Notre Dame Executive Education’s Inspirational Leadership program offered in Ireland’s historic Kylemore Abbey

Author: Carol Elliott

Leadership doesn’t always carry an executive title. A doctor juggling a busy practice, a lawyer overseeing staff or even an academic professional can find themselves in demanding business leadership roles, just as any corporate CEO or director.

Designed to help senior leaders from diverse industries reassess and recommit to meaningful leadership, Inspirational Leadership at Kylemore is an immersive program offered by the University of Notre Dame’s Stayer Center for Executive Education.

The four-day certificate program, held Oct. 16-19 at the historic Kylemore Abbey Global Center in County Galway, Ireland, takes a holistic, values-centered approach that provides an enhanced set of tools for effective leadership. The deadline for application is Sept. 16.

“Inspirational Leadership at Kylemore brings Notre Dame’s unique integral approach to developing experienced leaders to Ireland,” said Paul Slaggert, director of the Stayer Center for Executive Education at Mendoza College of Business. “The design leverages the singular setting of Kylemore Abbey in a way that allows you to truly focus and reflect on how to become a better leader — the type of leader who leads with the intention of making a real difference in his or her organization and the world.”

The program is modeled after the Stayer Center’s longstanding Executive Integral Leadership (EIL) certificate program, which has enrolled more than 2,000 U.S. corporate directors and executives since its launch in 2002. EIL involves extensive self-evaluation in relation to complex business challenges, using personal coaches and a 360-feedback tool called The Leadership Circle Profile. Instructor Bob Anderson designed the tool to help leaders understand the relationship between how they habitually think and behave, and how these habits change their effectiveness.


Additional instructors include Superior Abbess Sister Maire Hickey, who has been influential in the monastic world for four decades as part of the Benedictine community; former professional athlete Alan Kerins, a chartered physiotherapist who developed the Inner Winner Institute; Anne Nagle, who spent more than 20 years in senior corporate roles in manufacturing and outsourced supply chain management sectors in multinational contexts; Des Lally, current doctoral candidate and resident of Connemara for 30-plus years; and Mel Dowdy, the lead program facilitator and faculty member for the Stayer Center’s signature, values-based programs.

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery located in the idyllic Connemara region in County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded in 1920 as an enclosed monastic order for Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium in World War I.


In May 2015, Notre Dame opened the Notre Dame Global Center at Kylemore in collaboration with the Benedictine Community who run the vibrant Kylemore estate. The Global Center hosts numerous and diverse programs that include third-level courses, retreats, tailored programs and cultural activities. The partnership was fostered by emeritus Notre Dame Trustee and Irish businessman Martin Naughton in an effort to advance the spiritual, cultural and educational missions shared by the University and the Benedictine Community in the west of Ireland.


Founded in 1980, the Stayer Center for Executive Education at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business provides leaders in the executive and management levels with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their leadership abilities and business acumen and skills. The Stayer Center offers non-degree certificate programs as well as degree programs in South Bend and Chicago, which include the Notre Dame Executive MBA, the Master of Science in Business Analytics and the Master of Finance.

To attend or bring a team to Ireland, contact Lisa Caulfield, Kylemore Abbey Global Center, +353 (0)95-41815, or Sue Callaghan, senior associate director for the Stayer Center for Executive Education,


Originally published by Carol Elliott at on July 23.