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Do you worry that you are living at a pace you can sustain for now but not over the long term?

Have you tried repeatedly to make changes in your life only to fall back into old habits?

Are you ready to lead yourself and others in a way that is aligned with your values?

Transforming Success® Virtual


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Our in-person Transforming Success® workshops have previously been available only at companies in the Birmingham and Atlanta areas. We have helped over 1000 participants address recurring challenges that professionals face that can inhibit their development as leaders and contribute to dissatisfaction with their careers and their lives. This program focuses on skill sets that are often overlooked in traditional leadership development but that are essential for all of us to function at our best in every role in our lives.

We are excited to launch a new virtual program that makes the workshop accessible to individuals and/or groups in any geographic area.


Julie and Lisa bring so much insight, experience and humility to the program; it’s nearly impossible not to feel like they created the content just for you. If you are on the fence, do it. If you don’t think you can afford it, figure it out. If you’re like me, you’ll feel like you got your money’s worth after the 2nd session.


– Meredith Calhoun,  Co Founder, Practice Works



Leaders who seek continuous growth and seek to understand themselves and others better

High potential employees at risk of burning out

People who want to make a change but don’t know how or where to start

Transforming Success® is for current and emerging leaders. It is the essential “primer”
every leader needs to prepare them for future development.



 Participants will have begun the inner work that deepens an understanding of their strengths, limitations, and how they operate as humans. With this knowledge about themselves, they have a strong foundation on which to build additional leadership capabilities and apply this to effectively leading others. 

What’s Included:

Seven live virtual sessions facilitated by Dr. Julie McDonald and Dr. Lisa Graham, including real-time coaching


Pre-recorded videos and reading material before each session

Online discussions between sessions with cohort members and Julie and Lisa

Tools that are grounded in solid psychological research and best practices


A psychologically safe space to have real conversations about what truly matters to you

Honesty, support, and humor from Julie and Lisa and your fellow participants

Ongoing access to your small cohort of fellow participants after the program ends

The Transforming Success® program not only provided practical tools with real world applications, but it also created a sense of community among the participants.  I will remain grateful for these new skills and relationships for years to come. 


– Libby Romano, Digital Strategy Manager, Alabama Power



Julie McDonald, Ph.D. and Lisa Goldstein Graham, Ph.D. are owners of McDonald Graham, LLC, a leadership development and coaching partnership. Together, their mission is to create space for people to do the difficult inner work that is necessary to become their best selves.  They are skilled at helping people to let down their guard, have honest conversations about their lives, and spark new ways of approaching work and life that lead to greater effectiveness and more fulfillment. To learn more about Lisa and Julie and their company, McDonald Graham, visit www.mcdonaldgraham.com


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Julie has been a practicing clinical psychologist for over 25 years. In November 2019, she retired from her private psychology practice at Bair, Peacock, McDonald, McMullan, &  Bell, P.C. to focus solely on her work at McDonald Graham.


lisa camel and cream

Lisa has practiced in the field of organizational psychology for over 20 years. Before establishing McDonald Graham, she worked as a consultant with Blankenship & Seay Consulting Group for 17 years.



The Transforming Success® Virtual program includes pre-recorded videos, online discussion in which Julie and Lisa participate, and live virtual sessions facilitated by Julie and Lisa. Attendance at the live sessions is extremely important. We will not be recording any of the sessions and we don’t want you to miss out on the unique discussions that will occur within each session. In each of our live sessions, we will dive deeply into one of the six modules of the Transforming Success® program, using interactive exercises and small group discussions. Each module provides a tool you can use immediately to make changes that bring you closer to creating a life and career that are aligned with who you are and what you need to function at your best.



The program is designed around seven 2.0-hour live virtual sessions — typically with two-weeks between each session to allow you to digest the material, implement the tools learned, and prepare for the next session. A 45 to 60-minute pre-recorded video is released prior to each session. The time required to participate in online forum discussions and to consume bonus material depends on how fast you move and how deeply you want to go. We recommend setting aside 20-30 hours to complete the program, about 2.0 hours per week.



The group coaching format of our program is an important element of the curriculum.  Our open-enrollment cohorts will be limited to 35 participants.  The size of our corporate cohorts is typically smaller and determined based on the needs of the organization. The group coaching format helps build rapport among participants and ensures accountability and continuity between sessions.  It also fosters the development of a new support network that we hope will continue to benefit participants long after the program has ended. Online communication between sessions extends the opportunity for relationship-building and provides participants with support for real-time practice integrating the tools. 

