Frequently Asked Questions
LEADForward℠ is a call to action for experienced female leaders who have achieved success, to “put their leader on shout” and accelerate closing the leadership gender gap. Based on findings in the Women in the Workplace study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co., at the current pace of progress gender parity will be reached by 2095. LEADForward℠ is focused on harnessing the power of proven leaders to ignite equal opportunity for the next generation of leaders.
LEADForward℠ Roundtables are year-long peer support groups led by Accendo partners who are accomplished C-suite female leaders and certified executive coaches. Each roundtable has nine group meetings and three one-on-one coaching sessions over the course of one year. The goal is to learn, share and challenge each other. Accendo partners provide group and individual leadership coaching, the benefits of which are well proven to accelerate leadership success. Research shows that a small, committed peer group can achieve powerful results for both individual and collective goals, and that people are more confident in groups. By delivering a winning combination of leadership coaching and peer-to-peer support, LEADForward℠ Roundtables help women achieve breakthrough on their ascent to leadership at the top.
LEADForward℠ Roundtables are a cohort comprised of 12-15 female leaders at a similar stage of professional growth, whether it be high potential leaders who have been successful to date and aspire to grow their careers at least another one-to-two levels, or business owners ready to take their company to the next level. Cohorts are designed to create a mix of companies, industries, and professions to achieve diversity of thought and people. A goal of LEADForward’s program is to accelerate the participants’ succession readiness within the organization.
Individuals interested in joining a LEADForward℠ Roundtable must submit their resume and/or bio and complete the LEADForward℠ Roundtables application. Groups are formed as a cohort based on background, industry, level of professional experience and management proficiency, and career goals.
The meetings are facilitated by Accendo partners and follow a formal methodology to maximize the value and development of the members. Structure is critical to the groups’ individual and collective success, along with an open, honest environment. FeedForward, rather than feedback, is an integral part of the program. FeedForward helps members envision a positive future, rather than a failed past.
Meetings are themed around coachable topics specific to women and generally believed to fuel their leadership development. Themed topics include:
- Leading with self-discovery and personal vision
- Leadership with emotional intelligence
- Communicating with Confidence, Presence & Authority
- Accelerating Your Career Through Development, Networks,
Mentorship & Sponsorship
- Leading and Coaching to Ignite and Engage People
- Leading Through Crisis & Change
- Negotiating to Get What you Want
- Practicing Balance and Renewal
- Leadership Simulation and Celebration
Meetings are half-day sessions, except for the first meeting, which is six hours. This year’s cohort will be designed as a virtual experience, but MAY include some in-person sessions toward the later months of the program, IF conditions permit. Any in-person sessions would take place only if we are able to deliver in accordance with all Covid-19 safety guidelines and provided 100% of the participants are comfortable with the gatherings. Additionally, each participant receives three (3) one-on-one coaching sessions with an Accendo partner. The date and time of these coaching sessions (approximately 1 hour each) are customized based on the participant and coach's schedules.
Unlike feedback, which is often negative and looks backward, FeedForward envisions a positive future and provides supportive input that is constructive and affirming.
Each member gets 30-45 minutes in the FeedForward Opportunity Seat. Unlike a hot seat, which can often be pressure-filled and stressful, the Opportunity Seat is a positive way for each member to maximize and leverage the collective wisdom of the group. Members should be thoughtful and prepare ahead of time for their turn in the Opportunity Seat:
- Choose the one challenge or issue that will get you the biggest bank for your buck.
- Practice your talking points or how you will frame the issue.
- Ask specific questions at the end, not simply “what do you think?”
- Get everyone’s opinion; don’t let one person dominate feedback.
- Record your time in the Seat.
- At the end, commit to an action plan.
- Be prepared to come to the next meeting to report out on progress.
Each member of a LEADForward℠ Roundtable must commit to:
- Attend meetings, making attendance a priority in their schedule.
- Fully participate in meetings, be mentally present and engage.
- Prepare and be thoughtful for their time on the FeedForward Opportunity Seat.
- Be completely honest.
- Be positive and non-judgmental.
- Maintain confidentiality.
“This experience is so powerful because of the diverse opinions and feedback from members of the group as well as from Accendo coaches Karen and Cari.” …Jacqui (a non-profit professional)
“LEADForward℠ gave me the confidence to explore my own gifts and work on my areas of development so I can continue to grow in my career.” …Chelsea (a digital marketing executive)
“I would never have been able to perform to the fullest in my role without the LEADForward℠
experience.” …Suneera (an entrepreneur and business owner)
“The pre-work, development plan and other tools, coupled with the one on one coaching, helped me take my leadership to the next level.” …Helen (an attorney and entrepreneur)