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Discover How Collaboration and Relational Leadership Can Change The World with Nina Simons


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As human beings, we’re built for relationships. We strive for connection with other people as well. We’re adaptable species that could survive an environment we’re forced to deal with. Join your host Corinna Bellizzi as she talks about relational leadership and philosophies with Nina Simons. Nina talks about collaborative approaches and principles that’ll help us achieve our goals most effectively. She explains a fresh perspective on these to inspire us to grow into our unique selves. What are the leadership challenges that we face today? Tune in to learn how we can create that regenerative future for the generations that will follow us and create a change to improve people’s lives.  


About Nina Simons

CMBB 98 Nina | Relational LeadershipNINA SIMONS is Co-founder and Chief Relationship Officer at Bioneers and leads its Everywoman’s Leadership program. Throughout her career spanning the nonprofit, social entrepreneurship, corporate, and philanthropic sectors, Nina has worked with nearly a thousand diverse women leaders across disciplines, race, class, age, and orientation to create conditions for mutual learning, trust, and leadership development. 

She co-edited Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, and authored Nature, Culture, and the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership—being released as a second edition in June 2022 with an accompanying discussion guide and embodied practices. 








Show Notes: 

01:41 Introduction

08:34 The Idea Of Leaders Wanting To Struggle

14:00 Definition Of Leadership

20:37 Lifelong Process

25:32 Definition Of Relational Relationship

35:08 Technological Solutions

37:52 Collaborative Leadership

44:20 Conflict

46:40 Song

47:01 Final Words


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Discovering The Importance Of Incorporating Relational Leadership With Nina Simons

I’m an activist and cause marketer who’s passionate about building a regenerative future, one in which we can all thrive, people, the planet, and all of our resources. Every episode, I invite you to care more so that together we can be better and reach more people with the important content we create here. I invite you to subscribe, rate, review, and share this episode with your community because this episode, in particular, is one you will certainly be glad you didn’t miss.

In this episode, we are going to learn about relational leadership, ideas that have come from classic philosophers, monks, and even indigenous peoples, as we discuss creating a new norm and leadership that values the feminine and the masculine in one complete package. Moves from extractive principles to collaborative ones so that we can create that regenerative future for the generations that will follow us. I’m joined by the perfect partner to discuss these issues, the architect of a community of Bioneers that hold in their hearts, minds, and intentions the power to change the world.

I have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to an incredible woman and leader. She is the Cofounder and Chief Relationship Officer at Bioneers, Nina Simons. Throughout her career, Nina has worked with nearly 1,000 diverse women leaders across disciplines, race, class, age, and orientation to cocreate mutual learning, trust, and leadership development. She co-edited Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart and authored Nature, Culture, and the Sacred: A Woman Listens For Leadership.

Being released in its second edition this June 2022, the first edition won Nautilus Gold Award in the categories of women, intersectionality, and social justice. Both books are being used to inspire and ignite individuals, circles, and even classrooms. She serves on the advisory council for Daughters For Earth and, in 2017, received the Goi Peace Award with her husband and partner, Kenny Ausubel, for pioneering work to promote nature-inspired innovations for restoring the Earth and human community. Past honorees included Bill Gates, James Lovelock, and even Deepak Chopra. Nina, that’s quite the intro but I felt like I had to get it all in there.

Thank you, Corinna. It sounds like you’re describing someone else to me.

As women, we learn to sell ourselves down in a way, not extolling the virtues quite enough, not prop ourselves up, and yet we will criticize men for doing the same and patting themselves on the back.

[bctt tweet=”As leaders, we have to value humility. We should know how to balance. ” username=””]

There’s also a virtuous side to it, which is I’ve learned to value humility and leaders. It’s always a balance. It’s true.

I feel like we need this second edition now, perhaps, more than many times. We just had the overturn of Roe versus Wade. This is an apparent walk back of Women’s Rights in ways that we are beginning to understand, reeling from a lot of those decisions to date. Some days, I’m not sure if we are in the midst of a revolution or a crisis of leadership, perhaps both. Tell me. Why did you decide to put forth this second edition? How does it differ from the first one?

