The Creative Heart of Leadership

Event Details

Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2005
Time: 12:01 PM- 12:01 PM

The Creative Heart of Leadership

A Pilot Four-Day Invitational Retreat for Waldorf School Administrators offered by the Rudolf Steiner Foundation in partnership with the Academy for the Love of Learning

Santa Cruz, California

Rudolph Steiner Foundation

June 2005

The Program

This 4-day invitational retreat is offered for experienced Waldorf school administrators. The purpose is to engage in a collaborative inquiry into personal and organizational leadership, the central role money plays as a reflector of the connection between the fiscal health and social life of the schools, and the ways in which RSF programs can serve the evolving needs of Waldorf schools and the wider Waldorf movement.

* What are the benefits of deepening our capacities for leadership and cultivating relationships for the whole of our organizations?

* How can we better understand money in all its personal, social, and organizational manifestations?

* What aspects and qualities of relationship, governance, and initiative-taking enhance the flow of money to and through the school?

* How do we better understanding the emerging financial and organizational needs of schools?

* What are the means for renewing and inspiring all of us?

Why an Invitational Retreat?

In our extensive work with Waldorf schools, we have observed an emerging leadership in the administration of schools and the benefit this function brings to the integration of money, governance, pedagogy, and community. Through the four days, we will be exploring the daily life of senior-level administration through your eyes, and in this practical context, examine the tools, approaches, and supports needed to help each school realize its potential as a creative heart-centered organization.

One purpose of this inquiry is to support and deepen the work of Waldorf school administrators who have experience, leadership responsibilities, and a commitment to developing their creative heart-centered role in administration.

The Content

The four days will include the following elements: aspects of leadership including biography, relationships, money and stewardship of resources, community building, and governance. There will also be artistic work and meditation time woven throughout the days. There will be time to focus on organizational case studies or problems presented by each of the participants.

Further Interest

Although this initial retreat is by invitation only, we hope and expect that this will become an ongoing series of retreats, open to all Waldorf School administrators. If you are interested in this retreat, would like to receive more information, or would be interested in participating in a future retreat, please contact us at learn[at] or by telephone at 505-995-1860.


A Report on The Creative Heart of Leadership Retreat

A Pilot Four-Day Invitational Retreat for Waldorf School Administrators offered by the Rudolf Steiner Foundation in partnership with the Academy for the Love of Learning

At the end of June 2005, in partnership with the Rudolph Steiner Foundation (RSF), the Academy for the Love of Learning led a four-day invitational retreat for 15 administrators of Waldorf Schools from all over the United States. The schools included some of the oldest and largest Waldorf schools in America, including the Rudolph Steiner School of New York, the first Waldorf school in America, now in it’s 77th year, Pine Hill School, and others. Also represented was Woodland Charter School, a young ‘Waldorf-inspired’ school in California.

The idea for the retreat originated in John Bloom of RSF, who recognized the vital role that the organ of administration now plays in Waldorf Schools and also the lack of opportunity for individual administrators to come together in order to receive peer guidance and support, as well as the benefit of the insight and support that can come from external facilitators. Out of his experience of the Academy’s work and knowing of our long association and experience of the Waldorf movement (Aaron Stern, who leads the Academy’s facilitation and retreat design team, has had over fifteen years of experience working within the Waldorf and Anthroposophical movement as an advisor and consultant, and has previously worked with many of the schools represented here) he asked the Academy for the Love of Learning to provide that facilitation, and the retreat was born.

Sitting in the circle in the beautiful setting of the Sequoia Seminars retreat centre outside Santa Cruz, were 15 individuals all passionately committed to education and the Waldorf movement, and deeply involved in their own personal learning and growth. Along with a team of four from RSF and three from the Academy, also deeply passionate about learning and transformation, we very quickly established a learning field of great strength and wisdom that provided us all with deep insight into the various areas of learning we explored together.

Working both experientially and conceptually we began by exploring the roles of both ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ and what it means to provide meaningful leadership within an organization. Drawing on the Academy’s many years of work with individuals and organizations, we explored collectively the power of relationship and the need for personal leadership in order to fulfill a role such as administrator and also go beyond the limits of that, or any role, to be present to a meeting of being to being. As we recognized together, Waldorf school administrators have the possibility specifically to provide relational bridges between school faculties and parents and the broader community, and so their ability openly and honestly to convey beliefs and values and find common relational ground is of the utmost importance. The strength and nourishment participants drew from hearing of other administrators’ experiences and wisdom was noted by many of them as the week progressed.

We also spent time exploring Steiner’s philosophy, specifically his model of the Threefold Social Order as it relates to the concept of money, a key underpinning of the mission of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation. Starting by exploring the nature of our individual relationships to money, we expanded our perspective to look at the schools’ relationships to money and how the flow of money can be enhanced to further develop educational opportunities. One of the highlights of the retreat for many participants was a presentation by the staff of RSF on their view of “Social Finance” and the opportunity this affords both individuals, communities, and organizations, including schools, to invest consciously and socially and use their money to further serve humanity’s collective awakening.

Another highlight was a “systems constellation” led by the Academy that explored systemic relationships and issues within one particular school. The learning and insight gained here by all participants was particularly profound.

By the end of the week a true community of school administrators had been formed and the gratitude they expressed to RSF and the Academy, for firstly recognizing the need and then forming the retreat, was incredibly touching. In their feedback forms many of them stated that the retreat could not have better served their needs. They also expressed a strong desire that this retreat be the start of a series, both for this particular group, and for other administrators of Waldorf Schools. It is our deep hope that this desire provides the impetus for the continuation and expansion of this work.

Request more information

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