True Leadership for the 21st Century

What they don't teach you in B-School

About Us

The world has changed radically: we’re now networked, digital and global, facing business challenges of increasing complexity, making the relevance and challenge of leadership ever more compelling.  In over twenty years of executive coaching and leadership training, John McConnell and Virginia Rhoads have guided successful executives on the path to becoming extraordinary leaders who meet and shape the challenges of the modern world.  They have pioneered proven methodologies to engage people mentally, physically and emotionally— unlocking vital new skills and producing tangible results.

Individuals and teams come to Jempe Center from companies including Hornall Anderson, Microsoft, DDB Seattle, Expedia, Nike, Holland America, Capital One, Rational Agency, Pacific Market International, Redbird and Seattle University for a myriad of reasons. Many executives have reached the top of their professions and need to take stock, highlight assets and identify liabilities, then set goals for what’s next. Some have received workplace feedback and have specific traits to smooth out, improve on or acquire. Others are at a mid-career intersection and not sure which road to take. An increasing number want a vision, and plan, for an exciting Third Chapter. What sets Jempe Center clients apart from the rest is a willingness to dive in, get honest, achieve authenticity, do the work required - and have an appetite for adventure.


During individual sessions a plan evolves, taking into account challenges, blocks and goals, while working on the whole executive using targeted skill development, mind/body integration and the practical application of psychology, somatic, martial arts, equine therapy and neuroscience expertise. Areas of focus include embodied leadership (breath, stance, alignment, personal power and presence), team development exercises and dynamics, mental agility, stamina, social intelligence and emotional resilience. Leaders learn to manage their time and energy more effectively, approach challenges with effortless grace, overcome and recover quickly from setbacks, truly elevate their game. The work is high impact and transformative, unleashing latent capabilities, answering that call to compelling greatness with far-reaching consequences for personal and professional achievement.

Retreats are where the intensive teamwork happens, usually over three days, in a highly engaging process, designed to grow individuals and bring out the best in a group. Retreat participants take the ferry to Pegasus Ranch on Whidbey Island, in Washington State, where John McConnell and Virginia Rhoads live. It’s an idyllic spot on 14 acres of pasture and forest (Virginia takes one of the horses to pick up the morning newspaper while the coffee’s brewing) and ideally situated for slowing down, examining motives, receiving feedback and returning to the office with a solid game plan and new stellar skills to put it into play.  Jempe Center retreats have also landed in Ecuador on a dirt airstrip, then taken a canoe deep into the Amazon jungle. They’ve trekked through the mountains of Patagonia, had powerful breakthroughs in mystical India and sailed the Puget Sound on a 133-foot hundred year old schooner (and National Historic Landmark) called the Adventuress, where the tides, sea-life and bracing air awaken participants from the corporate grind of quarterly results, to address what’s really going on, and make significant and long-lasting changes.  

Pricing: Jempe Center works in partnership with clients who are ready to make a commitment to creating sustainable results in a combination of 1:1 coaching (in-person, phone and video conference) and team retreats.  Contact us to explore the fit between your needs and our services and to learn our pricing structure.


Clients can expect a multiplicity of results from individual sessions and team retreats.  Jempe Center builds stronger, more effective leaders who foster extraordinary teamwork and generate sustainable business results.  Typical results include:

Individual Results

  • Identifying real strengths and superpowers, building a signature presence as a leader.
  • Rooting out coping skills that used to work (conflict, physical quirks, overcompensating behaviors, voice issues) but are now seriously limiting effectiveness and holding the executive back - breaking bad habits.
  • Achieving sustainability, endurance, stamina, resilience, risk-taking, inner strength -  taking the executive to the next level of responsibility, salary and position.
  • Developing a sense of ease and a connection to what’s important.
  • Finding a stronger voice.
  • Overcoming burnout, rediscovering passion for the business.
  • Making better decisions and choices.
  • Learning flexibility and creativity in solving problems.
  • Gaining a fresh perspective “tune up” as business/life changes over time.

Team Results

  • Building a strong executive team that functions brilliantly together. One that has each other's back, shines with excellence, moves fast, has unbreakable trust and bonds, unbeatable, shared goals, one vision, complementary skills and inspires passion.
  • Growing high-functioning cross-generational teams.
  • Solving trust issues within executive teams through working on individual leadership skills, then as a whole.
  • Ensuring a team grows together as new challenges arise and new members join.

Company Results

  • Resolving conflict within business partnerships or executive teams to save the business and move on, stronger and more committed, with better tools.
  • Getting ready for succession planning. Who’s ready? What do they need? How can the CEO transition to a new role? How can the Board support the new structure?
  • Preparing for investment rounds and/or exit sale of companies.
  • Ensuring the best fit for Mergers & Acquisitions in blended executive team and equipping CEO of merged companies.
  • Managing transitions: company growth spurts, expansion, contraction, change of direction.
  • Expanding the leadership team to establish a cohesive set of goals and define a new direction.