What happened was that when the first one came out, my mother entered her end of life. It was a time that called me to bring all of myself to attending to her because it was obvious that’s where my heart led me. I wasn’t able to promote the book at all but in spite of that, it won these two awards. I started hearing from educators and women who were in study circles together. The educators were using the book in all kinds of leadership classes.

The women’s circles ranging from California to Europe were using the book as a study guide. I was gifted with the opportunity to update the book. What I decided to do was to create discussion guides and embodied practices. It was exciting for me because, in many ways, it united two bodies of work that have been major streams in my own leadership evolution. I was able to bring together all that I have been learning through Bioneers, as well as what I have been learning through doing immersive retreats with women over the last years or so. That’s why.

There were a few surprises for me as I paged through it. Some of it bordered on simply poetry. It’s causing me to stop, pause, think, and reflect. The questions you are asking at the end of each section are disruptive because I would have thought I understood something from an earlier space. I then got to a question and would be like, “What do I really think about this? What is relational leadership to me? How was that different than what I have been doing?”

“What were the mimics? Who were the people I was mimicking, the examples I was replicating in my leadership that I might not have even wanted to?” You just did it because it was how you grew up or it was what you got exposed to. It did cause me to question my early leadership, the people I chose, whether they knew it or not, as my mentors, and how I shifted and changed my perspective as time went on and as I learned from my feelings.

CMBB 98 Nina | Relational Leadership
Nature, Culture, and the Sacred: A Woman Listens For Leadership

I’m so glad to know that. Thank you for that feedback. I believe we are all filled with social conditioning, much of which goes unconscious and unseen by ourselves. Part of the purpose of the book is to offer a creative mirror to say the more authentically we can see and relate to ourselves in a congruent way and continue to cultivate ourselves towards becoming the leaders we believe in and want to be, the more we can shed that cultural conditioning. It means a lot to me because you are a very accomplished leader. I’m grateful that it stirred you in that way.

I have to be honest. I don’t think I’ve read that many books on leadership that were by women. Isn’t that interesting? I went to get my MBA. I went to Santa Clara University. I got my MBA from there, graduated top of my class, was selected for the Poets & Quants representative, best and brightest, and all this stuff. As I went through all the course material, there was quite often this moment where I would step and say, “This is wrong.” There was one, in particular, that was held up as the end all be all, called The Leadership Challenge. In that particular book, they propose this idea. There’s a wing of the university dedicated to it, very positive. It’s ingrained.

He says, “Leaders should want to struggle. If they don’t want to struggle, then they should not essentially be leaders.” I was like, “Let me think about this.” I don’t think that leaders want to struggle. I don’t think people want to struggle. If we are always looking at leadership challenges as something to struggle through, conquer, and surmount, then we are still stuck in this whole perspective of extractive principles and something that isn’t relational.

If somehow putting a leader above other people because, “If you don’t want to struggle, you are not a leader,” there’s so much judgment in that. It was an archaic principle. It didn’t make sense to me from the things I was learning from my world and life. When I pushed back on that particular piece, I was met with. This is the way it is.

I wanted to start the depth of our conversation about relational leadership on page 58 of your book if I can read this quote, “As human beings, we are built for relationship. Our young remained dependent far longer than most other creatures. Our neural systems and limbic brains are hardwired for empathy, compassion, and connection. We are a highly adaptable species. One of our finest adaptive strategies is us mimics.”

“Fortunately, we have an abundance of relational intelligence to learn from if only we can humbly accept its tutelage. The natural world is resplendent with symbiotic long-term reciprocal relationships between blossom and pollinator, moisture and mycelium, plants and herbivores. In nature, no one lives in isolation. The sense of balanced interdependence is palpable in any thriving ecosystem.” I want to go on but I will read the entire book if you let me.

