Dolores Bernardo

Dolores Bernardo


Who I’m Following:

Dolores brings 20 years of experience as a results-driven talent development leader, executive coach, and diversity and belonging advocate. Based in Silicon Valley, she most recently focused on leadership development at Airbnb where she worked with executive teams to improve their effectiveness and facilitated the leadership programs she helped build. A sought-after speaker, Dolores frequently speaks and writes on coaching topics.

Prior to Airbnb, Dolores was at Google for about 8 years, where she rose to lead the Global Manager Development team whose mission was for every Googler to have a great manager. The team’s work was featured in the best selling book, Work Rules! and on Google’s reWork site, which shares Google’s best practices for transforming the workplace.

Dolores combines her deep understanding of leadership challenges with her business background. She began her career at Accenture where she gained experience in management consulting. She also serves on boards at Coro, an organization that develops civic leaders, and at California Polytechnic State University in, San Luis Obispo. A mom, entrepreneur, Fortune 500 coach & consultant, diversity advocate and cancer survivor, Dolores strives to lead from her whole self and empower others to do the same.


I was working with a new leader, at a time of significant organizational growth and change. 

In our first meetings he behaved quite aggressively, asking for lots of data and analysis, and wanting to attend lots of my team’s meetings.  At first I complied  willingly, putting me and my team through hours of extra work.  After a couple of (frustrating) weeks, I decided to use the trust tools of “Name it and Claim it” and listening. 

I said to him, “The team is stressed already with the new leadership transition; the additional work you’re requesting adds to it. So – help me understand the pressures you you are under so that we can better appreciate and meet your overall goals.”   

That simple question created a window for me to listen – to his felt concerns, and what lay behind his desired changes.  I just sat back and listened – and, It was really helpful.  I understood his perspective and overall vision for the organization at large.  I was able to adjust my team’s approach and build the relationship with my new leader.  The simple act of setting aside my personal need to defend my team’s work in favor of just listening to him had a curious result: it then opened the door for him to hear what the team recommended to meet his goals.

The result?  A more productive and trust-based relationship between me, my team, and our new leader. 


Leadership challenges start with people. I help clients develop a bold vision for themselves, their organization and the world. I am known for my whole person approach that empowers genuine, lasting results for individuals and teams. I aim to inspire my clients to find deep understanding and true agility with themselves, their colleagues and stakeholders, helping them discover new behaviors, skills and techniques that support their ability to lead and collaborate more effectively.


The Catalyst

If you would like to work with Dolores or receive additional information about Trusted Advisor programs, please reach out to us.