Curriculum Pricing Workshops Coaching About Us Resources Contact Us
Dave Ellis Leadership top banner

Dave Ellis Leadership Development and Coaching


Once you complete this program you will be far more effective in your career and your personal life for the rest of your life.

We are uniquely qualified to serve leaders in education, business, and the nonprofit sector because of Dave Ellis' experience as a classroom teacher, best selling textbook author, successful businessman, and CEO of a nonprofit.

When you participate fully in our curriculum and are candid about your strengths and current limitations and use all that we are offering, we promise that your life will never be the same.

When you consider the time and money that we are asking you to invest in this program, please remember our promise. Our promise is that as you fully participate in our program, your life and work will dramatically and permanently improve so much so that you describe this experience as one of the top five most influential experiences of your life. If you doubt that, please read and listen to the testimonials on the left. They are from some of the most prestigious educators and nonprofit leaders that we have assisted.

For 30 years we have focused on professional and personal development. Since 1990, we have also provided coach training, and for the last three years, we have emphasized leadership training. Now, we are putting all of this together and focusing on team and organizational development through individual transformation.

Please work with us if you want to move yourself and the people in your organization to more effective communication, increased innovation, greater self-expression, higher productivity, less gossip, less blaming, more fun, greater accountability, increased integrity, less stress, and continual celebration.

Muhammad Yunus


Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize Winner (2006)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009)

“So, he (Dave Ellis) is not an advisor. He's not telling you what to do. What I feel is that you have capacity within yourself, but you never test those buttons that you have. So he brings out your own capacity or you discover your own capacity. You become an explorer of yourself.” Read his entire testimonial.



Our entire curriculum consists of three phases that each include: one-on-one coaching; a three-day workshop; materials to read, watch, and listen to; mentoring; and group conference calls.

  • Phase One: Focus on life skills
    • Falling Awake Workshop (see below for details)
    • One-on-one coaching
    • Two books that support the curriculum
  • Phase Two: Focus on leadership and introductory coaching skills
    • Leadership and Coaching Workshop (see below for details)
    • One-on-one coaching
    • Two video and one audio workshop
  • Phase Three: Focus on advanced coaching skills

While you are enrolled in this program, you will have access to:

  • Our entire coaching staff including a licensed counselor and a psychiatrist 
  • Our online resources
  • Coach mentoring from Dave Ellis and our other most experienced coaches
  • Immediate problem solving and mediation
  • Constant celebration of all that you are contributing to others
  • Our weekly virtual on-line support system
  • All of our newest and archived online video and audio programs at DaveEllis.TV

Stephanie Hirsh


Stephanie Hirsh

Executive Director

“Without my coach, I doubt I would have accomplished many of my most significant achievements this year.” Read her entire testimonial.



We are so committed to this curriculum being effective for you, that if we determine during the program that you do not have the time or interest to participate fully, we reserve the right to remove you and refund your money based on the number of months that you have participated.

Option One: Entire curriculum - $8750
This price represents attending the three three-day workshops at our retreat location in Sonoma, California. Participants are responsible for their cost of lodging, food, and travel. We can deliver these workshops at your location depending on the number of people that you are training.
Option Two: Phases sold separately - $2995
You can purchase any one of the three phases in this curriculum separately. Phase One and Phase Two can be taken with no prerequisites. Phase Three requires Phase Two or previous training and experience in coaching. Participants are responsible for their cost of lodging, food, and travel.
Option Three: Incentive for decision makers - 50% discount for a workshop
If you are a decision maker wanting to train key people in your system, we want you to experience our offerings. Please contact us so we can bring you coaching and one of our three-day workshops at a discounted price.
Option Four: Stand-alone workshops - $1000 tuition
If you want to attend just one of our workshops, please contact us so that we can speak to you briefly and make sure that our individual workshops are a great fit for you. In addition to tuition, you will be responsible for your hotel, food, and travel expenses.
Option Five: Stand-alone coaching - $8000 to $20,000 per year
Please contact us so that we can determine what coaching package would be right for you.
Maria Otero


Maria Otero

Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs

Former President & CEO

“The Dave Ellis Leadership Training and coaching has positively affected my leadership capacity. I have attended Dave's workshops and received one-on-one coaching from one of his executive life coaches. I have drawn from all of that and incorporated it into my day-to-day work.” Read her entire testimonial.

Jack Canfield


Jack Canfield


“I highly recommend taking Dave Ellis' workshops or hiring Dave as a speaker. I really love the engagement, the self-awareness, and the aha's that I and all the other participants were having.” Read his entire testimonial.



