Meet Shannon Weston

2022-11 Shannon Weston HS-7

Meet Shannon:

Shannon Weston utilizes 20 years of experience to empower leaders to be their best while navigating strenuous situations. Shannon is an agile listener, learner, and observer. Her work leaves her clients full of hope and a renewed sense of energy.  She works with leaders to create a courageous space so all voices can be heard. Shannon believes accountability is critical and will help you and your organization work on clear expectations and sustainable results. 

Shannon fluidly moves between her gifts as a Leadership Coach, a Process Consultant, and a Coach Trainer offering her clients sustainable outcomes and skills needed to thrive. Her dynamic energy makes her a sought-after speaker and retreat leader. Shannon has direct knowledge of the exhaustion and exhilaration of creating long-term strategic change for an organization and how vital an outside perspective might be. 

As a pastor,  Shannon facilitated the creation of healthy systems through strategic planning, listening sessions, and leadership development. She experienced firsthand how Leadership Coaching changed the system of an organization for the better, creating a culture of accountability. 

During the pandemic, Shannon saw the fruits of effective processes in organizations and wanted to help others on a larger scale.  She became a Lead Trainer for the Coach Approach Skills Training (CAST) to help others make substantial organizational changes and joined Design Group International in 2022 to further this mission. 

Above all, Shannon is a passionate leader who thrives when others thrive. 

Shannon's Expertise & Certifications


With over 500 hours of coaching experience, Shannon is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and is an ordained minister in the PC(USA). Her work is recognized as a validated ministry by the Presbytery of Baltimore. She holds a BA in Music from the University of Louisville and a Master of Divinity from Louisville Seminary. She is completing her Doctorate of Ministry with her thesis: Coaching Leadership for Systematic Change from St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

What Clients Say About Shannon

The level of skill and depth of heart which Shannon brings to her coaching and consulting makes her stand out in her field. It is no wonder she is in demand working with organizations and individuals.

Working with Shannon as my coach was both delightful and helpful.   She assisted me in identifying what was holding me back-  what my fears were - so that I could chart a faithful path forward.  And, while coaching necessarily includes honesty and good, hard work, our sessions were woven together with  laughter and joy.  I am very grateful for the work we did together.
Chris Holmes Anna Straight
Chris Holmes, Co-Owner of Coach Approach Skills Training (CAST)
Rev. Dr. Anna Pinckney Straight, Pastor, New Bern, NC

How can I help?

Individual & Team Coaching

Leadership coaching and executive advising require listening to what is emerging for you as a leader. As your guide, my role is to help co-create a clear path forward with you toward your leadership goals and objectives. 

That sounds great, but what is it again?

I have to admit; I’m a bit of a cluttery person. Years ago, I would watch shows and read blogs that would help people organize their homes, and I would follow those techniques. About once a month, everything in my house would be put away. These solutions worked well for a single woman in a studio apartment or as a newlywed before kids. 

Now that I have four children, a cat and a dog, this doesn’t happen anymore. The techniques didn’t change; the volume and the factors did. 

The world we live in no longer has easy solutions. There aren’t five simple steps to anything anymore; in fact, there are so many factors that leaders everywhere are overwhelmed and exhausted. Motivation is at an all-time low, and decision fatigue is at an all-time high. What used to work no longer does.

What I do as a leadership coach is to be your eyes and ears when you are overwhelmed. In coaching, we will face your most significant challenges together. We will dig into the complex issues by asking questions and looking at the problem from all sides. Ultimately, we will have actionable steps and a solid accountability process to ensure progress. 

You don’t have to do this alone. Think of me as your best friend from High School who would come over and talk to you while you cleaned your room. What seems like an impossible task, is always better with a friend. Feel free to get on my calendar so we can talk through your specific needs.

Coach & Skills Training

Teaching coaching skills to leaders using CAST, a proprietary, highly interactive, four-module program designed to equip individuals to coach others and lead with a “coach-approach.” Approved by the International Coaching Federation, CAST is the first step to becoming an ICF-credentialed coach. 

Why are you so passionate about Training? 

In 2016 I was struggling. The current environment of the board I was leading was distrustful and hostile at times. In the previous four years, I used every method of organizational development I knew. I had taken them through the Appreciative Inquiry model and done development on authentic and vulnerable leadership and what it means to be a non-anxious presence. None of it was working. I needed more tools in my toolbox. 

So in January 2017, I invested in an intensive course in coach training. What happened during that week changed everything about the way I led. Coach Training gave me not only the tools I needed to turn this organization around but allowed me to authentically live into being a self-differentiated leader in the process. 

