Akaya Windwood Speaks About Leading Leaders

Akaya Windwood is the President of†Rockwood Leadership Institute. She is recognized for elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration, for infusing a sense of purpose, delight and wonder into our lives, and for her vision of a global community working together as a fair and equitable society. Social Venture Network sat down with Ms. Windwood to discuss her experience being a leader of leaders.

SVN: You and SVN Executive Director Deb Nelson are the opening act of SVNís Spring Conference,†Courageous Conversations. What can the audience expect?

Akaya Windwood: I can only say right now that we will explore what a courageous conversation between two leaders can look like, and sound like.

SVN: Does it take a lot of courage for you personally to be a leader of leaders?

Akaya Windwood: It takes courage to lead in these times. Itís dicey out there! The things we thought we could count on, we canít count on anymore.†People want concrete answers, which arenít necessarily available in times of deep uncertainty — outcomes are not predictable.†We need to be brave enough to say, ďI donít know.Ē It takes courage to say, ďIím not sure.Ē Or, ďLetís try something else.Ē †It used to be you could make a good plan and if you had a good plan, you could predict what would happen. For instance, a social ill would be ameliorated. Or the financial risk factor would be X%. Itís not the case anymore.

SVN: How does fear play into courage?

Akaya Windwood: Courage is about acknowledging fear and doing what feels best for all concerned anyway. When people are not only putting their money, but their heart and their passion on the line, that takes courage. Woohoo!† I think that this is a time in the world when people are operating in a great deal of uncertainty and that can make people afraid. When people are afraid, they donít make the best decisions. Thatís why good leadership is so important! That’s why Rockwood Leadership Institute is so important.

SVN: What does SVN mean for you?

Akaya Windwood: Well, SVN is a place where people go to say, ďMy business has to be about more than just my pocket book. I want it to have meaning”†The days of doing things alone as a leader are past because it doesnít get you very far. But when you get leaders together, it matters a lot. Thatís why SVN matters. It’s a gift.

Register for Social Venture Network (SVN)†Spring Conference, April 25-28.

Since 1987, Social Venture Network (SVN) has been the leading network of entrepreneurs and investors who are transforming the way the world does business. SVN’s Spring Conference, Courageous Conversations, will take place April 25-28 in San Diego. Visit www.svn.org for†details†and to register.

Interview by Martha Shaw, founder of†Earth Advertising, which promotes the growth of environmentally responsible businesses through brand strategy and media campaigns.


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Christine W.
Christine W.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Marianne Good
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks for an informative article.

Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeck2 years ago

Thanks for the article!

Geoff Price
Past Member 2 years ago


Laura Saxon
Past Member 2 years ago

Good to see more women in positions of power.

Deanna R.
Deanna R.2 years ago

Sounds like a good leadership course. Losing the arrogance and being courageous. Wish I could attend (but too far away).

Nicole W.
Nicole W.2 years ago

thank you

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago


Troy Grant
Troy Grant2 years ago

Our leaders have failed. Leaders sell out. No leaders. Everyone leads. Direct democracy leads the way.

JL A.2 years ago

may her efforts influence more businesses to choose B-Corp type practices