Our Journeys Shape Us
and How We Experience and
Engage with the World
A little about my life journey…
My first hero and role model in life was Margaret Mead. I loved that she was a scientist and academic, and her independence and fascination with cultural anthropology mirrored my own. I went to the School for International Training in Vermont for my undergrad degree and ended up on an internship with the State Department in Morocco.
That led to a decade of traveling the world and discovering the magnificent complexity of this planet and its peoples. So much beauty, so much unexpected kindness, people who were not family became family. I picked fruit in southern France, I hid my western feminist mentality under a Djellaba in Morocco, drank gin and tonics beside the Ambassador's pool, and drove on the dirt roads near Lake Atitlan. I learned Spanish in Cuernavaca, was squished by a bus north of Rio, took on the rhythm of the waves, sang, and fell in love in Samoa, and I worked with young women on self-esteem in Tonga. I sweated through my nights near Borobudur temple in Indonesia. I sang New York New York in a bar in Rome. And I loved every minute of it.
Me with Ambassador in Morocco, 1983
AND I saw many challenges related to poverty, abuses of power, lack of access to education, and oppression of women and indigenous people. I was working with International Development Agencies and NGO’s, but I felt helpless in the face of these challenges, in cultures and countries that were not my own. So I came home, and did what was expected of me. I did a couple more degrees (MS in Applied Economics, MBA in Finance) and took a job in international banking. But there was no heart for me in that work, and nothing that connected to my values.
I co-founded an organization called Global Citizens Network, and began work in community leadership development. This marked an amazing period of growth and opportunity. Not only was I able to do work that felt close to my heart, but I also gained direct exposure to the leadership field. I soon found myself working in communities all across Minnesota, co-leading programs for new immigrant communities, as well as facilitating a community leadership program for indigenous reservation communities across the state. That led to another project providing leadership development to indigenous women from across the world – Aboriginal, Maori, Maasai, as well as North, Central and South American indigenous groups.
Co-founded Global Citizens Network
I grew deeply interested in leadership development, and decided it was time to allow myself to go back and complete my Ph.D. in Leadership and Cultural Systems. By now I was in leadership roles myself, and working in corporate as well as non-profit settings. I worked for an International HR Consulting Firm doing Leadership Training and Assessment work, I ran Global Leadership Academies for a Fortune 15 company, and ran Executive Coaching for a Fortune 30 company.
Working with Indigenous Women
Global Corporate Leadership Academies
When my children were born and I needed to reduce travel, I took a wonderful role as head of Education at the Center for Spirituality and Healing (University of Minnesota). I had long been fascinated with integrative healing modalities, and spent a wonderful few years overseeing work in Mindfulness, Health and Wellbeing Coaching, Culturally-Based Healing Traditions, Nature-Based Therapeutics, Arts and Healing, and other groundbreaking approaches to healing and wellbeing.
Social Change Processes
Center for Spirituality and Healing
From these adventures and experiences
I learned to be a boundary spanner and cross-cultural collaborator, with my work spanning the State Department, US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, foundations and non-profits working in community development, global consulting firms, and leadership and executive development functions in Fortune 100 companies. During this time I explored the 3 great (professional) loves of my life – leadership development and coaching, integrative health and wellbeing, and culturally-based wisdom traditions. I became actively engaged in how to integrate these three primary focus areas to better support Leaders, reduce the suffering I saw in corporate and organizational life, and bring the wisdom traditions I had been fortunate to experience into my work.
The global pandemic
When the multiple crises hit (global pandemic, political and racial unrest, increasing climate instability, etc.) I found myself mired in a quicksand of emerging pandemic data, a single parent striving to protect my children from things we did not yet understand. I watched my beloved city of Minneapolis burn following the George Floyd murder, was caught in tides of fear and despair as I watch my father contract COVID and pass away. I was exhausted by the impossible task of running an increasingly busy Executive Coaching function at a Fortune 30 company while simultaneously serving as on-site teacher, fulltime cook and cleaner-upper for my 2nd grade twins when their school went virtual. No matter how hard I worked or how smart I was, I could not handle all the things coming at me. The resulting stress and burnout left me questioning myself, and unable to see a way forward.
George Floyd Square during the Pandemic
I spent 2023 finding my way forward. I rebuilt my inner operating system so that it was less dependent on the outer world being acceptable on my terms, and more dependent on my ability to live in my own center with access to my inherent joy, health and wellbeing. I adjusted my discernment and decision-making to rely less on my data-gathering and personal analytical abilities, and more on accessing insight and wisdom.
I leaned into the 5Rs. I let myself rest. Rest first, then Restore myself by any means necessary. From there I was able to Reclaim both who I was and who I am now, after this experience. Finally, I Renewed my vision for myself and Recommitted to my participation in this world, just as it is. I let myself feel the vulnerability of what I went through, and I invited my full self back to the table.
My work now integrates my 3 life passions (leadership, integrative healing, and culturally-based wisdom traditions) along with deep learnings from the multi-layered crises of 2019-2023.
I COACH AND TEACH INDIVIDUAL LEADERS WHO:
Are seeking greater meaning, purpose, or calling in their work
Are attentive to the being aspects of leadership, not just the doing
Want to step into their own wisdom, and access greater clarity and insight as they navigate complexity
May be struggling with burnout or wellbeing challenges
Want to develop new levels of emotional and transformational intelligence, and learn to lead in new or different ways
Are seriously considering their legacy and ultimate contribution as leaders.
I ALSO WORK WITH THEIR ORGANIZATIONS:
Designing and Delivering Leadership and Executive Coaching
Designing Custom Leadership and Competency Models
Providing Assessments and Assessment Strategy
Offering Coaching Supervision and Mentorship
Supporting Leader and Organizational Resilience and Wellbeing
Delivering specialty programs and coaching in Authentic Leadership, Leadership Presence, Emotional and Social Intelligence, Renewal of Purpose and Meaning, and Developing Your Leadership Brand
Dr. Wilcox is an executive coach and leadership development expert with over 25 years of experience shaping leadership and executive coaching programs for the United Nations and other large NGO’s, numerous Fortune 100 companies, and 39 Cities, 6 Foundations, and 9 Tribal Communities. Dr. Wilcox has worked with organizations to customize their leadership models and strategies, build and implement leadership development programs, and provide executive coaching, Directors through C-level, as well as leading global teams in the Learning & Development and Talent space.
Bachelor of International Studies (BIS),
The School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT
Master of Science (MS), Applied Economics , University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD),
Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, OH
“Cindy has clear and strong views on leadership and what our leaders need, and her passion is contagious. I am always energized when I listen to her viewpoints and ideas. She is articulate and her ability influence others is a definite strength.”
VP/Global Head of Talent, Learning & OD