Coaching gave me a framework to slow the process down, hold the board accountable, and move the conversation forward instead of simply spinning our wheels. Through deep listening and powerful questions, new possibilities were everywhere. Within the year, the board was functioning on a completely different level. Decisions were made through a process agreed upon by everyone, building trust and confidence. 

When the pandemic hit and tough decisions needed to be made, the board had a process of making room for complex discussions, trusting each other, and communicating vital information to the congregation. The process mattered, and coaching got us there. 

Coach training makes better leaders. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing? Trainings can be as small as teaching your leaders to listen deeper or ask better questions. If you or your organization are interested in training, schedule a time below to talk. You won’t regret it. 

Speaker & Retreats

Utilizing the power of getting out of our familiar environment or a familiar speaker, is essential to use our imaginations for a vibrant and sustainable future. 

Can’t I just send my team a Ted Talk? 

I love podcasts and online content, it has helped leaders grow in ways we didn’t know were possible. Honestly, I’m grateful. 


We are isolated now more than ever. With constant zoom meetings and the world pulling us in a thousand different directions taking some time to retreat from the demands of the world can be a priceless investment for your team. 

Together we can work to create content tailored to your organization, then your team can work together to implement the solutions that are best for them. Sometimes our creative and more generative processes get shoved aside for the daily tasks and shiny objects that demand our attention. 

Setting aside an afternoon or a few days allows your team to interact in different ways, get to know each other and share best practices as well as their authentic selves. 

Years ago I was the director for a retreat for leaders who thought they were alone in the world. Those three days twice a year allowed them to come together to rest, build relationships, and dream bigger than they thought imaginable. Sometimes you need content, and sometimes, you just need to give yourself and your team space to dream of a vibrant future. 

If this sounds like something your organization needs, let me help, we can also combine with some skills training while we’re at it. Feel free to schedule an appointment below. 

Visioning & Strategic Plan

Visioning and strategic planning for an organization often starts with alignment and clarity.

Do these really work, is your process so different?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I don’t have all the answers for you. I mean, it’d be nice, wouldn’t it? But I don’t. And I wouldn’t trust anyone who said they did. 

Design Group International’s values are listening, helping and learning. We say “it begins with design” because we don’t have the answers, we design the process together. There’s no formula here. 

Process matters, how we work together to develop your vision and strategic plan matters. I wonder, when you’ve done plans in the past did everyone have confidence in the process? Did you know why you needed a plan? Were the right people in the room? Was the planning rooted in your ethos and authentic to the organization

This is the beginning of the process we will work on together when creating a vision and strategic plan. And I want to admit something here, I’ve tried to do this as a leader from within the organization, but it was hard. With a capital H.A.R.D. Why? Because we are limited even as a leader of a team, even when we are at our best and self-differentiated, we are limited. 

Having an outside perspective allows us all to observe ourselves differently, it allows us to hear each other in new ways, and learn the culture of your organization. In other words, it deeps your understanding and allows everyone to get on the same page. Hopefully, getting some help from your team while you push that boulder uphill.

Last, because I combine Leadership Coaching with Process Consulting, your team will not just walk away with a plan, but action items and an accountability system to achieve your goals. I have a gift to be able to see the big picture, while working on the practical details. If you’re ready to get unstuck in your progress, set up an appointment below, I’d love to help. 

Organizational Assessments & Evaluations

Organizational assessments and evaluations help bring clarity, focus, and direction by aligning your internal resources (people, programs, stated priorities) with your current resources and external marketplace realities.

What is the ethos of your organization? 

This question raises my heart rate, I get excited, I get curious in anticipation of your answer. 

However, many organizations cannot answer this question. I often hear elevator pitches or a recitation of a mission statement, but often these answers do not get to the character of your organization, your guiding beliefs or ideals. 

To get to a concrete answer we will spend time together listening to everyone within the organization, asking the right questions and being able to do evaluation from an honest place, looking at all angles. This isn’t just a process of ideals, but of reality as well. 

Once we answer these questions we can begin to ask if these are the characteristics that we want to be living into, is this who we want to be? If the answer is no then we can develop a plan to live more authentically into who you want to be. 

If you come to learn that your ethos is aligned with who you want to be, then how do we communicate that message more effectively? How can our organization grow in this learning?

Being able to fully articulate your organization’s ethos bring clarity to the organization and it’s leadership. Everything you do, every decision made, is seen through that filter. Does this align with our values and character, will this decision allow our organization to live more fully into our mission and purpose? 

Think about all the possibilities for you as a leader and the other leaders of your organization if you had this kind of clarity. Lean into that excitement and set up a time to talk using the link below. 

Publications & Resources

Unburdened Blog Logo


Get in Touch with Shannon

Send a Note