Our Story

Olistica. Italian for holistic or seeing the whole person and appreciating the complexities that we all hold – the emotional, social, physical, and personal.

At Olistica we are inspired by developing the whole person.

We know that today’s leaders work in complex, uncertain, and ever changing environments. This often causes feelings of anxiousness, a lack of focus, unwanted stress, and distraction.

We combine decades of extensive business experience and leading scientific research to help leaders harness their inner sense of BEING. Leaders learn to unlock new mindsets in order to solve problems, manage uncertainty, and increase creative thinking. We do all of this with a deep and rich background in contemplative practices – we are grounded in what we teach.

Our services focus on three core areas
Coaching and Assessment
Coaching & Assessment
Leadership Development & Team Performance
Retreats for Individuals & Groups

Inspired by the work of Dr. Steve Romano, we have spent years developing a powerful methodology – Leading as a Way of Being™- to support transformative change.


Steve is Managing Director of Olistica and the Center for Sustainable Leadership, located in Encinitas, California, consulting locally and to the world.

Steve is a Certified Executive Coach with leadership experience at three Fortune 500 companies including Novartis and Genoptix Molecular Diagnostics, Biogen Idec, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. He has successfully led teams and talent development from start-up to providing consulting services to 15,000 individuals globally.

Steve holds a PhD in Leadership and Change and teaches at the School of Management and Leadership at Alliant International University. He is an avid reader, active in sports, and involved in his community.  His work is informed by many years as a contemplative practitioner, helping to create positive change for a dynamic world.

What Makes Us Unique

Results oriented.
We focus on what matters most and form strong partnerships to achieve goals.

Holistic, innovative, and values-driven.
We integrate the whole person with a relentless commitment to value creation.

Transformational with leading research and practical tools.
We expect mindset shifts as well as behavioral change; breaththrough thinking and new habits.

Our Mission and Values

The reality of today’s complexity in the workplace led to our mission and for what we do best – To inspire leaders to change their world through BEING.

We believe that BEING is the greatest untapped energy to solve pressing and complex challenges.

It is hard to believe that over 50-billion dollars is spent on leadership development annually, yet the results fall short.  All change begins within and spreads outward – results quickly follow.

We do our best work in collaboration and tapping into energy yet to be cultivated. This leads to our mantra for today’s leader: Lead well. Be well. Thrive™.

We know that our mission and mantra is not enough and ground ourselves in values that we believe are most necessary to help leaders thrive.

Courage – taking prudent risk and in ways that stretch us to do better

Compassion – emotional literacy, to boost connection and help others succeed

Contemplative – dedicated to inner transformation and purposeful action

Collaborative – partnering with others for extraordinary results

What does BEING have to do with leadership?

Well, pretty much everything.

An ineffective leader is stimulated by external events and acts compulsively and from repetitive patterns. This leader does not consider the bigger picture and is unlikely to notice the needs of others.

BEING, rather, occurs through awareness of self and others and uses strategies to manage in-the-moment uncertainty and challenge.

We view leadership not merely as a series of actions; rather it is reflective; values relationships and the present, is connected to others, is not ego-driven, and surpasses limitations of thoughts and behavior – greater freedom results to problem solve and create.

Leading as a Way of Being™ improves self-awareness so you can lead and manage others effectively.  The methodology is practical yet research based and is inspired to create a better and sustainable world.

The BEING model

Our solution uses the BEING as our driving principle to achieve transformative change.

B – Breath. Developing breath awareness and the ability to coordinate.

E – Energy. Integrating 4-key realms of vitality – emotional, mental, physical, personal.

I – Investigate. Uncovering values and beliefs that drive motivation.

N – Navigate. Managing external circumstance characterized by uncertainty and change.

G – Generate. Producing new listening paradigms to direct attention.


Leading as a Way of BEING™ helps you LEAD WITH CLARITY to better address your
challenges. This is about using a PROVEN process that yields measurable RESULTS.


Ossama Eissa
Executive Director and Site Leader
Novartis Technical Operations

We had the pleasure to work with Steve as a facilitator and professional support through the journey of building our site leadership team.

Steve is very knowledgeable with a deep understanding of the concepts and theories behind the practices, and yet maintains a flexible and pragmatic style to meet with the audience needs and adapts to the situations as needed.

Steve always does a thorough preparation for the workshops, and was well appreciated by the team members and always resulted in successful outcomes.

Hua Gong, PhD
Senior Director
Navigate BioPharma

I was very fortunate for having a chance to work with Steve. I feel so grateful to Steve for his coaching of the Biopharma management team in building high performance team and mindfulness meditation. Steve gave me so much motivation and being a great inspiration. His knowledge and insight in leadership development was instrumental to our organization and benefited many colleagues including myself. I don’t how I can show enough appreciation for the help and support Steve has offered me. I believe Steve is a valuable asset to any organization.

Naveen Dakappagari, PhD
Sr. Director
Navigate BioPharma

I was fortunate to have known Steve for nearly a decade. He has unique insight for people’s needs and has delicately applied this understanding to transform me and many of my colleagues into more mindful and empathetic individuals. He carefully structured a variety of simple but revolutionary programs to slowly take us all through the journey of self-awareness, emotional security and ability to focus on ‘what matters most’. His coaching over the past 2 years has positively affected both my professional and personal life. I reckon he will transform many lives in the coming years and believe he will be a ‘True’ asset to any organization!

Nina Green
Vice President and General Manager
Agilent Technologies

Steve is an extraordinary colleague and business partner who is a true leader of change. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Steve in multiple leadership development endeavors, and he has significantly enhanced the culture by facilitating measurable improvements in results and behaviors. I would highly recommend Steve as a skilled expert in leadership, learning and organizational development because he has the ability to act both strategically and tactically and because he has the rare talent to inspire, model and teach effective, compassionate and courageous leadership.

John Budzyna
Executive Director
Arlington Center for the Arts

Our mission at ACA is to Transform Lives Through the Arts. Steve’s recent consulting work with us has truly transformed our staff, and helped us discover and understand more about each other in three months, even though we have been working together for several years. From the first meeting, Steve created a welcoming and inclusive environment that has resulted in new insights into how we can improve as individuals and as a team. Through Steve’s well planned and thoughtful process, he facilitated the creation of a roadmap to improve our team’s communication and productivity that I believe will benefit ACA and each of us for many months and years to come.

Lynn Difinizio
Sr. Director
Biogen Idec

Steve consulted with me on two different initiatives and teams – one was a cross-functional communication and development initiative and the other was an important team build for an Early Phase Program team I was leading. In both cases, Steve’s collaboration was critical in the resulting successful outcomes. Steve brought excellent ideas to the table and went above and beyond in consulting with us to impact these teams broadly. For the early phase Program team, the team framework he provided was used throughout the year to measure our progress and success. Steve’s style is very collaborative and supportive, he is able to work well with very different viewpoints/roles within a team and bring them together. I very much enjoyed working with Steve!

Joe Gunning
Regional Sales Director
Pacific Region at Novartis

Steve has consulted with me and my team for several years. Steve has provided numerous high value leadership development content for myself, my team members at Genoptix Medical Laboratory. I’ve always been impressed in his ability to manage and deliver developmental tools. Steve adapts content to fit his audience. He is a knowledge expert and strong collaborator. I always look forward when we have the chance to work together.

“Operating without judgment has been transformative”