Five Ways of Being

Strengthen Your Leadership Skills to Have Maximum Impact

Discover 32 strategies to maximise your impact as a leader of learning.

When you become a leader of learning, you face a raft of everyday pressures that can have you feeling like you’re in a race against time. There can be competing agendas, difficult people to manage or mentor and endless tasks to tick off.

While you may have initially chosen this career because you love to teach, suddenly you find yourself thrust into the position of an executive, often without the support you need. Do you struggle to know what your leadership style should be? Do you know how to have a major impact, or even how to measure it? Or perhaps you struggle to trust everyone you work with or lead? With all these competing demands, it’s easy to forget that learning lies at the heart of everything you do.

Based on the book, Five Ways of Being, this inspiring program will take you on an in-depth process of discovery to find out what being an effective learning leader looks, sounds and feels like.


What past participants are saying

Become the Leader you Want to Be

Do you feel comfortable as the leader you are,  or do you feel more like an imposter?

If it’s the latter, this program will help you shift your narrative – and help you develop the mindset of a learning leader. Learn to look within and embrace the ‘Five Ways of Being’: being trusting, being brave, being a storyteller, being purposeful and being growth-focused.

As a leader, you’ll know that the success of any school community is intrinsically bound to effective leadership at all levels. Through this program, we’ll give you the know-how and confidence to reach your hidden potential.

In this program, specifically designed for leaders including principals, deputy principals, and senior, middle and emerging leaders, you’ll learn how to apply the ‘Five Ways of Being’ to become a leader who is more trusting, brave, compelling, purposeful and focused on growth.

You’ll walk away with practical, evidence-based strategies, improved leadership skills and a renewed sense of clarity and confidence.

Program Options

Conference Keynote or Breakout Sessions

Book your keynote or breakout session for your conference including the topics:

  • Learning Leadership: The Challenge of Our Times
  • Five Ways of Being: The Commitment to Learning all Leaders Make
  • The Key to Learning Leadership: Being Trusting
  • The Key to Learning Leadership: Being Brave
  • The Key to Learning Leadership: Being a Storyteller
  • The Key to Learning Leadership: Being Purposeful
  • The Key to Learning Leadership: Being Growth Focused

One Day Workshop

An introduction to the theories and potential application of the innovative Five Ways of Being model for leading learning. The Five Ways of Being Workshop inspires and supports learning leaders to take charge of their own leadership story. Our world-class leadership experts will help you undertake career-changing self-discovery, giving you practical tools you need and can immediately use.

  • Learn more about your current leadership identity and its implications
  • Increase your capacity to be trustworthy, brave, compelling, purposeful, and growth-focused
  • Discover what’s required to consciously commit to both your own development and others’, in the ongoing pursuit of learning for all
  • Transform your school culture through what you think, do and say every day
  • Uncover up to 32 practical strategies you can use in your leadership approach today

Five Day Masterclass

Unleash your inner leadership powers with this exclusive Five Ways of Being Masterclass.  Work intensively to strengthen your capacity to influence others through discovering how you can become more trusting, brave, compelling, purposeful and growth-focused.  This masterclass is a deeply personal exploration of how you can apply the theories and thinking of the Five Ways of Being in your own context and with your own challenges to increase your impact.

Learn also how to recognise and tackle the things that get in the way of being a learning leader with maximum impact. 

This masterclass takes leaders through a transformational process to unleash your inner leadership power in the pursuit of learning for all. This occurs through a profound immersion in the deep work on self which must precede our work with others.

  • Your leadership identity and how you show up as leaders
  • Your leadership ‘why’ 
  • Unhelpful assumptions that may cloud your judgments and reduce your impact
  • What pushes your buttons and gets in the way of who you want to be as a leader and what to do about it 
  • The power of storytelling to influence and impact both those you lead and your own leadership story
  • Why, what and how you can lead from position of trust, bravery ascend purpose
  • Ways to keep at the heart of your leadership your own and others’ growth

Online Leadership Program

The Five Ways of Being Online Leadership Program supports leaders in the development of their own leadership style and strengthens their capacity to have a major impact on learning. With many competing demands, it’s easy for leaders to forget that learning lies at the heart of everything they do.