Our workshops can be part of an ongoing leadership training where we are developing teams. The workshops can also be taken independently of our curriculum. Contact us for more information.

Register for an upcoming workshop

Upcoming Workshops

One, two, or three-day workshops can be customized from the following offerings and delivered at your location. For details about timing and pricing, please contact us.

Falling Awake Workshop: Realizing your fullest potential
Birmingham, AL - September 23 - 25, 2016

For a brochure, Click here.

The purpose of this workshop is to assist you to significantly and permanently improve the quality of your life. For most participants this is a start of a new chapter of their life.

This workshop is also an opportunity for life coaches to discover a curriculum and learn powerful strategies to assist clients in their personal and professional lives.

During this workshop, we will assist you to create a life purpose and a detailed comprehensive plan for the rest of your life. You can expect to quickly and permanently improve the quality of your life by changing the habits that create your future. We will focus on the 12 success strategies from Falling Awake by Dave Ellis.

Given what past participants have reported, the results you can expect include:

  • Solving your biggest problem
  • Celebrating daily
  • Improving your romantic relationship
  • Thinking what you have never thought
  • Creating breakthroughs in communication
  • Releasing past hurts and failures
  • Removing self-imposed limitations
  • Creating detailed plans to reach your biggest goal
  • Increasing creativity
  • Living an inspired life
  • Listening to promote authenticity and brilliance
  • Practicing radical generosity
  • Managing stress
  • Having more fun at work and at home
  • Improving health
  • Contributing more to the most important people in your life

Please read and listen to the testimonials on the left for what past participants say about us. Tuition for this workshop ranges from $395 to $495. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please register here or contact us.

The hours of this workshop are: Friday: 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm, Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday: 9 am to 4 pm.

Coaching for 21st Century Leadership

This two or three-day training is scheduled and customized for groups upon request.

The purpose of this workshop is to assist you to develop leadership and coaching skills to help yourself and others rapidly solve problems and achieve goals. Results you can achieve include:

  • Leading by following desire not obligation
  • Visioning clearly and creatively
  • Determining what you want
  • Moving from "have to" to "want to"
  • Less gossip and more candor
  • Telling the Truth
  • Improved team performance
  • Integrating many new leadership strategies
  • Fostering Creativity
  • Managing agreements
  • Managing assumptions for productivity
  • Making requests
  • Developing coaching skills
  • Better work/life balance
  • Ways to change a habit
  • Mastering your time, email, and to do list

Please read and listen to the testimonials on the left for what influential leaders say about us. This workshop can be taken independently or as part of our curriculum. For the costs of our curriculum, see pricing. Tuition for this workshop is $600. Group and reviewer discounts are available. If you are interested in attending this invitation-only workshop, please contact us.

Dennis Sparks


Dennis Sparks

Emeritus Executive Director

“Dave Ellis' teaching has been profoundly useful to me as a leader and as a human being. Through my work with Dave, I was inspired to do the impossible, to set large goals which I had no idea how to achieve, and then to actually find ways to create the desired results..” Read his entire testimonial.


The material for the workshops comes from the books Falling Awake and Life Coaching by Dave Ellis. The Falling Awake Workshop is important to team building and professional development because of its focus on improving the quality of each individual's life. Successful individuals are successful leaders. It is difficult to coach, assist, or lead others unless our lives are basically fulfilled, balanced, and healthy. Some professionals challenge our approach of starting with life skills, but we believe that until you “fill yourself up” it is difficult to “give yourself away.”

We notice that as soon as a leader or a coach improves one part of his life (personal or professional) it affects every aspect of his or her life.

More important than the topics covered in the workshops is the process of setting aside time to do your most creative thinking for three days away from the normal distractions of work and family. During this time you can focus on yourself, your leadership, your coaching, and your future.

Anne Lynam Goddard


Anne Lynam Goddard

President & CEO

“This workshop revived me. I'd never been in an event like this, where I knew no one else, and I could focus just on me. The training allowed me to let go of a lot of deep-seated grieving I had for human suffering that I had seen through my work. That was an incredible experience that I had never anticipated.” Read her entire testimonial.

Yolanda Richardson


Yolonda Richardson

Past President & CEO

“The leadership training had an incredible impact on me. I directly took the benefits and applied them to working with my staff, and that was quite successful.” Read her entire testimonial.

Sample agenda

(We customize the agenda for each two or three-day workshop. Following is an example.)

