Last year, we organized our first annual Peak Support Summit. We brought most of our team members together for a weekend which included trainings, a discussion of core values, and a lot of fun. 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.”
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.
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.
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. And if you’d like advice on how to roll this out in your company, please feel free to give us a call.