JAN SMITH’s STORY
Founder and Course Leader 


jan-smith.jpgJan Smith founded the Center For Authentic Leadership in 1985, serving an international community of leaders interested in living purposeful lives.

Jan was raised in Ethiopia for the first 10 years of her life while her father served as personal physician to the country’s leader Haile Selassie. As Jan played with local children whose language she did not speak, she developed a keen sense for what was not said in words, but what was “said in the unsaid.”

Adopted into a family of rational, analytically-minded high achievers, Jan oscillated between expressing and suppressing her natural gifts in music and art. Her early childhood experiences underlie Jan’s special genius for helping others realize and express their own natural ways of being in a way that increases their effectiveness as leaders.

Jan began her career as a small business owner, opening an art gallery in the prestigious Las Olas Boulevard area of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. As the gallery quickly became successful, Jan received invitations from clients to consult with their businesses. Through those experiences emerged the focus of her life's work – leadership development.

Two significant role models were: 1) internationally-known business consultant, Fernando Flores, Ph.D., for whom she generated the Competitive Edge Sales Workshop, and 2) Dr. Ken Anbender, Ph.D., owner of Contegrity, Inc., who trained Jan in his Commando Course and other communication courses. It was through Dr. Anbender that Jan began to study quantum physics. These experiences formed the foundation for Jan’s continued research in the domain of communication and authentic leadership.

In 1985, Jan designed and offered her signature course, the Leadership Intensive. She has trained thousands of people over the past 20+ years in the nature of deeply connected listening, ways to work through conflict, and ways to coordinate effective action with others. People return to Jan’s courses again and again to work through current concerns in their life with greater awareness and appreciation for another’s reality.

In 1990, the overwhelming success of the Leadership Intensive led to the creation of the three-year international leadership development community called Future Thinking. Jan realized that the structures of a developmental community help people accelerate their development, and that there was a need for a senior program for leaders who care deeply about their legacy. Future Thinking provides leaders with methodologies for living centered in one’s gift and purpose.

Many Future Thinking graduates have gone on to contribute their greatest work in life, not just from their competencies, but from a centered place within. They live more awake to their choices and their reactions to situations and others, and they hold a high commitment to giving back to humanity.