleTalks and loved the neuroscience of managing emotions. I so taken by the new research and how it applied to work places that I didn’t just sign up for the 2 day course, I signed up for four 4 day trainings in San Francisco and a year old teacher certification programme. It was a great shift for me and everyone now that I train in the mindfulness methods. Many of you understand that mindfulness means being in the moment fully present and without judgement. This allows a leader to pause before he or she reacts or explodes to something that triggers him or her. The act of mindfulness and the choices for new ways of being in the office has helped my clients like Singtel, Fidelity and Centre for Non-Profit Leadership to really appreciate their teams in a deeper way with mindful listening and compassion training. This course allows a person to see inside their own internal workings and so almost like a personal engineer, re-wire it gently to make their leadership more responsive and sustainable. Look at their website and online videos for some of the exercises and connect with me for more information.

Awesomeness Fest (Afest). The technology leaders whom I coach would probably roll their eyes when I say dressing up as a Future Human and dancing around on a exotic beach like in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Ibiza will help them be better leaders. However it simply does because it takes high performers out of their normal day to day interactions and that novelty and surprise is a re-wiring of the brain in itself. The richness of the conversations is the real secret sauce here. An invite-only event of around 400 people, I have met the creator of the Broadway Musical Avenue Q, a philanthropist/entrepreneur of 12 companies, many multi-millionaires and thought leaders. Speakers include John Gray of Man are from Mars, Women are from Venus fame, Esther Perel whose Ted Talk has 10,057,926 views and Vishen Lakhiani whose view of a more conscious world was what drew me to Afest and his online programmes to begin with. Vishen’s own book The Code of an Extraordinary Mind asks us to question rules which no longer apply to us. Vishen is indeed a visionary and he gathers great leaders together to re-envision the world.

Camp Maverick. If you can meet the requirements to be a Maverick, join them for fun and deep entrepreneurial support and growth. Yanik Silver whom I met at my first Afest is an inspiration. He brings his select group of millionaire entrepreneurs on adventures around the world and to help Haiti in its recovery. Camp Maverick is packed with Mavericks and camp counselors and only happens in summer in the US. An invite-only event of about 120 people, your connections here will build your business with you and their networks may accelerate your company’s growth. Cameron Herold, a camp counselor, teaches Singaporean entrepreneurs like Charles and Keith how to scale their business. Apart from the sessions, we have alot of fun and learning and networking. Yanik’s Evolved Entreprise movement has the backing of Sir Richard Branson and other conscious business advocates and

Hive Global Leaders. I was impressed when I saw Ryan Allis journey as a 20 something entrepreneur who advised Obama on Technology and sold his company for $169 million at 27. I didn’t think I could attend Hive as initially it was only for under 35s. However they invited me last year when they changed their participants demographics and I love Hive. Hive is for non-profit and community change agents. When you have 43 nationalities in a room of 140 people, communication skills are caught not taught. The real key to Hive’s success is Rapid Prototyping our Own lives. Tom Chi co-founder of Google X is a resident speaker and he helps us to innovate our products and business faster. We also answer deep personal questions and are ready with a 1 line mission statement at the end of the 4 days. Mine? To amplify and accelerate Conscious Leaders Impact. I do this through education and coaching leaders to their next level of leadership greatness and personal best selves

I am sitting here post article writing — being grateful for a job that allows me daily to help myself learn more about the mysteries of being me and helps me be a mentor/facilitator/coach to leaders. Leadership is a courageous act to change not what others do but how you do what you do in order to bring a group to the next stage of growth. Leaders need other leaders to motivate and encourage and challenge them to what is truly possible. PM me if you want to hear more about any of these. Or if you want a coach for yourself and your team.