Training New Leaders is Hard. Here’s How We’re Doing It.

Whenever we bring on a new client, we need a new team lead. So last year, we launched the Emerging Leaders Program, a 12-week “mini MBA” for our team leads. And today, we’re making the curriculum publicly available here.

What is the Emerging Leaders Program?

Last year, we organized our first annual Peak Support Summit. At lunch one day, I sat with Ivy, one of our team leads, and asked her for feedback. “I want more training,” she said. “We get plenty of trainings related to the specific tasks our teams need to accomplish. But I want training on how to be a manager – a leader.”

Of course.

It was a classic “duh” moment for me. No one is born a leader. We all learn from experience, and, yes, from formal training. We had a fantastic group of team leads. But we weren’t offering them any training to help them make the transition from team member to manager.

We’re making the entire curriculum for our 12-week mini MBA program available to the public for free.

And so the Emerging Leaders Program was born. We think of it as a mini-MBA. Indeed, it covers a lot of the same topics as MBA programs, but in about 12 weeks instead of two years. We even took a lot of the readings from Harvard Business Review and other classic B-school resources.

How Does ELP Work?

We designed it in the spring and launched it with Peak Support’s senior leadership team. Shortly after, we launched with a second test group, all team leads (including Ivy!). After making a few tweaks, we’re now rolling it out to the rest of our leads.

Ultimately, however, we hope to use it to identify potential leaders who aren’t yet in management roles. We will have an application process, and any team member will be able to apply, with sponsorship from his or her manager.

We’re making the entire curriculum available here, to anyone who wants to use it as a resource. We welcome suggestions and feedback – in fact, we’re constantly updating this document as new leaders go through the program. And if you’d like advice on how to roll this out in your company, please feel free to give us a call.

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