Day 1

10:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. Workshop begins
1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Workshop continues
Dinner (on your own with other participants)

Day 2

9:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Workshop continues
12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Lunch & break
2:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Workshop continues
Dinner (on your own with other participants)

Day 3

9:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Workshop continues
12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Lunch together & break
2:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. Workshop concludes
Dennis Sparks


Sam Worthington

President & CEO

“When I took this three-day leadership training with Dave Ellis, I was able to examine a number of leadership approaches that I was using in my work, refine them, and apply them in a way that was more directly linked to my own personal vision. That vision is a world where individuals are better off and human well-being is advanced.” Read his entire testimonial.



One of the ways to be involved with us is by hiring a coach. Professional athletes use coaches to help them improve and excel in their field. A coach can help you improve and excel in leadership skills.

Click here to listen to an interview with Dave Ellis and others about coaching.

Our coaches are trained to listen and then assist you to get exactly what you want. They can provide objective and valuable feedback that's very difficult to generate by yourself. Their work is confidential and can produce amazing results.

Coaching is a process whereby the coach assists the client to determine what he or she wants in all areas of work and life and to then develop realistic and multiple action plans to achieve those visions.

Generally the coach meets with clients three to five hours per month for six months or more to assist them to achieve what they want by discovering their passions and uncovering their genius.

By meeting with a coach, clients create and achieve goals in every area. This happens through frequent contact with the coach who serves as the client's full partner in their development.

Coaching is not just a collection of techniques. It's a form of relationship that's both confidential and life-changing. People usually reveal more to their coach than to friends, counselors, or even their spouse. Through this relationship, clients can move quickly from problems to solutions, from insights to action, from the status quo to completely new outcomes in their lives.

Coaches provide a service for leaders who are already basically happy and successful. Our coaches are committed to assisting their clients to experience a deep sense that they are free - free from their obligations, their limitations, their fears, and any other obstacles to realizing their full leadership potential, passion and brilliance.

Clients can expect the following benefits:

  • Improved workplace morale
  • Clear future visions
  • Contributing more to the world
  • Fuller celebration
  • Higher production from others
  • More motivation and clarity
  • Outstanding professional and personal relationships
  • Improved health and vitality
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual well-being

Monica Walsh


Monica Walsh

Executive Director

“I highly recommend the Leadership Workshops that Dave Ellis conducts. They have changed the way that I look at myself as a leader and the way that my co-workers respond to me as a leader. That exponentially makes things move far quicker and far better than anything that I've ever experienced. And my friends and co-workers also see a big difference.” Read her entire testimonial.

Sam Daley-Harris


Sam Daley-Harris


“I did the training with my wife. The question, ‘What is the life of your dreams?’ was a profound gift to both of us. We really created our life anew out of the training with lots of big changes related to where we live and how our work was structured.”

“The training really gave us permission to vision the life of our dreams. It was a big thrill, because it launched changes that have been so satisfying.” Read his entire testimonial.


About Us

Dave Ellis leads a powerful team of consultants and coaches who are committed to bring out the best in individuals and teams. As an organization we put our entire focus on serving you.

Dave Ellis is a leadership coach, author, educator, and philanthropist. His first book Becoming a Master Student, currently in its fifteenth edition, has been the best-selling college textbook in the US for over 20 years. In addition to this book, he has authored and co-authored seven others including Life CoachingFalling Awake, and Creating Your Future. He also wrote a booklet titled “Becoming a Master Teacher”.

Dave Ellis is a respected lecturer and workshop leader who has reached audiences worldwide since first sharing his principles in 1979. He has coached national and international nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, an NBA coach, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Through his workshops and books, he has helped over six million people create a more wonderful life.

Dave got started in education in 1976 when he taught junior high school math. After getting a Masters Degree, he taught computer science for six years at National American University. He also served as Assistant Dean of Student Services and President of the college. In 1979 he designed a course to improve student retention and traveled the country for a decade conducting workshops for teachers on ways to improve student retention and test scores. He began training coaches in 1983 and started a public course for coaches in 1993.

Dave has a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Psychology, a masters degree in Computer Science, work on a Ph.D. in Psychology, and an honorary Ph.D. in Naturopathic Philosophy.

He is president of Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc, a publishing and consulting company that gives away all of its profits. He is founder and president of The Brande Foundation, a nonprofit organization offering individual and group coaching to nonprofit organizations. Dave has contributed millions of dollars to the work of his foundation and to other organizations.

Dave Ellis resides in the Bay Area of California with his wife Trisha. Together they have four daughters and five grandchildren.


Coaching and Consulting Staff


Bill Rentz

Vice President, MCC, Executive Coach

Bill Rentz has worked with Dave Ellis for over 23 years. He is the Vice-President of both Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc., and The Brande Foundation. Bill is a Master Certified Coach through International Coach Federation. He is responsible for developing and operating our Leadership and Coach Training program. Bill is also responsible for much of the day-to-day operation of our organizations. He lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota and is a dedicated husband for over 21 years who loves the outdoors.