[bctt tweet=”Leadership doesn’t require hardship.” username=””]

I’m so glad you feel that way. There are two things that what you are saying and reading prompts me to offer. Part of what prompted my inquiry into leadership was my own experience of being acknowledged as a leader and realizing I didn’t like it. I felt like I wanted to deflect it. I didn’t want to own the title. I knew that I was supposed to be flattered but in fact, I felt targeted in a way. I was uncomfortable with it. I thought, “If one of the things that I’ve learned from Bioneers is that we are all called to be leaders now, then what’s wrong with this picture? How might we be redefining and reinventing leadership so we can all wholeheartedly aspire to it?”

That’s what prompted me to do my first book called Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, which also includes the leadership of some men. Over the course of many years of convening groups of women leaders who were selected precisely because of their commitment, achievement, and devotional leadership, what I found was that every single group came together with that same disclaimer of, “I don’t consider myself a leader.”

A lot of what we did in those retreats was to unpack what are some of the definitions we’ve inherited about leadership and how they might not be serving us, and what leadership is that we all believe in for this time. Your example is a great one because one of the inquiries that I’ve had going on for a long time has to do with the relationship of leadership and sacrifice. At first, when I heard leaders have to be comfortable with sacrifice, I thought, “I don’t know if that’s true. I’m not sure that they necessarily require one another.”

The more that I’ve lived and experienced as a leader, the more that I’ve come to understand that you have to be willing to do some amount of sacrifice because life is always a juggling act of all the things we care about. Typically, if you are really committed to something, it involves at some point sacrificing something else to serve it well. I don’t think it requires hardship. I don’t think it requires what you are describing. There is far too little that said about the benefits of serving what you love and care most deeply about. There’s a virtuous side to this new definition of leadership, which is it’s more joyful, fulfilling, and integrated with my whole life. I love that. I want it for everyone.

To deepen this further, you write about your journey to discovering the kind of activist you are. I find myself reflecting on the same thing there because it’s defining yourself as an activist and felt at first perhaps duplicitous because you might not have been out there marching enough for doing the work that was physically visible on the outside as activism. This is something a lot of people experience.

I also want to point to something you shared on page 66 as you introduce us to the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, who I did not know but found myself wanting to applaud as I was reading the book. When he talks about the rush and pressure of modern life and how we are essentially living in a situation where, by putting all this pressure on ourselves, we are essentially assaulting ourselves and not doing the good that we want to be doing, essentially. That’s what I took away from it. Can you talk about how you discovered even this particular work?

CMBB 98 Nina | Relational Leadership
Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart

What your question wants me to point to is the archetypal underpinnings of the book, which suggests that we’ve all inherited, consciously or subconsciously, definitions of leadership and of achievement in the world that are very heavily influenced by a bias toward the masculine and against those human values that we associate with the “feminine.” Referring to the great psychologist Carl Jung, who suggests, “The feminine is what’s interior, and the masculine begins at the exterior.”

This is related to not only a gender bias culture but a racist culture, that part of White supremacy tells us that we should be striving for perfection and overachievement all the time. That’s simply not sustainable. It is biasing us toward an orientation towards productivity and what we value that’s all about the outer and doesn’t value the restorative, regenerative, and the value in sustainable agriculture of letting a field lay fallow for a time so that it can regenerate of everything in nature has cycles of productivity, rest, and receptivity.

As human beings who have inherited a culture that is both patriarchally biased, class-biased, capitalism biased, and races biased, we have all of those combined within us to orient us towards constantly doing. We’ve all heard the phrase, “I want to be a human being as much or more than I want to be a human doing.” We have a lot of programming to be a human doing. That’s what the Thomas Merton quote pointed to so beautifully.

I want to say how much I agree with you. Many of us add layers of doing to our lives without taking a moment to rest and reflect. We think that to be successful in the ladder climb, we need to put in those crazy long hours and follow Sheryl Sandberg’s perspective in Lean In, which is toxic. It doesn’t respect our unique values as people, women, and individuals. It’s almost as if we have to look busy to see our value or be busy. How do we break the cycle?

