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TREC’s Leveraging Leadership Program 

TREC’s “Leveraging Leadership” Program combines emergent and culturally responsive approaches to leadership with TREC’s 20 years of experience in supporting leaders to deepen their inherent leadership capacities. The program is grounded in a vision and commitment to support inclusive, impactful movements where all people are welcome and treated justly, diverse wisdom is recognized as essential, and our relationships to each other, all beings, and our environment is healing and generative.  

In 2019, TREC combined its emerging and senior leadership programs (STEP and SLP) into one program, Leveraging Leadership, which offers leaders from diverse positions within their organizations the opportunity to share wisdom and challenge perspectives in a neutral setting outside of their organizations.  

Leveraging Leadership is guided by the following core beliefs:  

  • Claiming our unique gifts and offerings liberates and heals us and others and builds power for our collective work.   
  • Our diverse identities and experiences are our strength.  
  • As within, so without: building awareness of our ourselves and how we are with one another is foundational to leading.  
  • Developing the leadership of others is the essential work of leaders.   

We demonstrate these beliefs through a set of leadership practices: 

The heart of Leveraging Leadership is two 4 ½-day in-person sessions, scheduled approximately three or four months apart, where participants: 

  • Build awareness of diverse leadership styles + deepen their ability to harness their particular gifts  
  • Develop core leadership practices required to support them to live into their vision and values 
  • Gain clarity of what contributes to impactful leadership and what detracts from it 
  • Increase awareness of practices, strengths, and growth zones to support achieving results with others  
  • Build capabilities in fostering and leading inclusive, equitable, and diverse organizations 
  • Define and/or refine a leadership vision and develop a plan to support achieving that vision 
  • Improve their ability to support their staff and/or colleagues in bringing out their best through providing feedback, identifying ways to foster engagement, and enhancing key management skills 
  • Expand understanding of organizational culture, the influence of white supremacy culture, and the ability to create positive cultural change 
  • Gain insight, tools, skills, and support in increasing their ability to manage and navigate uncertainty and changes (fostering resilience) 
  • Learn with and from a community of peers also doing work in service of advancing conservation and community engagement 

At the core of Leveraging Leadership is our Theory of Change, which is grounded in the philosophy that it takes a long-term commitment to support each leader to create the lasting change they seek. With this in mind, in addition to the two 4 ½-day sessions, Leveraging Leadership incorporates multi-faceted, holistic support for leaders including: 

  • One-on-one coaching sessions with a faculty member who is a certified coach 
  • A 360-degree leadership feedback report (completed between sessions) 
  • Coaching support and feedback on their individualized leadership development plan 
  • Confidential and generative space to name and address barriers to achieving their goals 

The total time commitment for Leveraging Leadership is 60 hours of in-person programming, as well as approximately 10 hours total of interaction with your coaching and learning group in between sessions.


TREC’s Leadership Program is led by TREC Senior Consultants Nailah Blades and Andrés Esparza and supported by co-ED Kristi Chester Vance.

Our commitment to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Participants: 

We acknowledge and are working to dismantle leadership programming that have traditionally been grounded in white supremacy culture. More specifically, we strive to build cohorts and content that represent multiple perspectives and center the safety and experience of leaders who have been underrepresented, erased, or harmed in leadership programming.  We are committed to co-creating an inclusive and impactful experience where participants are not tokenized or made to carry an undo burden because of their identities. To support this commitment, we endeavor to ensure that at least 30% of every cohort identify as BIPOC. We are ready and willing to communicate with leaders throughout the registration process to provide opportunities to ask questions, make requests and address any concerns or barriers to participation. We will also communicate information on representation to the best of our ability so that participants have up-to-date information about the diversity of the program and can be in full choice about their participation.  

Program Participation  

The Leveraging Leadership Program is offered by invitation to leaders who are grantees of the Wilburforce Foundation through a nomination process that takes a wholistic approach to offering TREC support in an equitable and strategic manner. Leaders are also welcome to self-nominate by emailing 

 Program Participation Requirements: 

  • The ability to attend both sessions of the program in their entirety  
  • Willingness to participate in each session and/or breakout discussion or activity 
  • Attending a minimum of 3 coaching sessions with TREC staff 
  • Willingness to co-create and honor Conscious Learning Community Agreements 

About the retreat center: 

We are thrilled to be partnering with Harmony Hill [], which is about 90 minutes Southeast of Seattle-Tacoma airport.  

All participants have private lodging so that they have space to reflect, restore and process in whatever way is most comfortable for them.