Leadership Roundtable

With Marlene Chism

The Leadership Roundtable is not a workshop, not a lecture, and not a “training” program. Instead, the Leadership Roundtable is a hybrid model of executive education, coaching and conversation, designed to provoke insight, facilitate discussion, and accelerate leadership learning.

Each series consists of one topic, and three 90-minute loosely structured Zoom sessions with opportunities for sharing insights, getting peer support and requesting on-the spot coaching.

The virtual Leadership Roundtable is designed to create an intentional environment of intimacy, trust, and engagement as a unique solution for leadership enrichment and education.

Call 417.831.1799 or email marlene@marlenechism.com to learn more!


Lack of accountability, workplace drama, inconsistencies, and ineffective leadership are all rooted in a lack of clarity. When it comes to performance and behavior, people do what they do because it works. If you’ve told ‘em a thousand times, but nothing changes, it’s because on some level there is a lack of leadership clarity. The one with clarity navigates the ship.


Unhealthy workplace relationships create unhealthy organizations. High-conflict employees result in absenteeism and turnover. Unapproachable bosses, board members, or colleagues contribute to unnecessary stress, avoidance, and costly mistakes. Relationships are a resource for business growth or the reason for costly mistakes. Healthy relationships is good for business.


Do people really fear change? People change all the time. They get married, get divorced, change jobs and move. What people really resist is uncertainty, overwhelm, and absence of choice. As a leader, your effectiveness increases when you know how to dial up or dial down certainty to navigate change with more ease and fluidity.


Every behavior is either an expression of power or an expression of powerlessness. Outward expression always mirrors inner experience. Complaining, blaming, and neediness is always an expression of powerlessness. If you are a leader and you want to shift the culture from a victim mindset to an empowered state, or if you simply want to expand your own sense of power, this roundtable is for you.

Invisible Forces

An invisible virus called COVID-19 disrupted the entire world. We couldn’t see it so many didn’t believe it existed, until they experienced the visible effects. Invisible elements eventually manifest in physical form to shape culture as well as our personal lives. In this roundtable we talk about the invisible forces that leaders can use to shape culture and transform lives.


All of us have behaviors, mannerisms, and habits that offend others. We notice wrong behavior of other people, but rarely look at how we might also have some blind spots. As leaders, we have to become an example of consciously creating. We do this by being authentic, yet balancing authenticity with emotional control, and radical listening.


When accountability is used to force compliance, people tend to skew the number, hide information, and avoid seeing the truth. When you talk about creating a culture of accountability do people roll their eyes? Or do they tense up? It doesn’t have to be this way.

What if you could create a culture where employees crave feedback and willingly course-correct without being reprimanded?

Release Resistance

Resistance shows up in many ways, from complaining, arguing, and procrastinating. Every leader eventually has to deal with a resistant employee, but even avoiding a difficult performance conversation is a sign of internal resistance. Resistance is a huge barrier to forward movement, growth, and productivity.


Boundaries can either work for you or against you. When boundaries work for you, people respect your time and space, and your relationships are symbiotic. When boundaries work against you it’s either because you don’t know how to set a boundary or the boundaries you set have limited your growth and possibilities.

People say change is hard. It is, but it is much more achievable when you have Marlene Chism as your coach and mentor to guide you through the process. I was lucky to have Marlene as an executive coach during a period of time where I needed to change my leadership style. I learned a lot from her on dealing with leadership challenges, building a high-performing team, and providing a vision to guide and unify my teams. Once Marlene helped me identify leadership areas to work on, she was tireless in making sure those new habits stuck. I attribute a lot of my success in navigating a difficult period in my career to Marlene.

Heather Joyner

Assistant 911 Director, Franklin County Emergency Communications