Coaching Statement

Tenneson Woolf, MOB

Coaching Statement

Tenneson’s specialties are developing authentic leadership and leading change. He is committed to supporting leaders as they journey through times of chaos and change as well as the personal transformations that allow them to unleash their true potential as leaders. Change is always an inner and outer journey; true leadership requires that we tend well to both realms.

These Times

We live in an age of much uncertainty. It requires people in positions of leadership to engage strategic and often difficult questions in order to ensure their visions and plans move in positive and life-giving directions. It requires new levels of collaboration, leader-full organizations, and a leadership style that taps the wisdom within and beyond organizational boundaries. This style of leadership requires high degrees of self-knowledge, personal mastery, social and emotional intelligence, systems thinking capacity, the ability to deal with ambiguity and rapid change, as well as a commitment to reflective learning.

Coaching Approach

Tenneson works with individuals, teams, and communities to develop these capacities in alignment with their personal learning goals, their personal vision, and their business needs. Tenneson is committed to helping leaders develop in ways that play to their strengths and brings to life their innate leadership capacity.

Tenneson has 20 years experience in the fields of organizational development, leadership development, change leadership, and adult learning. His work encourages people to take responsibility for what they care most about, resulting in stronger organizations, communities and individuals.


Master of Organizational Behavior, Brigham Young University
Bachelor of Science (Psychology), Brigham Young University

Extensive ongoing education and mentoring in the areas of leadership, change, hosting strategic conversations and Organizational Development.


Instructor, Practitioner – The Art of Hosting and Convening Meaningful Conversations

Steward – The World Café

The Berkana Institute —

The Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community
PeerSpirit —

Areas of Special Focus

Tenneson’s specialty areas are designing and hosting strategic conversations, as well as change leadership. As a leader in these uncertain times the first conversation you need to host is with yourself. Coaching provides the reflective space and time to develop the self mastery needed to lead with clarity, authenticity and courage. Leadership always happens within a network of relationships. Knowing how to engage the strategic conversations the organization needs to address is essential for determining the wise actions and strategic bets that will lead toward a possible and positive future. Tenneson skillfully designs these types of processes in partnership with leaders and leadership teams. He brings with him to all situations, including the coaching relationship, a deep attention to and care for process and a commitment to creating environments where authentic leadership and wise action can emerge. Whole Scale Change, Circle Dialogue, Open Space Technology, World Café, Organizational Learning, and Living Systems Theory are integral to his work because he believes these practices and models help unleash human potential and possibility.
Questions That Guide Me

What if the solutions for our future are hidden in our collective intelligence and wisdom?
How do I create authentic involvement that leads to real implementation?
What practices of leadership create the conditions for real learning to take place?
What invites individuals and groups to flourish?

What are the most simple ways to support shift?Career History

I worked for over a decade with Margaret Wheatley and the The Berkana Institute. This time included focus on creating a global leadership initiative, From the Four Directions, that linked people around the world in conversations and questions about innovative leadership for our times.

My career also includes three years co-leading the William G. Dyer Institute for Leading Organizational Change. There I worked with MBA students, faculty, and alumni on innovative change models.

My current work is dedicated to developing leadership in corporations, communities and not-for-profit organizations. My focus is to support pioneering leaders who are dedicated to creating and exploring forms of leadership and organizations that will lead us into the future. I work extensively with the Berkana Institute, founded by Margaret Wheatley. I teach, consult, and coach using the models of leadership represented by Berkana and within the global community of practice called The Art of Hosting.

Representative Clients

Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education
Streetwork (Supporting Homeless Youth)
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community
Navajo Heath Services
Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Theatre and Media Department, Brigham Young University
OBHR MBA Class of 2006 Community of Practice
Louisville Metro United Way

Appreciations, Feedback

“The experience we have had with the Art of Hosting in Louisville has been important and wonderful in so many ways. Art of Hosting offers a systematic approach to changing organizations and communities. And it is so much more–during the Art of Hosting we lived the changes we want for our organizations and communities. All of us who participated have been transformed by the experience. And at this point–less than a month out–we can only guess at the transformations we will ignite. Art of Hosting is the “how” for Margaret Mead’s axiom: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Director, Metro United Way, Louisville“The Art of Hosting is dedicated to helping people and groups working with both heart and intention realize bold shifts in thinking, being and doing by asking questions. The hosting movement invites conversations among diverse people which produce breakthroughs in understanding-of people and systems, problems and opportunities. Another aspect of hosting relates to the practice of harvesting-connecting the fruits of one event or interaction to some future work- through harvesting the essence of conversations, making that visible, and paying it forward. I went to learn how we can be better “hosts” to groups we interact with. I came away with an appreciation of how these methods could be applicable to understanding the future of our church in the world. And I came away with many questions to ‘host’.”
– Episcopal Church leader, New York City.

“I found my time at Art of Hosting with all of you to be life changing in many ways. I have a much deeper sense of what I want to be doing and what I am called to do. Thank you for allowing that space to happen for me.”
– Independent Consultant, Boston

“The conversation is moving along well in the department. Last semester was filled with hard and rewarding meetings. Thank you so very much for your part (huge!) in opening up and focusing the conversations. Thanks for the trust you developed. Thank you for the principles you taught and modeled. I want to be more like you when I grow up!”
— Director, Theatre and Media Arts Department, Provo

“Masterful. Mindful. Compassionate. Teacher.”
— Consultant, Art of Hosting Participant, Florida

“What an incredible time we had in Greensboro! Your IDWM Executive Committee was overwhelmed with your openness to allowing God’s spirit to so fully permeate everything that happened during our Cabinet and Staff Fellowship meetings. From the level of energy displayed, the 30+ marketplace topics lifted up, exploring safe spaces in World Café, developing deeper relationships with one another, finding our passions, committing to furthering God’s work through us in our churches and communities, and finding and dwelling in our heart centers – this was one extraordinary gathering. Disciples Women Cabinet meeting 2009 will go down in the annals of our history as a birthing place for new and vital ministry and it couldn’t have happened without you!”
— Adonna Bowman, Executive Director, International Disciples Women’s Ministries
“Thanks so much for being such a fierce and gentle defender of beauty – I love it!”
— Michael Jones, Pianist, Author
“I’ve seen weavers take the state at other big conferences and always had a feeling of “blah, whatever” for their schtick. The two of you are so natural and real — you were really absorbing.”
— IONS Conference Participant

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