JoAnne Bangs

Director of Training, PCC, Executive Coach

JoAnne Bangs is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) as certified by the International Coach Federation. She began a coaching practice 22 years ago while raising two young children, and ever since then JoAnne has been coaching individuals, business owners, couples, and leaders of nonprofit organizations. After a major health challenge in 2000, she transformed all aspects of her life such that her life is now vibrant, accomplished, and joyful. Her goal is to assist her clients to achieve the same through coaching and our trainings.


Peter Chandonnet

Executive Coach

In addition to being a coach, Peter teaches yoga at the Yoga Studio in San Francisco. Peter has a great love for coaching and yoga, because these two forms of transformation have brought great love, abundance, purpose, and passion to his life and to the lives of others. His purpose is to be an inspiration to himself and to others and inspire others to their greatness. It is Peter's dream that we live in a world that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling. He feels coaching and yoga have the potential to create such a world.


Francine Campone

Executive Coach

Francine Campone, Ed.D., PCC coaches leaders in education and nonprofit organizations, organization teams, and mature professionals making significant transitions in life and work. Her coach training is complemented by experience in humanistic mediation, group dynamics and facilitation, Constructive Living Practice, and 30 years of experience in higher and adult education. A member of the founding faculty of University of Texas at Dallas' graduate coaching certification program, Francine developed and teaches an introduction to research practices for coaches. Dr. Campone is active in the International Coach Federation's research arena and the Foundation of Coaching in the development of a repository of coaching research.


Dave Ellis

President, Executive Coach

Dave assists people to realize their fullest potential through his coaching, books, workshops, videos, and interactive online classes. He challenges people to think what they have never thought and empowers them to take actions that they have never taken. He facilitates others in creating their organizations and their lives by examining every area of life for the rest of their organization’s life and their personal life and beyond. They then develop realistic action plans to produce results they never imagined possible.

Dave is a leadership coach, author, educator, and philanthropist. He wrote and published, Becoming a Master Student, which is currently in its fifteenth edition and has been the best-selling college textbook in America for over two decades. In addition to this book, he has written six others including, Life Coaching, Falling Awake, and Creating Your Future.

Dave is a respected lecturer and workshop leader who has reached audiences worldwide since first sharing his principles in 1979. He has coached national and international nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, an NBA coach, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Through his workshops and books, he has helped over six million people create a more wonderful life.

In 1987, he founded The Brande Foundation which provides, at no cost, individual and group coaching to national and international nonprofits. Dave has contributed millions of dollars to the work of his foundation and to other organizations.

Ellis was an Assistant Dean of Student Services, a member of the Administrative Board, and president of National American University, a proprietary school, where for six years he taught computer programming and a first year experience course he designed on being successful in college. Dave has a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Psychology, a masters degree in Computer Science, work on a Ph.D. in Psychology, and an honorary Ph.D. in Naturopathic Philosophy.

He lives in the Bay Area of California with his wife Trisha. Together they have four daughters and five grandchildren.


Rick Ingrasci

Executive Coach

Rick Ingrasci, M.D., M.P.H. is a psychiatrist, author, and teacher in the fields of integrative medicine, community development, organizational learning, and holistic education. Rick has a rich background in psychiatry, holistic medicine, and personal and social transformation. He is a graduate of Cornell University Medical College and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the co-author of the best-selling book Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life. Rick is a co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility.


Stan Lankowitz

Executive Coach

Stan Lankowitz, M.Ed., L.P.C., dedicates his career to helping leaders in nonprofit organizations and businesses resolve problems, explore new possibilities, design and implement strategic plans, and achieve success. The coaching he has provided for over 30 years help people improve the quality of their lives in both personal and professional domains.

Susan Griffin Black


Susan Griffin Black

Co-Founder & CEO

“I highly recommend the trainings to anyone who's interested in living from their values and more from their heart. I'm deeply grateful for this work and for Dave.” Read her entire testimonial.

Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc.

Breakthrough Enterprises is a publishing and consulting company incorporated in 1981 in South Dakota. It provides life coaching, workshops, books, tapes and other materials to assist people to improve the quality of their lives. It is a for-profit company that donates all of its profits to The Brande Foundation.

The Brande Foundation

In 1987, Dave Ellis founded The Brande Foundation and endowed it with royalties from the sale of, “Becoming a Master Student.” This best-selling college textbook is designed to assist students to be successful in school and beyond. Ellis formed the foundation to sponsor projects and contribute money to a wide variety of local, state, national, and international organizations.

