Courageous Leadership in Action: No One Said It Would Be Easy

Course Description

Join Shannon and Cynthia on a courageous leadership journey in the face of adversity. These dynamic women will immerse you in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) material, activities, real-life experiences, and reflection. You will leave this two-day immersive experience with a stronger “courage muscle” and a courageous leader toolkit which can be applied to yourself, your team, and your organization. This journey is sure to leave you wanting more. This action-packed, dynamic workshop is inclusive and open to managers & leaders of all levels, coaches, consultants, and facilitators.


Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction to Courageous Leadership

In Module 1, participants will explore the d­­­­­efinition of courageous leadership through the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) lens. Participants will uncover what courageous leadership looks like in action and focus on the critical elements necessary to build the “courage muscle.” Participants will investigate the conditions necessary for courage to take root in an individual, team, or organization.

Module 2: Creating the Foundation for Courageous Leadership

In Module 2, participants will focus on embracing one’s inner courage while peeling back the onion layers of personal and professional experiences that form one’s values and belief system. Participants will be provided with foundational knowledge, which will help them to discover areas of strength and development. Participants will identify courageous “watershed” moments and be introduced to practices and tools for increasing self-awareness, which can be utilized as a model for becoming a courageous leader. At the end of Module 2, participants will acquire the information needed to build a foundation for their own courageous leadership and influence.

Module 3: Embracing the Courageous Leader

In Module 3, participants will explore the role of a courageous leader with a focus on identifying opportunities to exhibit courageous leadership in support of DEI. Participants will experience what it means to be a courageous leader through role-play exercises, complemented by presentation materials, which offer real world experiences in a safe learning environment. Finally, participants will explore their internal and external barriers to courageous leadership.

Module 4: Implementing Courageous Leadership Practices

In Module 4, participants will explore models for implementing courageous leadership practices. Participants will recognize the importance of leading by example, how to be an ally and advocate in support of courageous leaders, allow for honest feedback and candor, and encourage personal and professional accountability. Participants will explore the importance of self-reflection as a critical component of ongoing growth of a courageous leader. Participants will leave the workshop with a toolkit to begin implementation of courageous leadership practices.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, a successful student will be able to:

  • Engage in courageous conversations with more confidence;
  • Anticipate situations when courage is a necessity for engagement;
  • Practice courageous leadership strategies and interventions;
  • Recognize the various roles played in various scenarios;
  • Try on a DEI lens in the face of adversity;
  • Leverage a community of courageous leaders.


Shannon Cochran-Yzquierdo is the founder and owner of Coaching Courage, LLC. She is passionate about inspiring and motivating leaders to embrace their courage as they transition into their best selves. Her clients build and strengthen their ‘courage muscle’ and find increased awareness of their own behaviors, which supports their journey of transformation into courageous leaders. Shannon’s use of situational role-playing and direct communication are her key strengths.

Shannon’s Hispanic/Caucasian heritage and LGBTQ+ life experience provide a unique lens to see the world. She supports, empowers, and strengthens the leadership capacity of women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  She coaches middle managers to senior leaders across various industries infusing courage into every interaction. She provides tools, techniques, and skills that clients can utilize well after the engagement ends. Shannon’s warm, welcoming, and friendly demeanor allows for connection with people at any leadership level.

She is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, an active volunteer with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, where she voluntarily shaves her head annually to raise money and awareness for children’s cancer research. She recently served as the Marketing Chair for the Georgetown ITL Network Board of Directors.

Shannon’s leadership, collaboration and relationship-building expertise, flexibility, and teamwork make her a sought-after resource. She is a connector, who inspires and motivates others. She speaks ‘truth to power’ which is a gift she offers leaders. While being gentle and straightforward, she challenges boundaries clients place on themselves.  She respects client fears and helps them embrace their courage as they face those fears and experience growth.

Her professional journey includes many pivot points which provide her with a unique lens to support each client on their personal and professional journey.  Shannon’s journey includes navigation from High School Science Teacher & Head Volleyball Coach; FBI New Agent Trainee to Intelligence Analyst; Government Contractor supporting multiple organizations within the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) to Executive Leadership Coach.

Shannon created Courageous Leadership in Action: No One Said It Would Be Easy to build and support leaders in their courageous leadership growth.  Her drive, creativity, ‘out of the box’ thinking  landed her a spot as one of The Top 5 Business Coaches to Follow in 2022.

Shannon earned a B.S in Biology Education and a M.S. in Forensic Science. She received her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2016 from the Project Management Institute and an Executive Certificate in Leadership Coaching in 2020 from Georgetown University. She is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach (ACC).  Shannon completed certification for two 360 assessment tools, the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2 (EQ-i 2.0) and the Leadership Circle Profile (LCP).


Cynthia Strickland is the co-founder of C&S Consulting. A passionate leader who listens, encourages and collaborates. She is a certified Diversity Equity and Inclusion practitioner with extensive experience in the corporate sector. She has worked in corporate leadership (McKesson), management consulting(EDS, Deloitte and Slalom Consulting ) for  a number of Fortune 500 companies, program management, entrepreneurship (Molly Maid franchise) , and consulting to build diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces.

Cynthia has leveraged her identity as “the only” in most professional situations to catalyze change in support of individuals, groups and larger human systems across race and other dimensions of diversity.

A native of California she has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Southern California (USC) and Master of Arts in Sports Administration from the University of San Francisco (USF). She has an Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Management from Georgetown University School of Continuing Education. 

She is the Technology Chair for the Institute for Transformational Leadership Network, an affiliate of the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.

Specific areas of expertise: people leadership & development, diversity strategy, coaching, mentoring, change management, Design Thinking, project management, speaking engagements. When she’s not in working you may find her walking her 9-year-old labradoodle, Dolomite. 



To enroll in the workshop, visit Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership’s enrollment page.