Whether it's a university classroom, a conference center, boardroom, or around a kitchen table, Mark's contagious enthusiasm, theatrical style, and sense of humor make his street smart teaching come alive. No matter what the content - keynotes, trainings, or customized presentations - and no matter what the duration, Mark is dedicated to the learner through spot-on teaching, engaging delivery, and give-and-take interactions. His work as a Full Teaching Professor at DePaul University was highly regarded by students who consistently ranked his as the most effective professor in the school.

A naturally gifted outstanding teacher in and outside the classroom.
William Calzaretta, Ph.D., Former Interim Director, DePaul University,
School of Public Service
(teaching observation)

An absolutely superb faculty member.
Bud Baker, Ph.D., Former Chair, Department of Business and Intl Business,
Raj Soin School of Business, Wright State University (reference)

His classroom is a dynamic and educational environment.
Trent Engbers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science,
University of Southern Indiana
(teaching observation)

DePaul University Full Teaching Professor School of Public Service
Spring 2016 Student Evaluations Data

Spring 2016 Student Evaluations Written Comments

Passionate and powerful - excellent!
Terri Jaconet, The Graduate Academy for Community Leadership


Infotainment at its most energetic and insightful!
Alec Dickey, Former External Communications Director, Opera America

The Strategic Board is one of Mark's most popular training and takes trustees to a new level of performance. In this this eye-opening and interactive workshop, participants discover the Four Complaints, Seven Realities, Five Great Questions, and Two Easy Fixes of governance. In addition, participants will build rock-solid duties and standards of conduct for the board, board member, and the executive director. The retrat will also clarify what and how many committees should help the board accomplish its duties (hint: you can count them with one hand). Finally, board members will revisit the mission and generate ideas for future strategies. All in about six hours of highly energized activity that stays on topic, is fun, and accomplishes a great deal. 

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Thank you for the tremendous job facilitating our Board retreat. You hit it out of the ballpark.

Daniel J. McCabe, Chief Administrative Officer, CareSource Management Group

The Sustainable Strategy Program is Mark's other flagship training that achieves powerful mission impact and bottom-line results. Subscribing to Michael Porter's advice that "the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do" (1996) and built upon Mark Light's Results Now book, the right answers come from five questions: 



The SSP is a cohort-based action learning to build long-term organization capacity. Up to five agencies each with a team their top-level people (executive director, program manager, finance person, etc.) learn and build sustainable strategy for each of their agencies.

Very attractive to foundations because of the economies of scale, the program includes four all-day, hands-on learning sessions spread across a twelve-week period. Between sessions, participants receive on-site teaching, coaching, and training to support their work on "assignments" for the next session. Other services are also available including governance training, client focus groups, and one-on-one leadership coaching. The last session is where attendees deliver their final pitch to a panel of funders and infuencers along with a rock-solid written Strategic Plan.

A unique, clear and engaging style that is both beautiful to experience and results oriented.

Paul Plate, Former Executive Director, Positive Impact (testimonial)



Purpose Driven Strategy: In this energetic and hands-on workshop, you will learn how to create mission-driven strategies. After getting up to speed on concepts and first steps, you'll build a new "Haiku" mission for your agency. You will then use four powerful methods to generate scores of ideas for new strategies, learn three different tools to winnow your ideas down to the best one, and build it into a full strategy using the 5 Ps of people, product, place, price, and value proposition. Filled with take-aways to use right now, you'll leave knowing how to make mission driven strategy to do good great.

Hire Hard - Manage Easy: Why don’t they just do their jobs? You have tried teaching, empowering, enriching jobs, and micro-managing, but nothing helps. How about taking the “Hire hard, manage easy” way instead? In this upbeat workshop, you’ll learn how to design the perfect job, where to find the best candidates, how to select top performers, and what it means to manage easy for the best results. Tired of settling for B and C players? Get the A Players you want; learn how in this workshop.

Dr. Conflict: Learning how to manage conflict is the key to thriving in the new millennium where collaboration is king. The doctor is in and shows you just how to do it in this always practical presentation based on his Dr. Conflict column in The Nonprofit Quarterly and his years of mediation in small claims and juvenile courts. Whether as a half-day workshop or nine-hour master class, you'll learn how to approach conflict with confidence and possibility.

Wow, what great energy!
Participant, Managing Conflict workshop, Community Foundation for Monterey County, CA (participant evaluations)

Finding George Bailey - Wonderful Leaders, Wonderful Lives: He is underpaid and overworked, his organization lives from payroll to payroll, and he is saddled with hard working, loyal, but not always competent staff. He is George Bailey, the central character in Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life. In this uplifting and always practical workshop with film clips, Mark Light challenges the myth of the larger-than-life heroic leader and instead introduces George Bailey as a purposeful, strategic, driven, adaptive difference maker – a wonderful leader with a wonderful life. It’s year-round wonderful, but also a perfect holiday treat that delivers results.

Four-Frame Leadership: Based upon the best-selling Reframing Organizations by Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal, this workshop takes participants on a journey through the four frames (structural, human resource, political, and symbolic) to enhance their perspectives on how to lead and solve problems. Participants start by taking an assessment to find out their preferred frame and then learn about all the other frames. Although most people use either the structural or human resource frame, real effectiveness comes from multi-framing that adds the advocacy and symbolic frames. Takeaways include a powerful problem analysis tool that helps you understand the root causes of problems to generate practical solutions. Best of all, you'll be well on your way to becoming a multi-framer when you leave the workshop.

"You're a rockstar at our program!"
James Abruzzo and Alex Pino, Co-founders,
Rutgers University Institute for Ethical Leadership (testimonial)

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