This online program both challenges and supports learning leaders to author their own leadership story through career-changing self-discovery and practical tools. The program leaders engage participants in the theory, thinking, and practice learning leaders undertake to truly transform the way they see their own leadership, and help others do the same.  The benefit of this program is engaging with other leaders in grappling with common challenges through the cultivation of a truly transformational online community.  

What You'll Learn

Embrace the Five Ways of Being

Be trusting, be brave, be a storyteller, be purposeful and be growth-focused.

Become a Leader

Move from seeing leadership as role to embracing it as your calling.

Empower Others

Be successful in developing learning leadership skills for your colleagues.

Refocus on Learning

Move your school or team closer to a model that’s truly centred around learning.

Open Your Mind

Take a fresh look at the ways in which you view leadership. Find out what’s working for you – and what to let go of.

New Strategies

Learn 32 practical strategies to evolve your leadership.

Program Facilitators

Gavin Grift

Gavin Grift is the founder and CEO of Grift Education. His passion, commitment, humour and highly engaging style have made him one of Australia’s most in-demand presenters. Through his keynotes, seminars, and coaching services, Gavin connects with national and international audiences on how to cultivate authentic collaboration, build success in others and genuinely commit to reflective practice. He has led the development of PLC networks across Australia, culminating in the establishment of the Centre for Professional Learning Communities.

Gavin strongly believes that all students should have the same chances of success, but this is often dependent on the teacher they get. His mission is to help reduce ‘teacher lottery’ by developing teachers and leaders through transformational programs that focus on coaching, collaboration and teaching practice.

He’s also a best-selling author, with nine educational books under his belt, including Teachers As Architects of Learning, Five Ways of Being and Transformative Collaboration.

Heather De Blasio

Heather De Blasio is an author, a speaker, facilitator, mentor and coach with over 20 years of leadership experience at different levels and settings. She has spent a lifetime committed to growing others and refusing to put limits on what they might achieve.

An engaging speaker, Heather has delivered key-note presentations and workshops about leadership, team development and assessment at state, national and international conferences, including the Australian Council of Educational Leadership, Australian College of Educators, International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement, uLead and the International Conference on Thinking.

Heather is co-author of the bestselling book, Five Ways of Being (Danvers, De Blasio & Grift, 2020), Mastering Meetings That Matter (Grift, Sloper, De Blasio, in print) and a contributing author to the second edition of Assessment for Teaching (Griffin ed., 2017).

A highly sought-after professional learning leader, Heather is renowned for her unique ability to authentically develop the leadership capacity of others. She works with leaders, directors and leadership teams across sectors and regions in Australia and internationally. In addition to her executive leadership work, Heather also delivers selected programs with Grift Education, and currently serves in a part-time capacity as the Director of Leadership and Human Potential at Wilderness School in Adelaide, South Australia.

Jane Danvers

Jane Danvers is currently the principal of Kambala in Sydney Australia. Previously the principal of South Australia’s renowned Wilderness School and was the inaugural principal of University Senior College.
During her 20 years serving Australia’s educational community, Jane’s leadership has extended far beyond the school gates.

She plays an active role in shaping policy and driving positive change, and sits on industry-related committees including the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and the Premier’s Council for Women.

Committed to continuous learning, Jane has completed a Masters of Education at the University of South Australia, Oxford University’s High Performance Leadership Programme and Harvard University’s Leading Learning that Matters Project.

Throughout her professional life, Jane has contributed to the wider educational debate in Australia and championed pedagogical advancement in schools. Co-author of the 2020 book Five Ways of Being: What Learning Leaders Think, Do and Say Every Day, Jane has mentored new principals in the Leading Learning Program at the Association Heads of Independent Schools of Australia.