It’s a lifelong process. I find myself continuing to practice. I believe it’s deeply related to practices and rituals that help us reclaim our sense of inherent self-worth. It’s not how much of our to-do list we can cross off that creates our value. It’s who we are in the world, ourselves, our families, our community, and the land that supports us. Especially now in the midst of this pandemic, which part of its message to us is to slow down, appreciate life, and celebrate and value the gift that we are. I’m finding that it’s an ongoing practice. I realized that I reached a point where I was tired of giving an excuse for being late or not delivering something and that I was too busy.

I realized that some part of my ego got stroked by being so busy. I thought, “That’s not who I want to be in this world.” I’m starting to create more time and space in my life to value things that are not so externally driven. I have come to believe that parenting is one of the most profound acts of leadership and activism that anyone can do. How do we value that more? How do we recognize that we have to rest and replenish ourselves to show up in the best way on behalf of the world we love and play as part of it?

[bctt tweet=”Create more time and space in your life to value the things that are not so externally driven and to believe that parenting is one of the most profound acts of leadership and of activism that anyone can do.” username=””]

I need to dedicate some more space in my life to breathe and find myself like in my outdoor time when I’m also walking the dog and listening to a podcast. There are so many things we pile into one moment because it might be the only break we allow ourselves.

Multitasking is a blessing and a curse.

Now, we have our computers in our pockets all the time.

I love when I’m walking my dogs and having the practice of pouring my love into the Earth and asking her for forgiveness. Those things make me feel replenished at the end of the walk.

Let’s talk about what Wendell Berry characterized as solving for pattern. This is a subject I’ve discussed in various interviews in my time hosting the show, including when I connected with David Johnson on climate activism and Paul Hawken on regeneration. I positioned it as the unintended consequences, even when it seems those unintended consequences could easily have been seen if we had just taken the time to think something through.

CMBB 98 Nina | Relational Leadership
Relational Leadership: There is far too little that is said about the benefits of serving what you love and care most deeply about. It’s more joyful and fulfilling.

This is in response to that issue that, as you say on page 116, “An ideal elegant solution looks at a problem in relationship to the larger patterns within which it is embedded.” Let’s talk about that because I want people to walk away from this discussion with an understanding of what we mean by relational leadership.

Relational leadership, to me, has many aspects. One very pragmatic example that I would offer is the recognition that I came to some years ago that when I’m working with a team, whether in a for-profit, nonprofit environment or a circle if we put relationship before task, everything goes better. What I mean by that is when we have our staff meetings at Bioneers, we check in on a personal level because this time is challenging for all of us. We want to know health-wise how people are doing if they are suffering losses and if there are particular challenges because their kids are home from school. It’s taking in the whole person.

Before we talk about the to-do list, it’s understanding and appreciating what is the context that they are operating in. That’s one example of relational leadership. In terms of solving for patterns, one of the deepest lessons I’ve received from serving this social system of Bioneers all these years is that our ecological challenges, social challenges, political challenges, economic challenges, business challenges, and education are all part of one system.

One of the biggest systems errors that we humans tend to make is imagining that we and nature systems are somehow separate when nature made us. She is our mother in the most literal sense. We are products of nature. How do we shift that relationship so that we understand that we are never going to achieve climate justice without addressing racial equity, gender equity, and transforming how our political system works? They are all interconnected and not separate as our culture would have us imagine. Our culture tends to want to put us into neat little cubby holes. It’s that divide and conquers strategy.

Some of which have been appallingly effective towards equity and sustainability on how much of those movements have in common and yet, how unconnected they are. You mentioned Roe versus. Wade and the Supreme Court are reneging and reversal that constitutional right. What I’m aware of because I have a growing sensitivity about racial justice and how it plays out in our systems is that for low-income, women of color, and indigenous women, the issues around reproductive justice have been there for them for a much longer more obvious time than they have for those of us with White skin. That’s a reality.

