Susanna Maida, PhD

Looking back over the arc of my adult life, the consistent thread of my work has been supporting the full expression of the human spirit. I have an abiding passion for helping people call forth their greatest gifts, align them with their deepest purpose, and offer them in service to making their most meaningful contribution.

Through this, I help good leaders become great, and great leaders become extraordinary. I also love showing individuals how to function collectively in ways that allow them to go farther together.

My professional path has been eclectic, which speaks to my ability to forge new trails. After getting a Bachelors and Masters in the hard sciences and seeing how a career as a groundwater hydrogeologist would slowly squeeze the life out of me, I jumped ship, followed my passion, and spent a decade leading whitewater rafting adventures in the U.S. and Costa Rica, plus running a rafting operation with a unique long-term culture of learning, growth, and shared leadership. To this day, wild rivers are my home.

The river is also where I discovered my own leadership and learned to lead confidently as a women in a world of men. It’s also where I fell in love with transformation.

From there I pursued a doctorate in Transformative Learning and Change in Human Systems. My journey through that degree transformed me deeply and irrevocably. It also catalyzed my considerable capacity to be a midwife of transformation for others, individually and collectively.

The last 13 years have seen me at the helm of my own coaching business, helping an international clientele of self-funded, purpose-driven, women solopreneurs and micro business owners move from startup to thriving by developing the necessary business acumen and entrepreneurial leadership skills.

There’s a very special place in my heart for women leaders –
visionary women with ambition who are navigating the unique challenges women face in the realm of modern leadership.

Integrating the mature wisdom of both feminine and masculine principles of leadership is vital so that women have access to the full spectrum of their capacity and can rise to extraordinary expressions of leadership.

I began supporting women’s full empowered expression in 1988 and expanded into coaching and mentoring women leaders in 2005. No matter what else I’ve done, this has been the red thread that weaves through it all.

Informed by a profound love of nature and by working with shamanic and indigenous wisdom teachings for almost 20 years, I see everything through a deeply relational awareness. The world of business becomes a vast interrelated network of value creation, woven together with the rest of the human and more-than-human world.

Leadership happens when an individual chooses to cultivate both their consciousness and their competency and apply it in service to creating an outcome that truly matters. Leadership starts with the individual, yet comes into its full power as a distribution of intelligence and capacity across an organization, which enhances organizational resilience and optimizes the value and contribution of each individual in relation to the whole, and vice versa.

In my personal life, I love being in the wildness of nature and marvel at how it’s always showing me my own true nature and infinite potential, if I’m willing to pay attention. I lead vision quests and leadership retreats in nature for women, and still run rivers every year with my beloved husband (and fellow river rat) of 23 years.

After moving around for years, we’ve finally found home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where every day the land and the light in this enchanting place call me into new levels of becoming.

Education and Other Relevant Training

• Ph.D. in Transformative Learning and Change in Human Systems; California Institute of Integral Studies
• The Leadership Circle Profile and The Leadership System; The Leadership Circle
• Co-Active Coach Training and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach; The Coach Training Institute
• Indigenous Wisdom Applied to Modern Life and Business; Shaman’s Light
• The Practice of Council Training (both facilitator and train-the-trainer); The Ojai Foundation and the Center for Council Training
• Non-Violent Communication Training; Prescott Center for Non-Violent Communication
• Vision Quest Training, Teachings of the Medicine Wheel; School of Lost Borders