Glenn’s Story

There was a moment in time, not precisely defined, when I came to the awareness that the time I had been spending on Native American reservations, in ceremonies, time with elders, and with my adopted Navajo family was contributing to my business career in ways I could never have foreseen. I was discovering that these two seemingly disparate tracks in life were actually congruent in some ways and that the Indigenous ways were leading me to a place of greater ease, confidence, intuition, creativity, leadership, and vision.

“With each transverse from the Navajo reservation to the conference room my head would spin with the contrasts”

At that point in time I was just about ten years into my journey with the Indigenous traditions and more than fifteen years in business. The early part of my business career was rocky and at times dysfunctional, both in terms of the companies and people I worked with, but also as a result of my own value system, self-concept, and worldview. As I deepened my involvement in Indigenous ceremonies and teachings I was feeling more and more at home, yet with each transverse from the Navajo reservation to the conference room my head would spin with the contrasts.

It took quite some time before I realized the contrasts were neither inherent nor necessary. I discovered that we in the business world have signed on to a mythology that says that how we do business is distinct from how we live our personal lives. Conversely, the Indigenous teachings were showing me that how we are with our families, friends, and communities is how we can be in the business world; that there is no separation.

Glenn Pondering

In the working world I have had a diverse career with a few consistent threads, sales, sales coaching and business development being one thread, strategy being another, and large-scale event production. From investment sales, to an eleven-year stint at a big city newspaper, to several years in sustainability, and in the summer of 2011 the launch of Balanced Is, the majority of this time has been in parallel with my immersion in North American Indigenous culture and spirituality.

In 2010 I married Maria Rueda, a woman of Mexican and Apache decent, a mother of three teenagers, and a deeply spiritual woman of great respect and dignity. Maria is not only my life partner, she is also my business partner.

In the spring of 2012 I felt a certain nudge or guidance to begin writing about the congruency of Indigenous principles to the world of doing business. For the following year I wrote, discovered, wrote some more and birthed into being a complete system for culture change based on the teachings I had received and experiences of the past eighteen years. My first book, SHIFT: Indigenous Principles for Corporate Change, codifies thirteen principles from indigenous culture that collectively offer us a way of working and being in our lives in which we can find deep fulfillment from our work while intentionally shifting organizational culture.

My blog, Heart and Mind, is an ongoing story of how bridging the mind with heart brings us to a place of real and meaningful change.

Together with Maria we bring many decades of training and experiential learning to the task of assisting individuals and businesses in the creation of legacy. This is the work we feel called to do and the work that brings us great fulfillment. We reside in Western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


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Learn About Glenn’s Book Shift

Shift: Indigenous Principles for Corporate Change


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