It’s not an accident that amazing authors like Octavia Butler and Louise Erdrich wrote futuristic novels where they anticipated a future political scene very much like what we are living through now because of their lived experiences. For me, solving for a pattern means every time you look at a challenge, you look to see what it’s connected to in all of its various dimensions. You then see as Wendell Berry says, “What are the solutions that can create cascading benefits to many of those other systems because they do exist.” When we find them, they feel like magic but mostly, they are mimicking nature.

[bctt tweet=”We are never going to achieve climate justice without addressing racial and gender equity.” username=””]

Instead of a side effect or a byproduct, we end up with a benefit. There are too few of these particular cascading benefits that are at the center of even entrepreneurial efforts, especially when companies seek to simply drive down costs without taking into account the after-effect or when we seek to change something about a particular environment because we don’t like the pests we are seeing. For example, there has been spraying of pheromones to affect the brown apple moth in our area. I don’t know enough about it to understand what is going to happen to our ecosystem as a result of it but it feels wrong.

It’s because it feels wrong, I react and say, “Were spraying pheromones. What is the other effect of this going to be? How else is it going to impact my local environment? Is it going to affect other insects and species? Where is that going to land us in the realm of pests?” This particular moth might be replaced with something else. We can’t know what that next cascade is going to be, if it’s a negative cascade, until after we’ve taken that step to alter the environment in some way. A lot of the solutions we create as a result are short-sighted. It’s something that we need to think through more about the unintended consequences of our actions. You can have all the best intentions in the world and destroy an ecosystem.

We, humans, have a tendency to perpetuate patterns and do what has been done before. I live in Northern New Mexico, where we had an over 300,000-acre wildfire that was started by the Forest Service, doing a controlled burn, even after I got all my activist hackles up and had all these town meetings and town halls. Everyone came out from the community and said, “Don’t do controlled burns. That’s too dangerous. It’s too dry. We are in a 100-year drought.” They did it anyway. I never imagined that I would be pitted against the Forest Service but there you have it without considering the full context.

One of my favorite examples from a while back was a bank in Holland called Triodos Bank, which was very progressive and sustainability-oriented. They reserved a seat in their board room for nature. When they would have a decision on the table, they would take the time to consider what would the inflow and the impacts of that decision be on the natural world. That’s the thing we need to do.

The Law of Unintended Consequences is there. It’s real. It’s not going to go away because we think, “I need to get at these rare Earth minerals. I’m going to defrost Greenland or the plant to drill into the seabed.” There’s so little of our deep ocean world that we understand. It’s one of the few places that has been relatively untouched by humanity. My advocacy is for our oceans before our people, generally speaking, simply because without a living ocean, it’s as if the game is over. You could argue on both sides of that street.

I wonder what your thoughts are specifically since we’ve alluded to this topic a bit through our conversation about that intersection of social advocacy and climate activism. Some argue, “If you don’t put the planet first, we are done.” My thinking is that if we don’t solve some of the social challenges we confront, then people in faraway places that we can’t see in our backyards are going to trash their local environment because they see no other way and no hope. Out of sight out of mind is also a problem of humanity, “If I’m not looking at it, it’s not there.” How do you see us building towards a future where we can solve both of these problems at the same time or attack both of them with the same vigor?

CMBB 98 Nina | Relational Leadership
Relational Leadership: We’re seeing some of the worst manifestations of a capitalist culture run amuck where there are corporations more in control of our political future right now. There is a real lack of leadership.

The thing that has me most daunted at this moment is our political log jam. The reality is that there are solutions that already exist and that a Green New Deal is a brilliant idea. There are all facets to it that would support economic repair and job creation while at the same time creating green infrastructure, which we so badly need. We need to have massive investments in biomimicry.

