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Embracing the Seven Commitments of Sanctuary in Your Leadership Journey


Practicing the Seven Commitments of the Sanctuary Model embeds and deepens your path to health and wellness. As a seasoned not-for-profit executive and health and wellness leadership coach, my goal is to empower others to fulfill their goals; their highest business, personal, and social potential through mindful, sustainable, and positive behavioral changes. Ultimately, this improves overall wellbeing and leadership performance, both personally and professionally.

Wellness and Wellbeing In Leadership

Every single person is a leader within their own lives. Leadership encompasses more than a title or position. And leadership is an individually curated journey. Your overall well being impacts how you navigate that journey.

In its article The Intersection of Wellness and Leadership, the American Bar Association (ABA) notes that “Once we expand the definition of well-being, we must also understand that a healthy organization intentionally integrates well-being into its business objectives. Leaders of healthy organizations know that any well-being initiative that does not permeate the organization will fail. Well-being must be incorporated into all aspects of your firm or business, from business development to client service, as well as to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, professional development and HR practices.”

The Five Equity-Centered Essentials

According to the US Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental & Well Being, there are five equity-centered essentials that support workplaces as engines of well-being. Two human needs determine each essential. They are:

  • Protection from harm: Safety and Security
  • Opportunity for Growth: Learning and Accomplishment
  • Connection & Community: Social Support and Belonging
  • Mattering at work: Dignity and Meaning
  • Work-life harmony: Autonomy and Flexibility

When each of us prioritizes physical and psychological safety for ourselves and others, we embody leadership. When we create opportunities for our teammates to accomplish goals based on their skills and growth, we are exhibiting leadership. When we foster an environment that supports positive social interactions and promotes dignity and self worth, we are practicing leadership principles.

Mindful Practice of the Seven Commitments of Sanctuary

Crossnore Communities for Children’s operational framework is built on the Seven Commitments of Sanctuary. The principles of  health, wellness and wellbeing are also embedded within them. Therefore, if you are actively practicing the commitments, you are also actively practicing health, wellness, and well being. 

Examples of the Seven Commitments at Work:

  • Open Communication:  When we create inclusive space and support for healthy communication which honors diverse perspectives, all parties feel heard and valued. This is valuable in leading a team or a project, or if you have to approach a challenging conversation with a teammate or a loved one.
  • Non Violence: Developing an individual safety plan and holding space for the utilization of the plan demonstrate deep levels of empathy and care for one another. This skill can be valuable when your teammates are facing personal or professional challenges. Use these as key navigation and planning tools.
  • Emotional Intelligence: At Crossnore, understanding and embracing emotional management skills are essential because we support families and children who have experienced significant trauma. Sometimes these interactions may trigger our own lived experiences. Therefore, it is critical to be aware of our own emotional intelligence skills.
  • Social Learning: Providing diverse and inclusive learning opportunities for ourselves and teammates increases personal and professional satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to better engagement and personal motivation for the tasks at hand.
  • Social Responsibility: Encouraging social connections and promoting relationship building create an environment that honors accountability to our mission, our work, and to each other. When we build authentic relationships, we also build trust.
  • Growth & Change: Embracing adaptability and promoting flexibility provide a glide path  to work through loss and prepare for the future.
  • Shared Governance: Creating collaborative environments can support well rounded and thoughtful discussions, which can lead to innovative solutions.

Wherever you work or live, you are a leader.

Each day, you are creating your leadership journey through your awareness and intentional actions. Your work matters. You are valued. Take the time to notice how you are already embedding health and wellness in your leadership practice. Celebrate your authenticity, share your experiences, and then support others on their journey.