About Nancy Wallis

Dr. Nancy Wallis is a leadership coach, consultant, retreat leader, and spiritual director.  Drawing upon her scholarship, passion for action learning, insight, and humor, she serves as guide to leaders and their teams engaged in complex and unexpected challenge and who seek the development and transformation of themselves and those they serve.  She also serves as spiritual companion to those who are seeking wisdom beyond wisdom, or a deeper experience with the Infinite Loving One.  She especially enjoys working with leaders seeking to integrate their leadership and spirituality in ever new ways that address their purpose and values as well as organizational aims.

In her 40-year career, Nancy has served as internal senior leader, professor of organizational behavior and theory at undergraduate and graduate levels in business schools in the U.S. and Austria, academic dean of a graduate leadership program, external consultant, and executive leadership coach.  She was faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership where she facilitated the Leadership Development Program and Women’s Leadership Experience workshops.  Dr. Wallis led the doctoral consortium for the Management Consulting Division at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.  Nancy is grounded by decades of internal and external corporate leadership experience, academic rigor, balance between leadership theory and practice, and passion for the possibilities and challenges inherent in leading, especially given the global challenges we now confront.  Sectors served include the biosciences, pharma, real estate development and management, health care insurance and delivery, and investment industries.

Nancy earned her M.Div. at the Claremont School of Theology and her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems with a focus on organizational leadership development. She earned her M.S.P.H. and M.B.A. degrees from U.C.L.A., and her B.S. in Biochemistry from U.C. Davis.  She is certified and/or trained to use a variety of assessments including the MBTI, EQi, Korn Ferry 360, Global Leadership Profile (GLP), and Andiron’s Key Polarity Indicators.  Her passion is in exploring ever new ways in which our interior space, where the human and divine meet, can be the seat of compassionate transformation.  She is co-authoring The Spirit in Transformation: Navigating Polarities from the Third Way (2023), and enjoys being with family, friends, and Stella and Sophia, her fur children.

Certifications and Training include:

  • Spiritual Guidance Program completed at the Shalem Institute
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter II (in conjunction with the MBTI)
  • Emotional Intelligence EQi 2.0
  • Korn Ferry Voices 360
  • Immunity-to-Change coaching
  • Global Leadership Profile (GLP)
  • Developmental Action Inquiry
  • Cook-Greuter’s Ego Development Stages
  • Executive Certificate in Polarities & Paradox (Georgetown University)
  • Key Polarity Indicator (KPI) Certified Practitioner (Andiron)
  • Facilitating Group Process and Relations in traditions of NTL and Tavistock
  • Chaplaincy training at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital
  • Internal Family Systems coaching – contemplative approach to personal healing & transformation
  • Project Management Certification (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Dr. Nancy Wallis Founder

Background and Approach

Dr. Wallis supports leadership transformation in leaders and the systems they serve.  Her approach is grounded in principles of adult development (vertical, horizontal, and spiritual), the potential of continuous learning throughout the lifespan, the deep integration of core values and beliefs with the demands of one’s vocation, and the invitation in seeking ever new ways of integrating one’s leadership with their spirituality in service of the organizations and people they serve.


As one who has metaphorically lived on the hypen in the role of scholar-practitioner, the unique expertise I bring includes:

  • Wisdom borne of a 40-year career in a variety of roles in these disciplines, including internal executive, external consultant, professor, PhD dissertation chair, mentor, coach, retreat designer and facilitator, and invited conference speaker.
  • Deep theoretical grounding in the fields of organizational leadership, organizational theory, organizational behavior, and organizational development. I have broad and varied practical experience in these disciplines, giving me the creativity, flexibility, and insight to be able to support leaders and leadership groups in their developmental work.
  • Leadership coaching experience which supports sustainable growth and transformation in leaders and their teams, based on their values, organization cultural change goals, and strategic imperatives.
  • Proficient use of coaching tools including those useful in uncovering and leveraging small group dynamics, navigating polarities, and working with one’s immunities to change. Using assessments such as the MBTI, EQ 2.0, and KPI to bolster self-awareness and insight is part of my typical coaching approach.
  • Capacity to leverage action learning in individual- and team- leadership coaching, attending to single-, double-, and triple-loop learning. This increases the likelihood of sustainable, transformation change in leaders and the systems they serve.
  • Skilled at co-creating work spaces with leaders (within corporate or faith communities) that offer psychological safety for leadership team members to be vulnerable, courageous, and authentic in their engagement with leadership development program elements. This supports deep listening, the exchange of constructive feedback, and compassionate presence in support of leaders in pain and/or being challenged to address their part in a problematic situation. 
  • Author of book chapters, journal articles, and projects in-progress including:
    • The Spirit in Transformation: Navigating Polarities in the Third Way (Navigating Polarities book series)
    • Unleashing Transforming Leadership Capacity
    • How Virtues Travel with Development: What Matters in Mature Leadership Action