There are technological solutions that would decrease our energy use by 50% or 60% like that if only we had the political will to say, “This is a priority. This is what we need to be spending money on.” It’s a false either/or conundrum. We are seeing some of the worst manifestations of a capitalist culture run amok where there are corporations more in control of our political future now, and there is a lack of leadership.

We are entering a time of collaborative leadership, and that it’s time for the grassroots to rise up, speak loudly, and take the risk of demanding change because it is upon us. The truth of climate catastrophe has never been more obvious. We have to act now not to resolve it but to mitigate its impact of it. It’s what Bioneers is all about. We have been lifting up solutions and trying to awaken people to the climate challenges since 1990. It’s very humbling to have been doing that so long and recognize how badly we underestimated the forces we were aligned against and the power they wielded. There are beautiful examples all over the world of not only sustainable but regenerative solutions.

It’s interesting to me that when I began to learn about the value of understanding gender in terms of our human wholeness, what I was learning at the same time was that in Paul Hawken’s Drawdown book, if you combine education, leadership, sovereignty, and the reproductive rights of women altogether, they are in the top 2 or 3 regenerative solutions. Partly, it’s about women in gender and form. Also, we can transform our systems and institutions if all leaders begin to lead from a more balanced place, integrate regardless of what gender body they may be in, and integrate more relational intelligence and collaborative leadership into their practices.

I keep getting more to think about as I read your book. I want to know who designed this cover because it’s an art piece in itself.

The cover was made by combining a print by a renowned Japanese artist and activist named Mayumi Oda. Mayumi has done an incredible body of work, both activist and exquisite spiritual work, detailing goddesses from almost every culture. When I saw that she was a woman riding a bicycle with Ganesha on her handlebars, who is the God of removing obstacles, I thought, “That’s what I want on the cover of my book.” I have a colleague named Sharon Zetter, who is also a book designer. She helped design the cover around that image. It is beautiful. I love it. Thank you.

[bctt tweet=”Conflict is a relationship’s way of inviting you to go deeper. That’s a beautiful way to reorient what happens when a conflict arises.” username=””]

I was reading it when a couple of friends came over with their two daughters. They loved the cover and started asking me about the nipple. Exposing a breast in this world is something that has fallen under some crazy puritanical beliefs and even gets you censored on places like Instagram or Facebook for having dared to show a nipple when men can go shirtless all day long. I felt there was power in that image just from that alone. As a mom of two boys, I breastfed in the past. I was surprised at how many people would tell me to cover up when I was nursing.

We have a long way to come, particularly in this country, because we have what you referred to as that log jam. It’s also a log jam in our minds. We are one of the least open developed countries so far as our thinking about solutions and perceiving women to be in positions of leadership. I worked for a long time for a Norwegian company. The CEO often said to me that 50% of CEOs in Norway are women. We don’t have that culture here. We don’t automatically think of women as leaders. I find that deplorable but it plays out in the highest office in our land. We were more likely to vote into office a charlatan who has a TV show over a woman with all the experience in the world.

It’s a crazy race through space. As I like to say, we are all on this planet and in this world together. One day, my hope for all people here is that we will figure it out, treat people equally, won’t have to be an ask and that we won’t have to own a hashtag like BLM or any of it because it won’t need to be talked about anymore. We will all be on that plane. Your book is something that will help women step into leadership and own their voice in a way that matters to them, and their communities grow through collaboration.

Too often, women step on one another as they climb, replicating the male leadership perspectives they’ve seen around them. I am a huge proponent of collaboration, so I encourage people to think about leadership in that way, as a collaborative effort to read your book. I may even share a quote or two on my social spaces and follow up on this talk. Nina, I want to thank you so much for your time, for this important work, for everything you do with Bioneers, and for being a pure joy. I’m glad to call you a friend.

Thank you, Corinna. You too. I’m honored. The book is also available as an audiobook for those who like to listen to their books. It’s good to know.

Before we wrap, if there’s a question that I haven’t asked that you wish I had, you can ask and answer it. If you would like to provide some parting thoughts for the audience, you have the floor.

