Sabbaticals for Anyone

Step Away, Explore, Renew

Join a small group of 8-10 people on a ‘working sabbatical’ experience for a period of reflection, exploration, redefinition and renewal.

The experience is for those who cannot fully step away from job responsibilities, but who can make room to explore in a way that contains the possibility of renewal and a redefinition of patterns for work and life. Those able to step away fully are also welcome.

Explore where you are in your own story, what’s changing and what’s next for you, in a format that includes regular touch points and guides to help you design and make the most of your sabbatical. Learn alongside others taking their own journeys, sharing experiences and learnings over six, two-hour live virtual sessions.

For the “step away” part of the experience to have enough room for exploring, a person must be ready to commit to the following:

  • A window of 10 weeks that includes personally designed sabbatical time; this corresponds with the Explore phase of the program. Your sabbatical may extend longer or start sooner, as you desire.
  • During those weeks, taking 10 sabbatical day-equivalents, or roughly 20% of the working weeks; consultation for how to do this is built into the program.


Meet Your Coaches

Learn from highly experienced facilitators

Fred Jones

Fred Jones is a colleague with Cultivating Leadership and a collaborator with Diana and her colleagues at Uncharted Leadership. He also is the founder of a confab called Meanwhile, from which he engages adults about how they are getting on with the rest of their lives. He is a certified Designing Your Life coach, and lives in Austin, TX (USA), where he makes connections between local issues and larger patterns, is ready to convene spaces that connect people and possibilities, and supports people in vital projects that they take on.

Diana Renner

Diana Renner is Co-founder of the Uncharted Leadership Institute and a collaborator with Fred and his colleagues at Cultivating Leadership. She is the co-author of two books translated in over fifteen languages, Not Knowing: the art of turning uncertainty into opportunity, awarded “Management Book of the Year Award” in the U.K. and Not Doing: the art of effortless action. Diana enjoys creative writing and exploring the intersection of arts and adult learning and development. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

The program design and delivery are informed by the following perspectives:

  • The future is uncertain, other than that we’ll continue to be disrupted and surprised by the unpredictability of life.
  • Our natural inclinations to get our lives and the world under control run into limits that are better faced.
  • Pathways forward are better framed as exploratory wayfinding rather than navigation to fixed and found points ahead regarding life as it is ‘supposed to be.’
  • Paradoxically, our desire to strive, achieve or impact the world is enhanced by also appreciating things (and ourselves) as they (we) are and letting them be.
  • Our lives are both mundane and full of meaning, if we can let them be.
  1. Getting Ready supports you to become present to where you are and define what’s important for you in the sabbatical experience. (1 month)
  2. Exploring gives you the opportunity to follow your personally designed sabbatical plan, while also exploring general themes with others. Explore your relationship with work and become more comfortable with uncertainty and complexity. Experiment with new terms of and boundaries for engagement with your life. (3 months)
  3. Next invites you to take the insights from your sabbatical into how you’d like your life to be going forward, both in terms of continuity and change. (1 month)

Too busy is one thing. Sensing that things are shifting under your feet – or in you, about what’s important to you – is something else. Perhaps you are bored, restless or disenchanted. Or, that you could contribute differently in the world somehow. Or, that you are just wanting to be more at ease with the future and its uncertainties and decisions you make that affect what happens.

Making arrangements with key people in your life will take preparation and planning. If you are employed, checking the company leave policy will be helpful. Consider on what terms  the person you report to might be supportive, including about how some work might need to be reallocated. Is there a window of time that might be better for everyone, including you?

Not everyone needs to know that you regard this possibility as a sabbatical. Some may only need to know the best ways to access you – and when you might not be accessible. You may want to prevent misunderstanding and also clarify something you are willing to share about your purpose. For example:

  • “I’ll be spending time on a special project in which I get to explore more openly some of my interests.”
  • “I am making adjustments in my schedule and how I approach my work so that I contribute more fully when I am here.”
  • “At this point in life, it seemed really important to get a fresh perspective on what matters to me.”

First, you have to be able to explain it to yourself in compelling terms, believing its prospective value for your life and not apologising for it to anyone.

At A Glance

Course Overview

  • 5 month program – 1 February to 1 July 2022

  • Includes 6 group sessions of 2 hours each (times/dates below)

  • Includes 2 individual consultations


  • Renewed or redefined way of approaching life and work
  • Discovered sources of vitality that you can keep over time
  • More ease with uncertainty about the future
  • Strengthened set of connections with others for the journey ahead


  • Cost: US$2600 or AU$3520 + GST. (Scholarship pricing available upon request)
  • Optional Coaching: US$1400 or AU$1900 + GST.

Dates & Times

The “Getting Ready” Phase:

  • USA Flag 17 February 3-5pm US/CT
    Australia Flag 18 February 8-10am AU/AEDT

The “Exploring” Phase

  • USA Flag 10 March 3-5pm US/CT
    Australia Flag 11 March 8-10am AU/AEDT
  • USA Flag 24 March 4-6pm US/CT
    Australia Flag 25 March 8-10am AU/AEDT
  • USA Flag 22 April 5-7pm US/CT
    Australia Flag 21 April 8-10am AU/AEDT
  • USA Flag 5 May 5-7pm US/CT
    Australia Flag 6 May 8-10am AU/AEDT

The “Next” Phase:

  • USA Flag 2 June 5-7pm US/CT
    Australia Flag 3 June 8-10am AU/AEDT

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