This Fall, Emerging Leaders facilitators Yael Sivi (New York City) and Hilary Joel ’85 (Washington, DC) invited Emerging Leaders alumni in NYC and DC to attend brown bag lunch and learn sessions. The facilitators used these opportunities to host two-hour peer coaching labs. They circulated a leadership article in advance and used the reading as a starting point for discussion.
In New York City, participants read a First Round Review article entitled “The Most Dangerous Leadership Traps — and the 15-Minute Daily Practice That Will Save You” which outlines the work of Chris Holmberg, an executive coach and founder of Middle Path Consulting. The article contained nuggets from Holmberg such as:
Leaders who have never failed are fragile… They see the world divided between winners and losers, and they desperately want to avoid falling into that latter category, so they never try new things. When a manager empathizes with failure, they don’t point fingers or chastise anyone. Instead, they say, ‘I get it. Let’s talk about why this happened.’
The article offered an opportunity for lunch attendees to do some peer coaching. Yael reports that everyone had an impactful time. The Emerging Leaders alumni who attended are already looking forward to the next professional development session. One participant said, “I’m appreciative of you all for creating a safe and supportive space. It was well worth the two hours.” Another attendee echoed this sentiment: “Emerging Leaders was incredibly valuable for all of us, and to have the opportunity to re-immerse in the experience, even if only for a couple of hours, was excellent. I do think this is a wonderful way to sustain the growth and learnings of Emerging Leaders. Thank you for arranging this!”
Stay tuned for more information about future lunches!
The Emerging Leaders professional development program helps aspiring leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors develop the leadership capabilities, management skills, and confidence to advance their professional contributions and accelerate their careers. The program employs experiential learning, speakers, peer coaching, and outside experts to weave together learning modules that include hard nonprofit skills, management training, leadership development, and facilitated peer support. Currently 32 young nonprofit professionals—16 in New York City (NYC) and 16 in Washington, DC (DC)— are participating in the program.
The first session kicked off in June 2017 with a debriefing of each person’s Myers-Briggs Type, an introduction to peer coaching, and a guest speaker on General Nonprofit Leadership Lessons. In DC, participants heard from guest speaker Judith Sandalow, Executive Director of The Children’s Law Center who, according to participant reviews, was “incredible” and shared “so much valuable and inspiring wisdom.” Another participant said Judith was a “great example of what I would like to be as a leader.” In NYC Margaret Crotty ’94, Emerging Leaders Program Leader spoke with “honesty and energy.”
In July, session two featured a Skillscope® 360° assessment feedback debriefing and ‘stretch work’ planning. DC participants heard from Khari Brown, Executive Director of Capital Partners for Education, and Mike McKinley, a local coach and consultant. Participants reported that Mike had “extremely useful anecdotes, quotes, and advice,” and that they enjoyed the self-reflection: “I don’t get much time or space for it at work.” In NYC David Garza, Executive Director of Henry Street Settlement shared resources that participants say they plan to use immediately.
In September the Emerging Leaders reconvened for session three, where they discussed leadership competencies and management skills. In NYC participants heard from Daniel Oscar, CEO of the Center for Supportive Schools. He received rave reviews for offering “concrete tools and examples,” and “practical advice.” Other highlights of session three included feedback role-playing, and peer coaching, which participants in DC particularly enjoyed. They also found the guest speakers, Elizabeth Lindsey *07, Executive Director of ByteBack (and Emerging Leaders Program Leader), and Pyper Davis ’87, Executive Director of Educare DC to be “powerful” women who provided a “wealth of information and insights.” Elizabeth provided a list of managerial tips so valuable that one participant said she plans to put “every single one into practice immediately.”
In October, session four focused on team dynamics, workplace inclusion, and fundraising fundamentals. In DC Iris Jacob, Founder and Executive Director of Social Justice Synergy, led a conversation on implicit bias which resonated with many participants. AlumniCorps board member and nonprofit consultant Dick Walker ’73 joined with Paul Dahm, Executive Director of Brainfood, to talk about fundraising in DC, while Jethro Miller ’92, Chief Development Officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America addressed Emerging Leaders in NYC.
Stay tuned for an overview of the next four Emerging Leaders sessions!
The AlumniCorps Emerging Leaders program transforms talented nonprofit professionals into the next generation of public interest leaders. The program meets the critical need for highly skilled leadership in the nonprofit sector.
According to The Bridgespan Group, surveys consistently show that nonprofit organizations are acutely aware of their leadership development gaps, but unsure about how to address them. The Emerging Leaders program was conceptualized to address this public sector issue. The program runs for a total of eight full-day, monthly sessions from June-February (skipping August), and is made possible by a lead grant from American Express.
One of the hallmarks of the Emerging Leaders (EL) program is the high caliber of guest speakers that engage and educate participants.
New York City:
In November 2016, Jezra Kaye, President of Speak Up for Success coached participants on presentation skill-building and practice.
In December 2016, Rainah Berlowitz ’97, Director of Operations at Education Through Music, spoke about Nonprofit Financial Management & Reporting. AlumniCorps Executive Director Andrew Nurkin also spoke about Inter-Organizational Collaboration.
In January 2017, participants heard AlumniCorps Board Chair Liz Duffy ’88, President of International Schools Services, and Peter Daneker ’95, Board Vice Chairman of Harlem RBI, speak about Embracing Board/Staff and Executive Director/Chair Roles and Relationships.
In November Amber Romine, an executive coach and leadership development consultant, coached participants on presentation skill-building and practice.
