About Carol Burbank, Ph.D.

My journey into the leadership world has been as a coach, a teacher/trainer and a scholar.

In addition to my writing, I coach individuals to support greater personal and professional strength as leaders, in whatever context they’re working. This includes working as a writing coach, career coach, and goal-keeper for people struggling to live a full and satisfying life, and, as Gandhi famously  is said to have said, “be the change they want to see in the world.”

I began my study of change through my scholarly and ethnographic research in Performance Studies, earning an interdisciplinary Ph.D. that focused on the ways individual shifts, group dynamics and cultural shifts are related in the performance of core stories, relationships and transformational development. I believe it’s up to leadership researchers and development specialists to ask the hard questions about change, finding ways to ground our research in practice, in sustainable learning and a generous but rigorous approach to solutions that honor the high stakes we face in today’s formidable challenges.

My coaching, research and training strategies are also informed by my decade-long study of traditional Hawaiian culture as well as years of experience as a mentor and healer in Hawaiian energetics, which understands a person’s energy and life as a system of stories, habits and situations that must be taken as a whole to support healthy change. As leaders, we begin with ourselves, and grow with our communities as we learn forward. Choosing a vision and story that will inspire us to greater connection and impact.

I also offer trainings for groups and organizations, most recently in Leading through Archetypes and Roles, but also in such topics as Shapeshifter Leadership (Developing Flexible Authenticity for Innovation) and Effective Communication through the power of Leadership Story. I’m interested in building alliances with creative educational, non-profit and social change organizations, so we can create innovative, community-strengthening solutions for the challenges we face now.

My Hawaiian teacher often says, “With this work, anything is possible,” and I have found that to be true — with a clear focus and the willingness to do our part in the longterm process of growing, healing and collaborating.

I teach educational leadership in the Educational Leadership Ph.D. at the University of New England. I have been a teacher of leadership at Union Institute and University’s Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, and in China through UNVA’s MBA program. I also currently teach in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s MA program.

In addition to this blog, my leadership work includes:

“Revolution from Within: Leadership Blockbusters and their Implications for Leadership Theory and Professional Development for Girls and Young Women.” Women and Leadership: Threading the Needle for Applied Theory. Jossey-Bass. In Press. June, 2016.

Storyweaving Playbook One: Answer the Call to Adventure. Storyweaving Press, 2015.
A self-paced exploration of your goals and dreams that energizes your professional and personal journey. Paperback available directly from me, with an option for a dynamic online webinar to accompany and motivate your process. Ebook available from Amazon.com.

“Malala Yousafzai: The Power and Paradox of International Celebrity.” Global Women’s Leadership,  Berrett-Koehler (IAP). October, 2014.

Guideposts for Success in 2014: Recent Literature on Positive Youth Development, Strengths-Based Approaches, and the Power of Connection.” with George Tilson, Ph.D. Prepared for the Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, D.C., March, 2014.

“Review: The Fall of the Alphas (Ardi, St. Martin’s Press, 2013).” Integral Leadership Review, April, 2014.

“Review: Global Business Leadership, 2nd Ed. (Wibbeke and McArthur, Routledge, 2014). Integral Leadership Review, February, 2014.

“Leadership Is a Lived Story: A Call for Radical Embodiment and Soul Resilience in Transformational Leadership Development.” Integral Leadership Review. 2013. http://integralleadershipreview.com/8586-leadership-is-a-lived-story-a-call-for-radical-embodiment-and-soul-resilience-in-transformational-leadership-development/

“Shapeshifter Leadership.” Transformational Thinking for 21st Century Leadership. Jossey-Bass. 2011. Nominated for International Leadership Association, Best Leadership Book Award, 2014.

“Green Business Leadership.” Business Leadership Review. December, 2011.

Contact me for more information, or explore my work on my website, www.storyweaving.com.



  1. Hi there. Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. It sounds like you have a wonderful challenging but rewarding profession. We need better leaders—- all over the world.


    1. Thanks! It’s great the way you’re thinking about leadership as well. I believe so many of us have to consider what it means, to us, and how we see it percolating around in the world! The key is to pay attention — then we can stand up in our truth, preventing and solving more problems by being leaders ourselves, however we’re called to it!


  2. Hi Carol – and tanks for visiting MaturitasCafe! I am always glad to “meet” others who are interested in leadership that serves our communities and our world. I enjoyed looking around at your posts… I’ll be back!


    1. Back at you! It’s so important to pay attention to issues of community and leadership. Otherwise, how can we measure the effectiveness of a leader? It’s all about charisma, then.


  3. Hi Carol! Thanks for your comments on my recent post. I like your idea above of “flexible authenticity”. I had a wise teacher once who said if you adjust your style 5%, the other person feels it 50%. You have to be yourself … but you also have to account for the other person.


    1. A great statistic! 5% — it’s not that much is it!?


      1. Exactly! Just a little bit that can mean a great deal.


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