Elle Allison Napolitano


Elle Allison-Napolitano is founder of Wisdom Out, a professional development company specializing in leadership and organizational learning and a hub for research and information about the nature of wisdom in individuals, couples, leaders, and organizations.

Originally educated and employed as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent, Elle started her professional development and consulting business in 2000. Elle founded Wisdom Out in 2006, just as she was completing her PhD. in Organizational Learning from the University of New Mexico. Inspired by a single line in a textbook that said, “Wisdom is the pinnacle of adult learning,” Elle began researching the nature of wisdom and it’s role in learning organizations.

Building on her original wisdom studies, Elle’s research and fieldwork has led to discoveries about how to leverage organizational practices, processes and structures for sustainable change, leadership and organizational resilience and the development of transformational leadership.

Dr. Allison-Napolitano has worked with clients in education, health care, business, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Elle is a member of the National Speakers Association and is a graduate of National Staff Development Academy. She reaches a diverse audience by delivering engaging and informative keynote addresses and seminars on leadership and organizational development, leadership coaching, and wisdom.

Elle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their very old Vizsla dog named Ole.’

Speaking Topics

  • Leadership Resilience: Seeing things through with pluck and grace
  • Wisdom Out: The wisdom of transformational leadership
  • Transformational Leadership Coaching: For leaders who want to coach and build other leaders more than they want to manage people day-to-day
  • Wise Up: Darn good advice for fools in love (this engaging talk helps employees focus on caring for their most important relationships—which helps to make them happier and more engaged at work).

Bibliography & Video

  • Website: WisdomOut.com
  • On Amazon.com:
    • Allison-Napolitano, E. (2014) Bounce Forward: The Extraordinary Leadership of Resilience. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press.
    • Allison-Napolitano, E (2013). Flywheel: Transformational Leadership Coaching for Sustainable Change. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press.
    • Allison-Napolitano, E. & Pessut, D. (2015). Bounce Forward: The Extraordinary Leadership of Resilience. Alexandria, VA: The American Nurses Association.
  • Allison-Napolitano, E. What leadership looks like in adversity. Article for Reflections on Nurse Leadership (November, 2014).
  • Allison, E. (Wisdom Dressed in Scrubs: A Non-Nurse Offers Insights to the Caring Profession. (for Reflections on Nursing Leadership, Vol 37 Number 3).
  • Allison, E. Educational Leadership December 2011/January 2012 The Resilient Leader (pp. 78-79). This is an article I wrote on Leadership Resilience for ASCD.
  • Allison, E. “Engineering School Cultures for Successful Teacher Evaluation” http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol8/803-allison.aspx Teacher Evaluation: What’s Fair? What’s Effective?November 8, 2012 | Volume 8 | Issue 3

For video, please visit Wisdom Out’s YouTube Channel


PhD. in Organizational Learning from the University of New Mexico, MA in Education from Northeastern IL University, BS in Education from Illinois State University, member of the National Speaker’s Association, Graduate of the National Staff Development Academy from Learning Forward.

Speaker Endorsement

“The Leadership Resilience Bootcamp was a practical, thought provoking, and hands on opportunity to delve deep into the strategies I can use right away to bring leadership resilience into my life, my work team, and my community. What a gift!”

Karen Boyd, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Oakland, CA

“The Resilience Bootcamp was fun, informational, practical. The fact that different professions were brought together enriched the experience. I plan to do a presentation to my team and incorporate some of the exercises we did here.”

Jane Yi, Performance Effectiveness Manager, Stanford Health Care

“This workshop has been a great opportunity for renewal and I will be taking a renewed "can do" attitude back to work with me. The lessons you learn from Elle will help you become a success and will contribute to your physical and mental wellness.”

Stephanie Youngberg, Director of Nursing, Brightstar Care, St. Croix Valley MN

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