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Leadership and the Middle Path

A Professional Development Workshop for Leaders

About the Workshop

Whether you’re a senior manager or just getting started in management, your fundamental challenges are the same: resolving problems and conflicts, managing your time and resources, and ensuring your team reaches its full potential. And mastering these critical skills starts with understanding your own tendencies, preconceptions, and blind spots.

Leadership and the Middle Path is an intensive, interactive two-day workshop (four half-days when held virtually) that will give you the knowledge and practical tools to become a better problem solver, as well as a better thinker, communicator, and decision-maker. Through experiential, hands-on activities, you will learn and practice real-world skills that you can immediately apply in your workplace. While especially useful for those who are new to management, experienced managers will also discover new and more effective ways to lead.

Over 120 tech start-ups and other businesses (including Fortune 100 companies) in 15 countries around the world have trained their leaders in Leadership and the Middle Path. The workshop has proven so impactful that investors have required startup teams to complete it as a condition for funding.

“There were three great things about this workshop—the shared language it gave us for problem-solving, the tools for having better ‘data-rich’ conversations, and the opportunity to talk with colleagues about meaningful issues.” 

–Dawn C., Director, food-tech start-up

'Simple but not easy' is a terrific summation of the principles of Middle Path leadership. Fortunately, what distinguishes Leadership and the Middle Path from other professional development programs are the opportunities to practice the skills by applying them to your unique situations. If your team isn't functioning as a whole greater than the sum of its parts, go through this workshop. I highly recommend it."

–John W., Chief Strategy and Planning Officer,

aviation start-up

The Middle Path – Where Real-World Solutions Reside

Effective management isn’t about abstract theories—it’s about the big and small actions you take every day to handle real-world challenges such as under-performing team members and conflicts within your team.


And asking the right questions and making the right choices in these difficult situations requires a flexible, clear-headed mindset that frees you from the false limitations of binary thinking (“I must be a tough manager and get things done, or a nice manager and have people like me” or “we must focus on either being profitable or taking care of our customers, we can’t do both”)—this is the Middle Path.

What sets this training apart is its focus on a small set of core principles:

Managers are more effective as leaders when they…

  • Are disciplined

  • Think systemically

  • Work with integrity

  • Are self-aware

  • Solve problems collaboratively

  • Take a biological-systems perspective when dealing with teams and organizations

Powerful skills you can put into action immediately

Here are some of the critical skills you will learn in Leadership and the Middle Path:

  • Recognize unproductive mindsets that hinder effective problem-solving

  • Develop new, more productive mindsets for problem-solving

  • Identify problems in teams and organizations faster, while obtaining the data needed to solve them

  • Build habits that help you interpret data, find root causes, and determine what successful outcomes look like before determining solutions

  • Systematically generate multiple potential solutions

  • Envision ideal outcomes that focus not just on tangible goals, but on the higher purpose that motivates you

  • Secure commitments to implement solutions

  • Use a four-step model for holding difficult conversations productively

  • Develop more trusting relationships

  • Become skilled in conversations for understanding and conversations for action

  • Become more skillful in making complaints and offering apologies

With these skills, you’ll be able to solve people and team problems more effectively. You’ll also be able to run more productive meetings, reach stronger agreements, and handle conflicts more productively.

Program Details

This is a virtual workshop held via Zoom. It takes place over the course of four half-days.


[Note that with a minimum of nine participants, this can also be held onsite, face-to-face, exclusively for your team or organization. When held onsite, this is a two-day program—two full days.]

Our meeting dates/times will be as follows (all dates 2023):

Day 1 – Thursday, 20 April, 8:30am–1:00pm PT

Day 2 – Friday, 21 April, 8:30am–1:00pm PT

Day 3 – Thursday, 27 April, 8:30am–1:00pm PT

Day 4 – Friday, 28 April, 8:30am–1:00pm PT

Note: To help you gain greater mastery over the skills taught in the program, we strongly recommend a follow-up practice session with Russ and a few of your fellow workshop attendees. This practice session is included in the price of the program and typically takes place four to six weeks after the workshop. We’ll give you more details during the workshop.

Plan For an Immersive Learning Experience

If you’ve been disappointed by “content-dump” training programs that just feed you information without showing you what to do with it, Leadership and the Middle Path will be a game-changer. While we cover some theoretical ground, the focus is on learning by doing, with the goal of giving you enough practice opportunities during the workshop for you to start putting your new skills to work the moment you leave.

But as serious athletes and musicians can tell you, mastering any important skill requires a commitment of time and attention. Each of the four sessions in Leadership and the Middle Path builds on material covered in the preceding sessions, so we ask that you commit to attending and participating actively in all four half-day sessions to get the full value of the program. Successful graduates carefully guard their calendars during the workshop and take the time to review and practice their new skills between sessions.

Program Investment

The fee for this program is $1,750. A deposit of $500 is required to hold a seat in the program.

If cost is a concern for you, contact Russ. Discounts are available, but only for a limited time.

Planning Ahead?

If you can't make this one, come join us for one of our other 2023 workshops:

Summer – July 20, 21 and 27, 28

Fall – October 19, 20 and 26, 27

All times are 8:30a to 1:00p (Pacific)

Facilitated by Russ Powell

Russ Powell is a veteran Human Performance Technology (HPT) consultant who specializes in the development of leaders and teams. He has helped thousands of workers and hundreds of leaders in dozens of start-ups and multinational organizations build professional foundation skills.

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"I found Russ' Middle Path workshop valuable—both personally and professionally. His approach offers useful frameworks for not only getting unstuck, but also solving problems and navigating common pitfalls and challenges leaders face. If you're ready to take your leadership skills to the next level, I highly recommend it."

–Zaki S., Analytical Chemist, multinational pharmaceutical company

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