Download the Audio Version of Trade Up! Here, or Purchase the Paperback on Amazon:

"Rayona Sharpnack offers a compassionate process for sharp-edged change. Her understanding of the relationships among context, behavior, impact, and engagement is unpacked by compelling human examples. Read this book to understand your past and shape a future as successful as your dreams."

Ambassador Swanee Hunt

"I highly recommend Trade Up for every leader from MBA students to seasoned CEOs. In this book Rayona demonstrates her gift for making the 5 most important skills of sustaining great leadership come alive!"

Carol Bartz, CEO, Autodesk

"Rayona has a powerful way of 'cutting to the chase' and providing a meaningful context for leadership success. Her message is quite clear: Leadership is not for the faint of heart. You must jump in with both feet and commit if you truly want to make a difference. If you're looking for ways to 'up the ante' in terms of your leadership capacity, this book is for you."

Larry Downey, CEO Teva Neuroscience


Silicon Valley wunderkind Rayona Sharpnack has been a schoolteacher, tennis champion, manager and player for a women’s professional softball team, and a celebrity who coaches some of the most successful leaders in business. Trade Up! draws on Sharpnack’s experience, as well as stories of successful leaders she has worked with, to reveal how leaders limit themselves by holding on to ideas or assumptions about ourselves—what she calls your “context” —that are no longer valid. Trade Up! outlines the 5 steps to help leaders gain awareness of these assumptions and trade up from limiting beliefs and behaviors to those that will help them change the world.

The 5 steps are:

  • Reveal your context: what do you believe about yourself? What holds you back? How do you impact others?
  • Own your context: take stock of the upside and downside of your context, and examine the intended and unintended consequences of it!
  • Design a new context that gets you what you want: begin by asking yourself “how good are you willing to have life be?”
  • Sustain your new context: develop new practices to get this new context to stick!
  • Activate your context and engage with the world: move out of your own concerns and into partnership and community with others to help change the world around you!


Learn more about Rayona Sharpnack's award winning programs and the Institute for Women's Leadership at

Contact Us

If you would like to contact Rayona Sharpnack about training and/or speaking opportunities, send an email to .

Telephone: 415.331.3222

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 150150
San Rafael, CA 94915

Download Rayona's Latest Podcasts:

Rayona's Interview on Good Company with Michael Connor
Part 1 | Part 2

(As broadcast on Lime Radio, Sirius Satellite Channel 114)

Fireside Chat with Rayona Sharpnack
(Management Craft)

Download information about the Trade Up Program:


Rayona Sharpnack founded the Institute for Women's Leadership - an organization renowned for its ground-breaking work throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada—in 1991.  Drawing from her successful careers in education, professional sports, and business, Rayona is an inspirational teacher, coach, and mentor for executives in Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, emerging businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Rayona has presented her outstanding achievements in advancing women leaders and building high-performance organizations to prestigious institutions and associations such as Harvard University, Stanford Business School, University of California Berkeley business school, Mills College, State of the World Forum, the Canadian federal government, the Australian federal government, Leadership America, and the Professional and Business Women of California.

National publications such as Fast Company , Working Mother, and the New York Times have showcased Rayona’s leadership model; she has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches and designed conferences focused on the topic of developing extraordinary women leaders.  Rayona is one of several featured authors of the ground-breaking book, Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership.

In addition to numerous awards, Rayona’s ground-breaking work has earned her an appointment as chairwoman of the Mentoring and Leadership Development committee on the Kennedy School, Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard.