Bregman Leadership Intensive: An In-Depth Leadership Experience

Questions about the Bregman Leadership Intensive? Want to learn more? Sign up for the next conference call with Peter on Monday December 1, 2014 at 8pm Eastern Time.


Successful leadership isn’t about what you know―it’s about who you are and how you show up. The Bregman Leadership Intensive is designed to help you:

  • Raise hard-to-talk-about issues in a way that others agree to address them.
  • Act courageously in risky situations.
  • Connect with people in a way that inspires their commitment.
  • Stay grounded in the face of success, failure, or uncertainty.
  • Respond productively to opposition without losing your focus.
  • Communicate skillfully in the presence of strong emotions.

The length of the Bregman Leadership Intensive and the limited number of participants will allow you to do deep work, learn from the other leaders, and gain significant traction on your own challenges. This is not about simulations. It’s about real progress on real issues that will help you grow as a person so you can move your organization forward.

The Bregman Leadership Intensive isn’t about learning new theories. It’s about taking new actions. It’s about breaking long-standing, ineffective habits. And it’s about transforming your capability to act powerfully and courageously in your life, in your work, and in the world.

The Bregman Leadership Intensive is limited to 20 participants. An interview is required before admission. Please complete this form to set up a 30-minute call with Peter Bregman.

Application for the Bregman Leadership Intensive

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What do you hope will be different after you attend the Bregman Leadership Intensive?

Describe a challenge or opportunity you're facing which, if you got traction on, would make a significant difference to you and your organization?

What might you do to sabotage yourself or your learning during the Intensive?

What else should we know about you?

Once you submit the application, you will receive an email to set up a 30-minute phone interview with Peter Bregman.

Four Foundational Beliefs

1. Leadership is context specific. Have you ever wondered why someone can be a great leader at one company, and then utterly fail in another? Leadership is never in a vacuum. There are very few generalities that apply universally to leadership. It’s about leveraging the best of who you are to the environment and the mandate.

  • What’s your industry? What are your organization’s priorities?
  • What’s your company’s recent history? What’s its culture?
  • Who are your colleagues on the leadership team?
  • What are the challenges your employees are facing?
  • Where are you in the hierarchy?
  • What are your strengths, weaknesses, differences, and passions?

Even in a group setting, our leadership work is specific to each individual, situation, and organization.

2. Leadership is about making choices and taking risky actions. Sitting in the safety of a classroom thinking about leadership doesn’t help people become better leaders. The real challenge of leadership is the challenge of behavior. It’s the challenge of making, following through on, and learning from hard choices and complex decisions.

  • When push comes to shove are you willing to take the difficult and risky actions necessary to grow your organizations?
  • Are you willing to commit to a big idea?
  • Are you willing to push a risky strategy through to execution?

Our leadership work focuses on taking difficult actions, with support, inside and outside of the classroom.

3. Leadership is personal. There is little difference between who you are as a person and who you are as a professional. Leaders bring their whole selves to work and are adept at managing all different aspects of themselves. Leadership is not just a mental challenge, it’s emotional, physical, and even spiritual.

  • Do you know what you are feeling at any given moment?
  • When you feel strongly about someone or something, are you able to unpack the emotion?
  • Are you able to identify what’s going on and distinguish between a trigger and useful data?
  • Do you know your limits and move through your activities with energy and presence?

You can bring all parts of yourself to our leadership work.

4. Leadership is about relationships. Your ability to lead is directly related to your ability to connect with others, inspire them, and motivate their action. Leaders know how to develop the kinds of relationships that build loyalty and commitment in those around them.

  • Do you trust yourself enough to act courageously?
  • Do you accept and appreciate others as they are, bringing out their best without trying to fundamentally change them?
  • Are you willing to be vulnerable?
  • Are you committed more to the collective than you are to your own interests?

Our leadership program operates in a group setting so participants can experiment with, gain insight from, and be challenged by their colleagues in real ways.

Who Should Come

The Bregman Leadership Intensive is right for you if you are ready and willing to:

  • Face, head on, your own real and current leadership challenges and work through them in a group of others doing the same.
  • Close the gap between what books tell you to do and how your situation actually plays out. For example: What do you need to do to inspire more commitment in your team, manage through difficult politics, create more collaboration, or take bolder risks with your business, etc.
  • Step out of your comfort zone, just like real leadership situations demand.
  • Show up as a leader in support of others who are wrestling with their own leadership challenges.

What You Can Expect

You can expect to wrestle with some of your greatest challenges, emerging with a new understanding of why you’ve been stuck and what to do to move forward.

You can expect to be surrounded by other smart, capable people who are focused on, and committed to, becoming stronger, more powerful leaders.

You can expect to dance on the edge of your comfort zone, increasing its size and opening new possibilities for your future.

You can expect to feel profoundly supported by the other members of the group, and to step in as critical support when others need it.

You can expect to step into the unknown, take risks, uncover blind spots, learn novel things about yourself, feel deep emotions, and become a stronger leader as a result.