Our next open-enrollment cohort (scheduled for September) will be a women’s* cohort.  It’s our experience that the conversation is richer, and growth is stronger when cohorts are organized by gender.  If you are a male and interested in joining the program, click here.  We will capture your interest and contact you first about a men’s* cohort.

*references to gender refer to gender identity



Registration is open for our Fall 2021 session.  The session begins on September 21 and runs through December 14.  

The live Zoom sessions will take place 11:30am to 1:30pm CST on the following Tuesdays: 
September 21, 2021
September 28, 2021
October 12, 2021
October 26, 2021
November 9, 2021
November 30, 2021
December 14, 2021

If the Fall 2021 session does not work with your calendar, join our Transforming Success® distribution list to be notified when registration opens for our next session at  https://mcdonaldgraham.activehosted.com/f/34.

Enrollment for our Spring 2021 session is closed. 

For a copy of our flyer about the program, click here.

Session 1: Welcome & Getting Started

During our first session together, the focus will be getting to know the members of your cohort and orienting you to the platform and tools we will be using during the workshop.

Between Sessions 1 and 2

Online discussion
Myth of Work-Life Balance Video released

Session 2: Myth of Work-Life Balance

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Yes, it’s a myth! We guide participants through the process of rejecting the unattainable standard of work-life balance and introduce them to a model that better reflects the reality of their lives.

Between Sessions 2 and 3

Online discussion
Invisible Barriers Video released

Session 3: Invisible Barriers

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Many of us keep trying to address the same issues over and over again without success. We help participants identify and
alter the invisible psychological barriers that prevent them from making the changes to which they are sincerely committed.

Between Sessions 3 and 4

Online discussion
Change What You Can Video released

Session 4: Change What You Can

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Once the invisible barriers to change are identified, participants are encouraged to focus on changing what they can — their own perspectives and responses. And participants learn to design and deploy a quasi-experimental approach to testing these perspectives and responses.

Between Sessions 4 and 5

Online discussion
Honor Your Personal Bandwidth
Video released

Session 5: Honor Your Personal Bandwidth

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We all want to be able to do as much as – or more than – those around us are doing. (Or at least what we think they are doing.) Julie and Lisa lead participants through the process of identifying their personal resources (and their limits) and support them as they commit to living within their personal bandwidths.

Between Sessions 5 and 6

Online discussion
Flourish Through Strengths Video released 
Participants complete the online VIA Survey of Character Strengths 

Session 6: Flourish Through Strengths

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We focus so much on trying to fix or hide our weak spots that we forget the importance of nurturing (and enjoying) our natural strengths. Participants are encouraged to discover ways to purposefully recognize and incorporate their character strengths into their lives to increase motivation, satisfaction, and energy.

Between Sessions 6 and 7

Online discussion
Enhance Personal Power Video released

Session 7: Enhance Personal Power


We often try to emulate others’ definitions of excellent leadership rather than realizing that being an authentic human is the essential foundation of effective leadership. Participants learn how to make and act upon decisions that are aligned with who they truly are.

Funny, exciting, transcending, inspirational and motivational are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of my experience in the Transforming Success® program. This leadership program has taught me lessons that
I NOW cannot live without!


-Farah D. Lubin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the NINDS
Neuroscience Roadmap Scholar Program, University of Alabama in Birmingham

Early bird pricing ends on June 15th, 2021.  After June 15th, 2021, the standard registration price is $1,250 and the premium registration price is $1,625.  

There is a $100 fee for course cancellations on or before August 20th, 2021.  No refund for cancellations after August 20th, 2021. The registration is transferable at no cost.

We accept credit cards though our registration portal. If you prefer to receive an invoice so that you may pay by check, please contact Susan Andrews at admin@mcdonaldgraham.com.

For questions about discounts for non-profit organizations, please also contact Susan at admin@mcdonaldgraham.com.


Technical Needs


Zoom App
If you do not have Zoom on your computer, you will need to download this free app
Desktop or laptop computer (no iPads or phones)
Some of the Zoom functions do not work on tablets and phones; please attend the live sessions via a computer. If you don’t have a computer with video that you can use, you can log in to the Zoom link with both a computer and a hand-held device in order to have audio and access to the Zoom features.
Camera and microphone
A camera and microphone are necessary to engage with your coaches and other participants during the live sessions.

Request reimbursement from your employer

Need help getting reimbursed by your employer? Click here to download a proposal template.
Many organizations will reimburse tuition for professional development.

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