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The REALITY Leadership Institute is a new leadership program for 25 distinguished REALITY leaders who are seeking to amplify their personal leadership style and are committed to driving change for themselves and in their careers, networks and the REALITY community. 

Our goal is to support, cultivate and invest in REALITY alumni who are motivated and ready to lead toward a more equitable and just future. Participants will challenge and elevate each other’s leadership styles and build invaluable relationships. Based on self-awareness, self-understanding and self-development, this program is built on the concept that, for the “outer leader” to be fully realized, the “inner leader” must first be cultivated. 

This 5-month virtual leadership program will take place from January — May, 2021 with 10 facilitated sessions. This program is in partnership with the Schusterman Fellowship, which has a distinct record of success in innovation and growing leaders’ capacities and skill sets. Consultant Fellows from the Schusterman Fellowship from Israel and the U.S. will be leading all 10, 1-1.5 hour sessions via Zoom. Consultant Fellows will help participants explore critical leadership skills and community issues, examine themselves as leaders, and build relationships of trust and mutual understanding. 

After the 5-month program, the REALITY Leadership Institute cohort will become the first-ever REALITY advisory board in which they will provide insights, advice and expertise to the REALITY team. Advisory board members will serve on impact area sub-committees to collaborate on strategy and provide guidance for the following areas: virtual signature events, micro grants, leadership opportunities, community building, recruitment, global travel and immersive experiences. The advisory board will meet 5 times through June and December, 2021. To learn more about the program, logistics and commitment please see below for detailed FAQs.

REALITY Leadership Institute Timeline

January 2021
  • Session 1: Welcome program
    • In this session, we will set our intentions and goals, overview of curriculum, and the Foundation’s leadership philosophy.
February 2021
  • Session 2: State of mind and mindful leadership
    • In this session, you will understand how your thoughts and emotions can impact your leadership and learn how to shift your state of mind to increase your effectiveness. Engage in embodied mindfulness practices to enhance your connection to your inner leader.
  • Session 3: Implicit bias and exploring our identities
    • In this session, we will learn about our implicit biases and how to combat them while learning who is in our Zoom room. Create an accountability practice with the cohort to learn more about each others’ identities and to practice compassionate accountability.
March 2021
  • Session 4: Realizing your zone of genius
    • In this session, you will identify and explore your zone of genius. You will observe your professional and personal history to map your skills, gain clarity about aspects of your work that keep you stuck and find the ones that unlock your highest potential. You will complete this workshop with a clear idea of what to delegate, what to do for only a limited amount of time and where you should invest most of your energy.
  • Session 5: Mindfulness and meditation
    • In this session, we will flesh out what mindfulness is and how it enhances our cognitive, psychological and interpersonal functioning. We will discover how regular practice with low stakes builds our capacity to be mindful even in very challenging situations and will guide you in experimenting with a number of practical tools for cultivating mindfulness.
April 2021
  • Session 6: Embracing productive discomfort and engaging in complex dialogue
    • In this session, we will provide a framework for engaging in complex dialogue and embracing discomfort as our minds and opinions expand. 
  • Session 7: Integration and group decision-making
    • In this session, we will employ a powerful change management technique for integrating what you are learning about yourself and your teams or communities during this time of profound uncertainty.
May 2021
  • Session 8: Intersectionality and sustainable action
    • In this session, we will learn more about the complexities of systemic oppression while thinking creatively about how to work toward equity with joy and compassion.
  • Session 9: Tapping our collective capacity
    • In this session, we will be led through an experiential practice that introduces the core principles of Theory U.
  • Session 10: Schusterman partners and grantees
    • In this session, we will engage with Schusterman partners and grantees in exciting conversations on how to kick off impact area work as an advisory board. 


REALITY Leadership Institute FAQs

What will participants gain from the REALITY Leadership Institute?

  • Strengthen critical leadership competencies and skills.
  • Contribute to and gain from a robust network of high-caliber leaders pursuing organizational and societal change.
  • Inspire others to take action to address complex challenges.
  • Examine themselves as leaders and build relationships of trust and mutual understanding.
  • Acquire new tools for better decision making and strategic thinking.
  • Personal growth and self-assessment.
  • Develop authentic and meaningful relationships with other leaders who share similar values.