CMBB 98 Nina | Relational Leadership
Relational Leadership: All leaders should begin to lead from a more balanced place and really integrate more relational intelligence and collaborative leadership into their practices.

What we haven’t talked about so much is the value of vulnerability, not knowing, and turning into conflict as leaders. Those are some of the things that I’m finding important in my own life and learning. Part of our conditioning says, “It’s bad to not know the answer or to reveal your vulnerability.” It’s one of our strengths, not only as women but all people, to reveal that we can’t all know all the answers. It’s one of the toxic things about the model we’ve inherited. Vulnerability and transparency can be a real strengths. I wanted to name that. Similarly, as women, we tend to avoid conflict.

There’s a quote by Malidoma Somé who says, “Conflict is a relationship’s way of inviting you to go deeper.” I thought, “That’s a beautiful way to reorient around what happens when a conflict arises.” What I love about this new definition of leadership that I’m working with is that I feel like I’m cultivating myself always to become who my soul was born to be. That’s a very fulfilling process and one that I wish for everyone.

Rather than leadership being an end goal or an endpoint, I hope that I’m cultivating my own leadership until the day I die. For me, it’s a way of living my life fully. I want to invite everyone reading to do the same because the Earth needs all of us fully engaged in all the ways we can now. That means serving what we most love and care about most deeply. Thank you, Corinna, for the gift of this conversation and this time together. I admire, respect, and appreciate what you are doing with the show. It’s so intelligent and dimensional. Thank you.

Thank you for the compliment. It’s high praise, especially coming from you. What I will say overall is to let that journey not be a struggle. Perhaps I’m speaking out against the Barry Posners of the world. There’s a better way to lead, and it shouldn’t feel like that. If that’s our language to describe what leadership is, I don’t think it’s something I would want either.

Emma Goldman said, “The revolution must have dancing.” I love that. Let’s dance our way into a new world.

There’s a song about dancing into love. That’s what we are doing when we are speaking for the Earth and of the Earth. We need to come at it with love. If we can make it a stakeholder at the table, just like that board center meeting, then great. Consider the love of the planet first.

Thank you, Nina, for writing this beautiful book and for being a part of this show. As we close this show, I invite you all to think deeply about the leader that you are and the leader you want to become. It might be a new path forward for you, a new career or even simply a new style of being within your community or in your home with your family for the better.

To Nina’s point, we are all leaders if we choose to be. Our social and environmental crises are all part of the same system. We must be fully engaged to meet this time that we are all lucky enough to be a part of. To Nina’s point, gender is not binary. We are men, women, and everything in between but as women nowadays, we have a different empathic window into the injustices of the world, and in many cases, because we received the brunt of them as with the Roe V Wade overturned. It’s time to tap into that reality, learn from it, and grow. If you enjoyed this show, please share this episode. You can send the link over messenger, email or even post about it on your social channels. Share your thoughts and invite others to share theirs as well.

You might even consider picking up a copy of Nature, Culture, and the Sacred for yourself and gifting a copy to a friend. That’s what I plan to do. If you have questions for Nina or me, I hope you will send me a note at or better yet, leave me a voicemail. Go to and click on that microphone icon in the bottom right-hand corner.

You can leave me a message with your thoughts. Who knows? It could even become part of a future episode if you allow it. Thank you now and all ways for being a part of this pod and this community because together, we can do so much more. We can care more, and we can be better. We can even break free of any feelings of powerlessness and regenerate social systems and our beloved Earth. I’m here, and I’m ready. Are you?  


Important Links


  • Nina Simons

    NINA SIMONS is Co-founder and Chief Relationship Officer at Bioneers and leads its Everywoman’s Leadership program. Throughout her career spanning the nonprofit, social entrepreneurship, corporate, and philanthropic sectors, Nina has worked with nearly a thousand diverse women leaders across disciplines, race, class, age, and orientation to create conditions for mutual learning, trust, and leadership development.

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