Lead Smart Coaching Offers:

Why Leadership Coaching, Why Now?

Are you juggling too many competing and conflicting pressures with decreasing resources? Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed by the huge array of initiatives to implement and rigorous layers of accountability? Do you feel exhausted by the complexity, immediacy, overabundance of information, and find yourself frustratingly distracted, feeling stuck or procrastinating? Do you feel pulled to wear too many hats… are you attempting to be: a visionary in swiftly shifting environments, a change agent, instructional leader, curriculum and assessment expert, fiscal and budget analyst, facility manager, special program administrator and community builder? Oh, and you must take care of yourself and your family, too!

The bottom line: today’s leaders are extraordinarily stressed and frequently lack the resources and supports they need for building and nurturing their own leadership practices. This can have profound effects on your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, and, it certainly doesn’t help you grow and strengthen your organization.


Leadership coaching is a personalized, confidential, structured support program that helps you to clarify your values and achieve your highest potential, while living with deeper meaning and purpose. Coaching sessions begin with a learning agenda, and include: experimentation with new leadership strategies and behavioral practices, feedback on effectiveness, and an ongoing assessment of where you are and where you want to be. Sessions are tailored to suit your schedule and are available in person or other formats for both individuals and teams. Whether you are experiencing a career transition, seeking greater productivity, or exploring purpose and meaning in your work and in life, leadership coaching is a smarter way to work.

“Valerie is an extraordinary leadership coach. She helped me improve my communication with staff, reducing internal school conflict and helped me clarify the elements of mission-driven, child-focused education in our school.”
— Karmala Sherwood, Executive Director and Head of School, Smith Leadership Academy, Dorchester, MA

Leadership Coaching is Ideal for You if You:

  • Sense that you are at the edge, or are in full-blown burnout
  • Put your self-care last and sometimes believe that it is ‘selfish’ to take care of yourself
  • Feel obligated to show ‘strength’ at the cost of authentic self-expression
  • Push yourself hard to keep up, and find yourself at a breaking point
  • Want to improve your leadership skills with ongoing, confidential support
  • Want to build greater trust, connection, and collaboration within your school or organization
  • Want more than one-off training sessions loaded with ‘quick-fixes’ and ‘good ideas’
  • Are ready to move your leadership skills beyond annual performance reviews
  • Seek to develop new competencies, qualities, and ways of being, that support YOU

“Val and I have been working together for the past two years as co-facilitators of an intensive 2-week summer youth leadership program that integrates mindfulness, non-violent communication, and narrative storytelling practices.  Working alongside Val is a seamless and invigorating experience.  She is professional, compassionate, engaging, and dedicated. Val naturally invites others to discover their own inner-stillness and inner-compassion so that they can be of authentic and useful service in their communities and beyond.  It has been a true joy to collaborate with her in this way!”
— Cornelia Cannon Holden, Director, Core Leadership Summer Portal, The Hotchkiss School

Partial Past/Present Client List

  • Buckingham Friends School, Lahaska, PA
  • Center for Courage & Renewal, Seattle, WA
  • Community of St. John Baptist, Mendham, NJ
  • Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA
  • Presbyterian Church, USA
  • The Community School of New Hope-Solebury, New Hope, PA
  • The Dinner Party
  • The Habit Change Company, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT
  • Smith Leadership Academy, Dorchester, MA
  • Woolman Hill, Deerfield, MA

List of Collaborators

These friends and collaborators share my values and we often partner together.

Contact Lead Smart Coaching
and take the first step toward mindful leadership that
will support YOU both personally & professionally

Retreats & Facilitation Services

Coaching & Consulting Services

Conflict Resolution & Mediation Services

Named one of the best courageous books of 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal, this book is for educational leaders who feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted, and offers explicit practices to help readers avoid burnout and become the mindful, poised, effective leaders they were meant to be. Loaded with real-time encouragement with portraits of educational leaders who are incorporating mindfulness practices, like attentive breathing, mindful walking about the school building, or calming pauses in the office throughout the school day, this book is a must-have guide.

Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson. Corwin, December 2014. 344 pages.

The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel.

Not your average travel guidebook, this book explores some of the world’s great pilgrimages, destinations, and the author’s reflections on the lessons she learned from them. Read this book to discover how travel can be transformational, how to be more mindful while traveling and every day, the adventures of traveling alone, the delights of encountering new people and places, ancient pilgrimage journeys and sacred travel worldwide.

Valerie Brown. QuakerBridge Media, 2012, 152 pages. Also available from QuakerBooks.

Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind, and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond Valerie

Valerie Brown guides readers toward renewal of mind, heart, and spirit by encouraging them to take time away from the busyness of their lives through retreat. Drawing on her experience as a retreatant and retreat leader, she introduces readers to opportunities for personal restoration within a variety of focused retreats. She wonders how Friends experience of expectant waiting influences the retreat process and how retreats influence expectant waiting. She encourages the “big questions”—What has meaning and purpose in my life? What am I avoiding? What brings me most alive?—and offers specific practices for retreatants to cultivate in everyday life.

Valerie Brown. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #421.

Quakers are advised to begin worship by “centering down.” This is the first step in a Friend’s intention to wait in “holy expectancy,” to be drawn by the Light into communion with God. Centering prayer is also a practice used by Christian mystics to prepare for contemplation, and “centering” describes the meditation of a Buddhist in pursuit of that deep awareness called “mindfulness.” Valerie Brown is an explorer and teacher of centering practices, a Buddhist, and an active Friend. Drawing upon her own experiences and wide studies, she describes for Friends how these various traditions can offer us a better understanding and preparedness for our precious, elusive, mysterious, and simple practice of centering into worship. Discussion questions included.

Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #407. 2014.