What are the goals of the REALITY Leadership Institute? 

  • To offer a unique leadership and professional development program to an intimate group of REALITY alumni.
  • To elevate participants’ confidence and skills in leading change in their careers, communities and networks by providing new tools, resources and connections.
  • To enhance all aspects of the REALITY program by having an advisory board to provide expertise for the REALITY team on various impact and programming areas.
  • To engage the REALITY community in deep dialogue, learning, problem-solving and collaborative work with Schusterman Family Philanthropies partners and grantees.

Who is eligible to apply for the REALITY Leadership Institute?

  • Anyone in the REALITY community is eligible to apply — see below for more detailed criteria. 
  • Priority will be given to community members who have not yet served in a leadership position (hub leader, animator, facilitator).
  • The cohort of 25 REALITY alumni will reflect the breadth and diversity of the REALITY community with members from different journeys (2014-2019) and will be representative of a wide range of cultural backgrounds and life experiences.

Who is the ideal candidate for the REALITY Leadership Institute?

  • A REALITY community member who:
    • Demonstrates thoughtfulness, passion and humility.
    • Is a connector, motivator and respected individual within the REALITY community.
    • Is passionate and committed to enhancing and advising on aspects of the REALITY program.
    • Demonstrates a passion for engaging in acts of tikkun olam (repair the world).
    • Is involved in social movements, networks and communities outside of work as a lay leader, volunteer or member.
    • Displays evidence of mature judgment and exceptional leadership qualities.
    • Is interested in taking on a leadership role within the REALITY community.
    • Embraces Schusterman’s Core Values and Code of Conduct.
    • Is willing to commit the time and energy necessary to complete the program.
  • We seek to have participants from across the entire alumni community, representing different journeys and years. 
  • We seek a cohort that reflects REALITY’s diversity of gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and geographic location.
  • We seek representatives across various professional industries, including business, government, public policy, non-profit, tech, music, media, etc.
  • All accepted cohort members are expected to participate in ALL meetings and programming (see below for more information about the commitment).

Who is facilitating the leadership sessions throughout the 5-month series?

  • Consultant Fellows from the Schusterman Fellowship will be facilitating the sessions. Each Fellow is an expert in their respective field and brings unique multicultural, international and multi-faceted perspectives on key leadership content.
  • This opportunity is in partnership with the Schusterman Fellowship, which has a distinct record of success in innovation and growing leaders’ capacities and skill sets.

How are the leadership sessions held?

  • All sessions will be held virtually via Zoom. 

What is the commitment for the REALITY Leadership Institute?

  • Cohort members are expected to participate in all meetings and programming.
  • This includes:
    • 10 leadership sessions between January—May, 2021. 
      • If there is an emergency or work conflict, cohort members are allowed to miss one session, but we highly encourage you to attend all sessions as each will be uniquely beneficial for you.
    • 5 advisory board meetings between June (at the conclusion of the REALITY Leadership Institute) and December, 2021.
  • If someone has a scheduling conflict with a meeting, they must speak to REALITY staff beforehand.
  • If someone isn’t able to commit 100% to this program, please consider engaging with REALITY through REALITY Micro Grants or participating in our signature virtual programming.

What are the goals of the REALITY Leadership Institute as the advisory board for the REALITY community? 

  • To mobilize a cadre of change agents who work in teams to address major challenges and opportunities for REALITY.
  • To provide advice, expertise and guidance for the REALITY team on the following impact areas: virtual signature events, micro grants, leadership opportunities, community building, recruitment, global travel and immersive experiences.
  • Participants are not compensated for serving on the advisory board for the REALITY community.

How do I apply?

  • Applications are now closed.

When will I receive notification on the status of my application?

  • We will be notifying all applicants of their status by January 15, 2021.

If I am accepted, what are the next steps?

  • Accepted applicants will be sent a registration form to complete by the assigned deadline in order to confirm their commitment. Calendar invites for each session and more information will be sent after registering.

If I am waitlisted, when will I hear back?

  • We are anticipating a highly competitive applicant pool for the REALITY Leadership Institute with the number of strong applicants exceeding the number of spots we are able to accept. While we understand that it is difficult to make arrangements for a potential last-minute acceptance, we do accept participants on the waitlist if a spot becomes available. We will be in touch with you should a spot open up.