You can expect to engage in large and small group interactions, personalized coaching, new ideas, discussions, exercises, writing, meditation, yoga, and more.

You can expect to want to do it all again.

Content Areas

Our work during the Bregman Leadership Intensive will be guided by the specific needs of the individual participants. Among other things, we will address the following:

Being a great leader. What makes you a great leader?

Creating a self-motivating culture. How are you leading to get the most out of people’s internal drive?

Building an independently capable team. How can you help people learn, think, and act for themselves?

Clarifying the roadmap for success. What are your explicit and implicit expectations and how can you best communicate them?

Influencing strategically. Who do you need to persuade, about what, and how can you approach it most effectively?

Flexing your leadership style. How do you show up and how can you flex your style to be most effective?

Leading change and gaining ownership. How can you get the right people to take accountability for the change you are leading?

Getting the right things done. How can you reorganize, re-prioritize, and react more efficiently to achieve your objectives and the needs of the business?

Conveying the right messages in the right ways. What’s your plan for making sure you communicate with the right people in the right way with the right timing?

Managing conflict and difficult situations. How can you resolve conflict in ways that build commitment and enthusiasm amongst everyone involved?

A Note From Peter Bregman

Why I run this program

Leadership is about taking risks – and I want us to experiment with, and experience, taking risks. If possible, I want us to do it with, and in front of, other people with whom we work – so that we will be more likely to continue taking risks when we return to our workplaces and our lives. That will help us become more familiar with our fear and that is how we build our courage.

I want us to understand ourselves – and each other – better. I want us to develop the courage to live our lives in ways that make us proud and ways that support ourselves, the people around us, and the world. I want us to stop getting in our own, and each other’s, way with clumsy communication. And to be strong enough – in skill and in confidence – to navigate each other’s clumsy communication without getting thrown off balance. I want us to develop patience, empathy, clarity, and caring. I want to us to feel – to know – that none of us is alone in our fears and our dreams and I want us to draw strength and conviction from knowing that.

I want us to take chances and fail and get up again. And I want us to understand – or at least consider – what’s important enough to do, that we are willing to fail in pursuit of it. I want us to feel our own emotions deeply and become comfortable sitting with each other’s emotions – even if that means anger directed at us. I want us to experience rising above our emotions – not repressing them – but acting deliberately while in full feeling of them – to do things we know are right even if we are afraid or uncertain. And I want that to engender a deep trust in ourselves and in the people around us. All of this is part of being a leader.

I want us to be real human beings – with cracks and challenges and emotions – and to stand strong as leaders, not despite our humanness but because of it.

That’s the world I want to live in. Those are the leaders I want to lead with. That’s what I want to help create in our time together.

Participant Testimonials

Deanna Emsley, SVP, Strategic Planning at a multi-billion dollar, international lifestyle brand

When I arrived at the Intensive, I had just left one of the best jobs I ever had due to the rapid decline in the health of that business. While I got another job right away, I knew this experience had the potential to haunt me. Maybe not in outwardly noticeable ways, but I knew that it was going to reverberate through my leadership as I moved forward in my career.


This was going to create a problem for me, whether it was one of resilience or courage or something else. I knew it was going to come back to bite me, and I wanted to proactively start to prepare myself with any kind of learning about leadership that I could be exposed to. So I signed up for the Bregman Leadership Intensive, expecting to learn really useful concepts that I could apply in my new position.

I’ve had the advantage of working for a few very large companies, and each had huge funding budgets for leadership programs, most of which were classroom based. Many of those were “highly interactive,” but using that phrase now seems silly in comparison to the Bregman Leadership Intensive.

I didn’t expect how profoundly transformative, pervasive, and persistent the entire experience would be. Everything about this was wildly different than any type of class I had previously attended.

Part of the message of the Intensive was: it’s possible to remain powerful and grounded, even when you’re not prepared, when you’re not in control. During the Intensive, I found myself in places where my normal leadership skills simply didn’t sustain me because I was so far outside of anything I’ve experienced before. That’s where the real learning started for me.

I got so far outside my comfort zone, into a place I wasn’t ready for at all. And at that moment I said to myself, “Okay, this is what it feels like when you don’t have any leadership tools left in your bag. So now what? If you’re really such a great leader, now what? You don’t have a tool for this. What now!?”

In those moments, with Peter’s support, I discovered how to deal with situations where I had no clue what to do. I was able to feel incredibly uncomfortable and yet stay grounded and present and powerful. The confidence that came from this was real, and it has persisted.

The changes in me have been astounding. When I stand up to speak in front of groups, or participate in any high stakes meeting, I now consciously – almost habitually – think about my ability to remain strong and capable, particularly in the face of unknowns.

I hear myself saying, “I’m here and I’m ready for this. Even if I don’t have all the answers, I’m ready and I’m strong and I’m good and I’m grateful that I’m capable of standing in this moment.”