The purpose of the foundation is to promote life and aliveness on the planet in five basic areas including: 1) world sufficiency (adequate food, water, and shelter for all people); 2) environmental integrity (a healthy and sustainable ecosystem); 3) human rights; 4) world peace; and, 5) personal transformation (human effectiveness and education).

The projects of The Brande Foundation have included Native American education and leadership development, community health and education, bias awareness workshops, fundraising for micro credit lending, and eradicating poverty around the world.

Organizations that have been major recipients of funding have included CARE, OXFAM, United Way, Working Against Violence, Inc., Youth & Family Services, The Hunger Project, RESULTS Educational Fund, The Institute of Noetic Sciences, The Gorbachev Foundation, Pachamama Alliance, and Amnesty International.

Currently, the primary project of The Brande Foundation is to provide life coaching and workshops to leaders of large, national and international, nonprofit organizations. To find out more about the Brande Foundation, click here.

The Brande Foundation does not accept proposals from other nonprofit organizations or individuals since its long-term budget has already been set and is devoted to projects that it coordinates.

Melanie Macdonald


Melanie Macdonald

President & CEO

“Because of my experience with Dave Ellis' teachings, my husband certainly has noticed that I'm calmer, I'm happier, and that my impact on the world through my work is much greater than it has ever been before.”

“The passion and caring that Dave brings to this work are very evident in the content and its impact on participants. Many of Dave's teachings have made my life much happier and healthier. They've also made me a much better leader.”

“I'm more confident now, I stand up for myself more often, and my success is at the highest level of my career after over 30 years of leading not-for-profits.” Read her entire testimonial.

Our Privacy Policy

We are committed to protecting your privacy. When you order products, we promise to not disclose to third parties the information that you provide. If you do not wish to receive e-mail or other correspondence related to Falling Awake or other promotions or products, simply indicate your preference when creating your account. Click here to see our privacy policy.

Charles Pfeffer


Charles Pfeffer


“Even though Dave's ideas are brilliant, what I most appreciate about his trainings is the focus on the participants' creativity and their own thinking.” Read his entire testimonial.



The following resources are only available to people that have gone through our programs. If you want temporary access to these services to test them, please contact us.

On-line Journal
This service allows you to express yourself and create a personal record of your progress for the weeks, months, and years to come. You can then sort it by categories or locate entries by keyword searches. Your information is secure and confidential.
On-Line Planning
This service allows you to create a long-range plan by describing, categorizing, and prioritizing your dreams and goals. Your information is secure and confidential.
This service provides access to most of Dave Ellis' newest teaching. It is a interactive website where you can randomly access short graphically enhanced video presentations and audio programs.
Lynne Twist


Lynne Twist

“Life coaching helps you look at the legacy you'll leave and how your life will impact people 500 years from now. It's a very remarkable process.” Read her entire testimonial.



Our printed, video, and audio materials can be ordered through our Bookstore. Most of our books can also be ordered from

Jack Gordon


Jack Gordon

Former President & Chairman

“It's certainly not psychotherapy, and it's not really counseling, but we talk about the kind of things you might discuss with a close family member or a friend. And my coach can be pretty dispassionate about it. I don't feel any constraint in talking to him because I don't know if I'll ever see him. It's sort of a neutral relationship and lends itself very well to the kind of anonymity that permits a very open discussion.” Read his entire testimonial.


Contact Us

Please call

Bill Rentz 1-605-394-0072

If you are interested in any of our programs, please complete the following form:

First Name:
Last Name:
# People Interested in Training:
Best Time to Call:
Alternate Phone:
Best Time to Call:
Enter Code: Refresh


South Dakota Office

Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc.

2650 Jackson Blvd.
P.O. Box 8396
Rapid City, SD 57702

Phone: 605-394-0072

California Office

Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc.

1050 Court Street #518
San Rafael, CA 94901

Phone: 415-686-6900

Lynn McMullen


Lynn McMullen

Executive Director

“Coaching is really about empowerment and win-win. What I really want to get at here is that I have learned about how to be even more impactful in the political area by adopting a policy of not functioning in an adversarial mode. It kind of sticks out in this particular milieu. We are willing to stand for something that's big enough so that everyone can see their way to participate. I think that many of our congressional victories over the last few years have occurred because we work with conservatives and liberals and middle of the road politicians for something that really serves all people.” Read her entire testimonial.


Home | Curriculum | Pricing | Coaching | About Us  | Resources | Contact Us | Bookstore 

Copyright © 2016 Dave Ellis Leadership.  All Rights Reserved.