October 27, 2015

Great Leaders Aren't Born. They're Made.

After delivering hundreds of skill classes to thousands of startup team members,, Boston’s go-to organization for leadership development, realized our city had a problem – companies, growing at a rapid pace, are promoting from within without training up new managers. These great companies are stacked with talent, but people don't have the resources they need to succeed. 

Since January 2014 has helped develop nearly 500 people across 50+ rapid-growth companies into more effective leaders through its workshops, programs, and special events.   

Taking an interactive approach and focusing on skills that are immediately actionable and relevant to startup life the company is helping rapidly growing companies engage, retain, and empower their people so they can grow more effectively than ever before. 

One of their newest initiatives is EMERGE, a one-day workshop designed to help individual contributors become effective influencers. It’s an opportunity for companies to engage members of their team who don’t have a people-manager role, but are hungry to grow their leadership skills. 

The inaugural EMERGE was held in July to rave reviews. Including VentureFizz’s own, Jack Mulvaney: 

"EMERGE was a fantastic experience as it offered the opportunity to connect with Boston's next wave of tech leadership. The program helps participants become effective influencers who know how to get buy-in to turn their ideas into a reality." 

    Intelligently EMERGE

Actifio CMO, Mike Troiano, was the guest facilitator for EMERGE 1 and he, of course, hit hard on the power of (personal) branding. Here’s a takeaway thought from Troiano’s presentation back in July: 

“We’re afraid to talk about “power”, get over it. Do you want to lead or be a sheep? Leading means believing in yourself, being decisive, making an active effort to solve problems and being helpful to others. When you focus on helping others, they'll feel obligated to respond in kind By orienting yourself towards helping others, you'll accrue goodwill which you can then leverage to make things happen.” 

This time around at EMERGE, taking place on November 12th at Microsoft NERD, Keynote speaker, Whitney Johnson (Advisor, Author, Investor, Speaker), will share how to make strides towards meaningful career growth by applying the lessons of disruptive innovation . She is the leading thinker on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption and has been named one of the top thinkers on Talent by Thinkers50. She is a former award-winning Wall Street equity analyst and the co-founder of a boutique investment firm with Clayton Christensen. Johnson is the author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work (Bibliomotion, 2015), an Amazon Top Pick Business Book of the Month. 

Here’s what participants will learn at EMERGE this time around:

  • Tactics for active listening and how to give effective feedback
  • How to leverage their strengths to develop a personal leadership style
  • Strategies for strengthening their approach to influencing
  • How to craft compelling presentations for to gain buy-in has a proven track record and EMERGE, while a newer initiative already has a win under its belt.  Executive Director, Abbie Weeks, tells me companies said the investment was a no-brainer because their people came back energized and more confident to lead. She’s excited about what the second run of the workshop on November 12th (limited tickets are still available, here) has in store. 

“Companies need a pipeline of ready leaders right now. Startups are moving away from leadership development approaches that require significant internal investment. Instead, they're turning to resources that enable them to be nimble and keep pace with their growth. We're thrilled to provide companies with interactive learning experiences that help people rapidly build their skills and their networks.”


Josh Boyle is Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter @jb_sid
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