In December Amy Nakamoto, Program Officer at the Meyer Foundation, spoke about Executive Perspectives on Nonprofit Financial Management. Amy has spent her career working in education, nonprofits, fundraising, and youth development.
In January, James Siegal, President of KaBOOM, joined Alex Moore, DC Central Kitchen’s Director of Development and Communications to speak about Inter-organizational Collaboration.
The Emerging Leaders professional development program is designed to help aspiring leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors develop the leadership capabilities, management skills, and confidence to advance their professional contributions and accelerate their careers. The program is intended to yield tangible, near-term value to participants (and their employers) and support their longer term leadership development. Emerging Leaders is currently offered in New York City and Washington, DC. The program is designed to accommodate those with full-time jobs and requires employer cooperation as well. The program runs for a total of 8 full-day, monthly sessions from June 2016-February 2017 (skipping August).
This year’s sessions kicked off on June 23 in NYC and Washington, DC. Both sessions focused on the 32 participants’ understanding their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profile and its implications. In NYC, participants used the tool to reflect on their strengths, with a few discovering that their professional weaknesses don’t have to be a “source of shame.” Leaders also appreciated the peer coaching process, which helped them to define their emotional intelligence. Yael Sivi, the facilitator in NYC, used personal examples and learnings from her time as a therapist, while Executive Director of Partnership with Children, Margaret Crotty’s talk on Leadership Lessons left participants wishing that they had even more time with her.
In Washington, DC, Judith Sandalow, Executive Director of The Children’s Law Center, gave a talk on Leadership Lessons which provided concrete examples from the real world. Facilitator Hilary Joel explained that the MBTI assessment allows you to understand your own preferences, which positions you to practice adapting and expand your comfort zone.
Session 2, held on July 19 in both NYC and Washington DC, focused on 360 degree feedback reports. In NYC, guest speakers Daniel Oscar, Executive Director, Center for Supportive Schools, and Shena Elrington’04, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice Policy at the Center for Popular Democracy spoke about evolving and growing as a leader. Participants reported enjoying the process and the community of people they’re sharing it with. In DC George Jones, CEO of Bread for the City, discussed evolving and growing as a leader, while Hilary coached participants on receiving feedback constructively: “We forget our power of choice: which feedback to accept, discard, appreciate, explore…”
Session 3 on September 13 could be called “Peer work day,” as participants spent a lot of time peer coaching each other on their stretch goals. They also discussed the difference between leading and managing, concluding that the best leaders are also effective managers, and top managers demonstrate good leadership. In Washington, DC, Pyper Davis, Executive Director of Educare DC, and Elizabeth Lindsey, Executive Director of Byte Back, spoke about managing people and delegating effectively. In NYC, David Garza, Executive Director of Henry Street Settlement spoke about management 101. There was lively discussion around how to give feedback effectively, with an emphasis on creating a safe climate in the work place.
Annabel Barnes, Children’s Museum of Manhattan Jesse Bassett, Good Grief, Inc. Emmeline Cardozo, Girls Who Code Jade Dean, Uncommon Schools Alison Fedyna, Center for Supportive Schools Rebecca Kaufman ’11, Amplifier Connie Lewin ’05, Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) Sonal Nadiadhara, iMentor Benjamin Slaughter, Play Rugby USA Rachel Steinberg, U.S. Fund for UNICEF Alvin Taylor, Northwestern University Chideraa Ukeje ’13, New York Academy of Medicine Kailtin Vallas, DonorsChoose.org Travis Walls, Harlem RBI Kristina Whyte, The Wallace Foundation Dana Zarrello, International Schools Services
Amy Bachman, DC Central Kitchen Robert Crosby, III, Flamboyan Foundation Julia Eddy, Bread for the City Dania DePas, Physicians Committee Sally Dorman, KaBOOM! Katharine Lindquist, LIFT JazminLopez, Achieving the Dream Allison Majewski, Capital Area Food Bank Amponsah Nkansah, AppleTree Amy Ostrander *11, PCI Amber Petty ’14, EveryoneOn Elizabeth Ramey *13, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Keisha Pierce, AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School Rebecca Reingold, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Maia Wagner, PYXERA Global Claudia Williams Soberanes, Washington Area Women’s Foundation
What is the impact of the Emerging Leaders program?
Princeton AlumniCorps, through the Project 55 Fellowship, Emerging Leaders, and ARC Innovators programs, provides ways for people to engage at every age. Here are just a few of the many experiences this year’s Emerging Leaders shared in their year-end evaluations.
This program is such a unique opportunity. I haven’t seen other spaces offering this level of support for people in this stage of their careers. I learned a lot about myself which in turn helped me understand myself as a colleague, supervisee, and leader. I learned so much in this program and I feel like I’ll continue to unpack information or have things “click” months from now.
Emerging Leaders is an outstanding program and I would definitely recommend it for nonprofit managers who have a direct-reports and are in clear leadership positions.
I would tell prospective Emerging Leaders that they are about to embark on a life-changing journey in which they will look deeply inward and learn that they possess the qualities to become a successful leader.
I so appreciated the investment in time and space for me to view my work and my organization more objectively.
I loved this program, and feel very fortunate that I had the chance to participate and to meet this amazing community.
In the back of my mind I had always assumed that the people who were the most knowledgeable and technically skilled in a particular field were the best leaders. I no longer think that. This course was key in helping me to recognize the value of emotional and social intelligence, vision, and empathy – skills which I had undervalued in myself and now take pride in and hope to cultivate further.