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Mark Nicolson MBA, MA
Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach

Mark is a partner in LeadershipDNA and director of Ventana Group, He divides his time between consulting to organizations on transformative learning and leadership development, an individual coaching practice, and teaching at Stanford Continuing Studies and elsewhere.

Industry Experience:

Mark worked in professional service organizations for 10 years before becoming a leadership consultant. His experience includes investment banking at Merrill Lynch, investor relations at Makinson Cowell, and management consulting at Booz Allen.

Leadership Development Experience:

Before founding LeadershipDNA in 1998, he worked for 10 years as an organizational development consultant at Alexander in London and at Leadership Research Institute in San Diego. He was a partner at Alexander, the consulting firm which pioneered the development of coaching in corporations in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s and which served clients such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Goldman Sachs.

Mark has facilitated hundreds of leadership development programs, officer group retreats, and coaching skills workshops in the US, Europe and elsewhere. He designed and led the team integration process after the merger of Glaxo and Wellcome, which created Britain's then largest company: for four years, he worked with the whole UK organization up to Board level to develop team effectiveness and support individual leadership during times of change and stress.

In 2003, he co-founded Ventana, a research and consulting project, which facilitates transformative learning in leaders and organizations committed to social change


Mark specializes in guiding individuals, teams and organizations to clarify their visions and to establish the support systems, culture and strength of leadership necessary to make them real. As a coach and facilitator, he receives consistent appreciation for creating an inspirational environment for learning, and for building capability in his clients.

Relevant Affiliations:

  • Stanford Continuing Studies, Visiting Faculty, 2001-present
  • Esalen Institute, Visiting Faculty, 2001-present
  • Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government Executive Education, Visiting Faculty, 2004-5
  • Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Transformational Coaching Training Program, Visiting Faculty, 2003-present
  • Academy for the Love of Learning, Santa Fe, NM, Visiting Faculty 2003-present

Education & Training:

  • MA, Clinical Psychology, Institute of Imaginal Studies (2005). Currently developing proposal for PhD dissertation.
  • MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business (1988)
  • MA in Classical Literature and Philosophy, Oxford University (1984)

Personal interest:

  • Hikes the Ventana Wilderness every May from Big Sur to Tassajara
  • Speaks conversational French and German
  • His 14 year old son lives in Stuttgart, Germany



Public Workshops
LDNA Principals teach selected material at the following institutions:
(Click a link to find out more)
What’s Next
Men’s Workshop
Self Renewal
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