That is never the way I thought before. That type of awareness or gratitude wasn’t even on my radar. It calms me, which unquestionably improves my ability to contribute in these critical moments.

I don’t need to know exactly what to do next anymore. Not all the time. More often than not when I start to get anxious, I just let it flow through me instead of letting it electrify the moment and stress me out and stop me in my tracks. And as a result I’ve become a much more powerful and genuine leader.

My organization benefits from me being more courageous. I’m more capable of just stepping in and not being afraid of the things that used to stop me: fear of confronting people or failing or not being good enough.

I’m really surprised at how long the changes have persisted. In general, I’m a great student; I’ll learn the stuff, and I can spit it back out, and that part has never been a problem. The challenge has been for the knowledge to change how I act.

In just a few days at the Intensive, I took in messages that I still think about all the time and that change what I do on a daily basis. I had never attended any kind of training that did that, that provided actual lasting impact.

Trina Willard

There are many training programs that add value to our professional tool kits. They give us knowledge about leadership theories and strategies – new pieces of data, innovative techniques, or emerging resources. You walk away with a big binder full of content and a strong intention to consult it for guidance when you encounter a problem in your demanding, hectic workplace.

And then, once in a blue moon, you might have the good fortune to experience another kind of opportunity.

TWillard_headshotThis one doesn’t just come to you; you must welcome it in. Rather than giving answers, it asks you questions. Difficult and important questions. It throws you off your axis. It encourages you to take risks and allows you to practice in a safe, supportive place. It challenges you to remove the barriers that are holding you back. It uncovers and acknowledges how you feel, particularly in uncomfortable situations, and holds you true to that. It cultivates your strength to show up every day as your authentic self, personally and professionally, because the two are intrinsically inseparable. It reshapes the way you understand others, and, surprisingly, the things you really see about yourself. It transforms the way you lead.

The Bregman Leadership Intensive is THAT experience.

But perhaps most importantly, just when you think the program is over, it comes back to remind you of what you discovered, who you met and how they’ve touched your life in a way you’ll never forget. It settles in and becomes a part of your fabric, even if you don’t recognize it at first. You’ll have days when you might feel as if you’re returning to the grind and drifting back to sleep. Then, suddenly, one of the touchstones you’ve gathered during your time with Peter will surface and enliven you again. Like me, you’ll think about what remains uncovered and want to go through it all over again. It’s that powerful.

As a very small business owner with limited time and a tight professional development budget, this program was a big risk for me. I had many questions. Would I learn something? Would I takeaway something important? Would it change the way I do business? Would I feel like I’d make a good investment of my time and money?

The answer to each of those questions is a resounding Yes.

As to why this event is so different than the training programs you’ve experienced before, I have a very simple answer: Peter Bregman. If you’ve ever read his Harvard Business Review blog, you already know he’s pretty brilliant and very successful in his field. He’s a thought leader. When you pose a challenging question, he undeniably possesses the education and professional experience to tell you what you should probably do. But here’s his magic: he’s smart enough to know that’s not the best way to learn and moreover not what you need. He is forthright that he doesn’t have all of your answers. He is aware that you need to find your own way and follow the goals and passions that fuel you personally. Further, Peter is no stranger to fear or failure and he owns it. So instead of lecturing, he guides, mentors, and supports you on how to tap into your own revelations, from within. It’s a shockingly relatable approach that is sorely lacking in leadership consulting, amidst a sea of consultants that wear invulnerability like a badge. While it’s difficult to choose the right words to describe just how exceptional he and his team are, I’ll try just a few. Gifted. Skillful. Trustworthy. Caring. Inspiring. Respectful. Honest. That one bears repeating: Honest.

So be ready for a journey. Ready to change. Ready to grow. Ready to show who you are. If you put your trust in it, it will take you to places you never thought you could go.

Peter Bregman’s bio

Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm which advises CEOs and their leadership teams, helping them break down silos and tackle their most important priorities together. He speaks, writes, and consults about how to lead and how to live.

He is the author, most recently, of the Wall Street Journal’s bestselling book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, winner of the Gold medal from the Axiom Business Book awards, named the best business book of the year on NPR, and selected by Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Post as a top 10 business book. He is also the author of Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change and co-author of five other books. Featured on PBS, ABC, and CNN, Peter is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, National Public Radio (NPR), Psychology Today, and CNN as well as a weekly commentator on Fox Business News.

Peter began his career teaching leadership on wilderness and mountaineering expeditions and then moved into the consulting field with the Hay Group and Accenture, before starting Bregman Partners in 1998. Peter has advised CEO and senior leaders in many of the world’s premier organizations.

Peter bases his work on the notion that an organization, at its core, is a platform for talent. By unleashing that talent, aligning it with a compelling vision, and focusing it on business results, both the individual and the organization thrive. Since 1989, Peter has trained and coached all levels of management and individuals to recognize their leadership, exhibit leadership behaviors, model and stimulate change, and foster their own development and growth as well as that of their teams and colleagues.