Emerging Leaders Profile: An update on May Mark, EL ’14 – ’15

May Mark, Emerging Leaders alumna
May Mark, Emerging Leaders alumna from the 2015 cohort in NYC

Two years ago we profiled May Mark, an alumna of the ’14 – ’15 Emerging Leaders cohort in NYC. May had just relocated to the Bay Area from New York City. When May decided to move on from the tech startup that she joined, she turned to the AlumniCorps network to help her learn more about opportunities in the Bay Area.

May enrolled in Duke University’s intensive 17-month Cross Continent MBA program and she found that the degree complemented the skills she had acquired in Emerging Leaders. “EL helped me to focus on who I am as a leader and how I see myself in the context of others. It was a very safe space with a master facilitator and many opportunities to practice what we were learning… I had already done self-reflection, so I had a strong sense of who I was and where I need to grow.” Like many Emerging Leaders alumni, May credits her program facilitator in NYC with the program’s success: “Yael was an amazing facilitator. I spend a lot of time in the professional development space for adult learning and she’s definitely masterful at what she does.”

Thanks to the global MBA program, May now has classmates around the world. Because of her MBA cohort and other communities May is part of, she says, “I feel very comfortable reaching out to others in a new environment.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that when May got an email from AlumniCorps describing the vibrant Bay Area Steering Committee, she reached out to Steering Committee member Julie Rubinger Doupé ’09. “This new AlumniCorps community was an extension of the one I’d joined in NYC during the Emerging Leaders program. Even though the Bay Area is different, both communities have shared values.”

May (front, left) facilitating the "Managing Up" seminar
May (front, left) facilitating the “Managing Up” seminar for Project 55 Fellows in the Bay Area in December 2017.

Indeed, the Bay Area Steering Committee wasted no time in asking May to lead a seminar that December on Managing Up (see photo). She taught Fellows how to be proactive with their managers by using tactics like anticipating managers’ needs and being crystal clear with deliverables. “I really enjoy working with adult learners. My seminar included brainstorming, role-playing, and lots of discussion.” The experience differed from sessions with Emerging Leaders because the Fellows are much earlier in their careers. “The way I crafted the seminar was definitely informed by my reflections on my early work experience. I wish someone would have shared this information with me when I first entered the workforce!”

“I started to proactively build out my network, and Julie really helped me get to know people in the Bay Area.” May was able to secure a position as the Deputy School Support Lead at XQ, an organization that sparked a cultural conversation last fall to rethink high school nationwide. The organization began with XQ: The Super School Project, a competition inviting America to reimagine high school. Currently, May is focused on cultivating communities of practice among the XQ Schools, methodically encouraging school leaders and teachers to connect and learn from each other.

As May finishes her first year at XQ, the current cohort of Emerging Leaders participants are getting ready for their final sessions and closing celebrations. She reflects, “I didn’t see the Emerging Leaders Closing Celebration as the end of my experience… it was the start. I’d encourage the current cohort to continue to take the content you’ve learned and work with it… use it to reach out to others.” We’re happy to report that Project 55 Fellows in the Bay Area are benefiting from May taking her own advice.

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Emerging Leaders Learn from Seasoned Nonprofit Professionals – Winter 2018

The Emerging Leaders 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. 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 eight full-day, monthly sessions from June-February (skipping August). All sessions are held on weekdays in each city. Fees for the program are based on the budget size of the applicant’s organizational budget.

You can learn more about the program and start an application here. The application deadline is March 12th, 2018. Please contact Caryn Tomljanovich, Director of Programs and Strategy at ctomljanovich@alumnicorps.org

In Washington, DC (pictured above, left to right):

  • In November Amber Romine, an executive coach and leadership development consultant, coached participants on presentation skill-building and practice. The session also covered emotional agility, networking, and learning conversations.
  • In December Amy Nakamoto, Senior Director, Corporate Education Partnerships at Discovery Education, 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 MooreDC Central Kitchen’s Chief Development Officer, to speak about inter-organizational collaboration.

In New York City (pictured above, left to right):

  • In November Andrew Nurkin, Deputy Director for Enrichment and Civic Engagement at the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation and former AlumniCorps Executive Director, spoke about storytelling and public speaking.
  • In December Joan Carty, President and CEO of the Housing Development Fund in Stamford, CT spoke about non-profit financial management.
  • In January Peter Daneker ’95 Board Vice Chairman of DREAM Charter School (formerly Harlem RBI), and Laurie Williams, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read spoke about board/staff and executive director/chair roles and relationships.

    Peter Daneker ’95 Board Vice Chairman of Harlem RBI, and Laurie Williams, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read (both at the head of the table) spoke to the NYC cohort in January 2018.

Emerging Leaders Alumni Lunch and Learns

Emerging Leaders alumni from the 2015-16 NYC cohort at an informal gathering last year. Left to right: Caroline Coburn, Yiannis Avramides, David Nelson, Margie Cadet, Benjamin Delikat, and Jess Jardine.

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!

Emerging Leaders Program Update for Fall 2017

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.

The 2017-18 cohort of Emerging Leaders come from a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.

 

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!

Learn more about our 2017-18 Emerging Leaders by browsing their bios their 2017-18 participant directory, The Leaders Digest.

2016-17 Emerging Leaders Update: 3 Sessions down, 5 more to go!

Emerging Leaders session 3. DC

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).

EL in DC, session3
Emerging Leaders in Washington, DC during session 3 on September 13

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.

Elizabeth Lindsey
Volunteer Program Co-Leader Elizabeth Lindsey, ED of Byte Back  was a guest speaker at session 3 in Washington, DC

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…”

Emerging Leaders session 3. DC
Emerging leaders engaged in peer coaching during session 3 in Washington. DC.

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. 

Want to get a sneak peak of the Emerging Leaders’ reading packet? Check out The New Science of Building Great Teams  by Alex “Sandy” Pentland.

To learn more about this year’s Emerging Leaders, check out the Leader’s Digest

The Impact of the Emerging Leaders Program

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.

Great program. I can’t thank you all enough!

Hilary is amazing!

Yael is amazing!