Ginny Whitelaw

Ginny Jiko Whitelaw is the President of the Institute for Zen Leadership. She began her Zen training under Tanouye Roshi and Hosokawa Roshi, and continued under Greene Roshi, from whom she received inka. Whitelaw Roshi was ordained as a priest in the Chozen-ji line of Rinzai Zen in 1996.

Dr. Whitelaw is also the President of Focus Leadership, and has, for nearly 20 years, developed leaders at such companies as Novartis, Dell, Merck, T. Rowe Price, Sprint, Mercer, Ascension Health, and JNJ. She has authored 4 books including, The Zen Leader, and co-developed the FEBI® – a personality assessment linking mind and body. Formerly the Deputy Manager for integrating NASA’s Space Station Program, she holds a doctorate in biophysics, as well as a 5th degree black belt in Aikido.

From Ginny:

The more complex and difficult the world becomes, the more urgent is the need for whole leaders.  Yet for leaders to be truly whole, they need to see past the boundaries of ego, and ordinary leadership development is not up to that task. The Institute for Zen Leadership is. For more than 20 years, I have brought practical Zen elements to corporate leadership programs all over the world. But what’s been missing from these efforts is the depth that’s possible in a self-selected immersion experience.  I founded IZL in order to provide this depth of leadership development, fostering a community of leaders who are extraordinarily resilient, agile and wise, and who become a collective force of awakened leadership in the world.

The Institute for Zen Leadership

Disruption. Complexity. Burnout. Leaders trying to do their best work in these exponential times can be shaken to their core as it exposes every weakness, and challenges every assumption about how things work or who they are. We combine the tools of Zen training with world-class leadership development to help leaders radically reframe not only the challenges they face, but also the self that faces them. We go beyond mindfulness to show leaders how to authentically embody more powerful, energized and agile leadership. We help leaders move beyond fear and expand into their abundant potential.

We offer programs at the International Zen Dojo of Wisconsin’s training center in Spring Green, as well as other locations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Visit to learn more about upcoming programs and certification pathways.

We also offer workshops, team accelerator programs and specialized programs in healthcare leadership that we can bring to you. Contact with your request.

The Zen Leader {autographed copy}

This book grew out of my own experience of how we, as leaders, can get everything backwards, from reacting to problems to thinking change is something “out there” we have to manage. And that backwards thinking keeps us stuck to a self that struggles to keep up.  In this book, I share with you how you can flip your leadership around: start using pressure rather than it using you. Experience these 10 “flips” that move you from barely managing to leading fearlessly.


The Zen Leader blog

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