Leading With Integrity

A Personal & Professional Development Retreat for Leaders in Veterinary Medicine

April 5-8, 2018

Veterinary medicine is a complex enterprise characterized by rapid and ongoing change. Leaders are needed who can act with integrity and bring their hearts and minds into that demanding conversation called leadership.


Frequent questions that consume leaders are ‘what’ needs to be accomplished, ‘how’ can it be done and what skills do I need to lead effectively? Rarely, is the question of ‘who’ am I as a leader explored. This retreat is carefully designed to help leaders in veterinary medicine answer the ‘who’ question. It is based on the belief that effective leadership flows from the identity and integrity of the individual.

Retreat Design

Retreat activities are guided by the Circle of Trust® approach utilized by the Center for Courage and Renewal that are based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the concept of leader formation. It provides a focused, disciplined and trustworthy space to reflect on the way our character affects how we relate to the tasks of leadership and to our colleagues, organizations and communities. Working in large and small groups and in solitude, participants will reflect on leadership and life questions using personal stories, leadership experiences, stories from diverse wisdom traditions and other literature.

Retreat Details

This retreat gave me the opportunity to literally breathe deeply and to reflect and connect to myself.

Leaving me wanting more.

Thrilled to see this type of content being offered to the veterinary profession. It’s long overdue from my perspective.

It allowed me the opportunity to better understand and appreciate my natural gifts - the ones I was born with and had forgotten existed.

I appreciated the opportunity to practice new skills that will help me be a better leader and supporter of my team.

I learned valuable skills including how to be a better listener and ask open-ended questions to help others discover their own answers/solutions.

This retreat allowed me to get in touch with my thoughts by allowing time for guided reflection and helped me map out my priorities. I was able to network with an impactful, genuine, thoughtful group of veterinarians as we strive to be better leaders, communicators, and colleagues.

I learned a lot about what it means to be a leader, conscientious communicator, and empathetic listener.

The retreat very helpful in my growth as a leader. I valued its focus on who I am as a leader and what I bring to leadership, rather than focusing only on leadership strategies and why we lead. This deeper focus has the potential for making significant and lasting change.

Retreat Participants Will:

• Explore how to engage in their leadership roles from a deep sense of identity and integrity.
• Understand their gifts and limits and how these inform who they are as a leader.
• Learn how to listen deeply, ask open, honest questions and build more trustworthy relationships and spaces.
• Slow down and reflect on questions of meaning and purpose in their work and life.
• Participate in a meaningful connection with others that honors differences.
• Consider what it means to be authentic in life and leadership.

Darcy Shaw, DVM, MVSc, MBA, Diplomate ACVIM

Darcy H. Shaw is a recently retired and adjunct professor of small animal internal medicine in the Dept. of Companion Animals, Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Over his 30 plus years as a veterinarian, Darcy has served as a clinician, educator and administrator and held leadership positions such as Teaching Hospital Director, Department Chair and Associate Dean of Professional Services. He is a Past President (2000-2001) of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and is a board member of the Veterinary Leadership Institute.

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Penny R. Williamson, ScD, FAACH

Penny R. Williamson is an internationally recognized facilitator, educator, and coach for leaders and organizations in health care. She is a founding facilitator and mentor for the Center for Courage & Renewal and Associate Professor of Medicine (part-time) at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Since 1998, Penny has led Courage to Lead, a national leadership development program for leaders in health care and other serving professions.

Penny and her husband, architecture and railroad historian Jim Dilts, live in Baltimore, Maryland.  They have three grown children.  Penny’s loves include meditation, yoga, cooking, dancing, reading, art, kayaking, travel, and hiking.

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