2021 Leadership Challenge

10 Week Online Cohort Workshop Series to Upgrade Your Leadership Skills

Learn science-backed skills

Get coached to improve

Elevate your leadership

58% of managers and leaders have no formal training. 

And the managers who have been trained, often lack
the science-backed skills to lead their teams effectively.

This lack of training results in billions of lost revenue, teams that are overworked, overwhelmed and under-appreciated.

Don’t believe us?

    • 75% of employees say their boss or manager is the most stressful part of their day.
    • 82% of employees don’t trust their manager to tell the truth.
    • 71% of organizations believe their leaders aren’t able to lead their companies into the future.
    • Only 20% of employees agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.
    • Only 10% of employees look forward to going to work.

We’re working amidst a global leadership crisis!

It’s enough to drive you and your team a little crazy.

But, thankfully, leadership is a series of behaviors that can be taught and learned.

That’s what the 2021 Leadership Challenge does – teach you the skills to lead effectively – from the convenience of your desk, in just 10 weeks.

By the end of this workshop series,
your leadership skills will be exceptional.

You’ll also get:

Frameworks, templates, tools, skills and resources

Most company cultures are built for incremental growth, but you don’t have the time or luxury for slow growth, which means your team must work in a different way. Our skills, tools and frameworks are battle-tested in some of the fasting growing startups and the most effective Fortune 1000 companies today.

World-class guest instructors who are on-the-job experts for every module

Leaders rarely possess all of the leadership skills to lead their teams effectively, so we scoured Silicon Valley, global startups and fast-growing companies to find the best leaders with decades of experience in each skill we teach. They lend their expertise, insights and wisdom to help you accelerate your learning curve and avoid common mistakes. 

Powerful coaching challenges that help you apply what you learned on the job with your current employees

Shorten the time it takes to improve your skills by combining the best of instructional design with cutting-edge coaching challenges. Each coaching challenge helps you learn, reflect, grow, make mistakes and refine your skills on the job with current employees.

Real-time application of learning, peer feedback and coaching to refine and improve skills

Our cohort-based approach helps you learn today, apply tomorrow, reflect with peers and learn vicariously from their questions and experiences. You will focus on what went well, what needs improvement, and what questions you still have. Tap into your peers, our coaches and guest instructors to improve your skills each week. 

Weekly small cohort group coaching sessions

Each module contains carefully planned lessons and coaching challenges, followed by a small group cohort discussion. Get your questions answered and the coaching and support you need to grow quickly.

Two one-on-one personalized coaching sessions based on your performance applying the coaching challenges

We pair each participant with a globally recognized, award-winning coach who has 20+ years of experience coaching executives, leadership teams and entire startups. You get personalized attention during these coaching sessions to ensure you are learning, understanding, applying and building the right skills, behaviors and habits. 
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Unlimited access to all materials and future updates

All participants enjoy access to our materials online, including slide decks, templates, tools, frameworks and recordings of workshops and cohort discussions you can refer to at any time. You’ll also have access to future updates so you can keep growing and always have the latest science-backed skills to enhance your leadership. 

Networking and connections with a powerful and connected group of peers at cutting edge startups and global brands

Imagine having a supportive group of leaders at some of the world’s fastest-growing companies, cutting edge startups and most recognized brands invested in your success. Expand your network, develop lifelong friendships and meet other astounding people who are on a mission to make the world a better place. Keep in touch and learn about new opportunities to apply your newly learned skills at some of the best companies making a difference in the world. 

At the end of the 2021 Leadership Challenge, you will be able to empower others, gain their trust (and resolve trust issues quickly), and get everyone moving in the same direction.

You’ll also have the skills necessary to define problems, give feedforward (instead of feedback), conduct performance conversations and grow your teams effectively.  

These are the most important skills every leader should learn. We’re sending every one of our managers through this course.
Omar Kurdi

Co-Founder & President, Cellares

The program gave me the tools and frameworks I keep using as a leader. The information, tools and techniques were all backed up by deep research and practice in startups and corporations.

Going through the program enabled me to truly become a 21st century leader – supportive of my teams and peers, able to coach them through the volatility of these times and improve upon our work together.

Maya Zuckerman

People and Tech Ops Lead, Holo

Meet Your Guides, Coaches and Instructors

Michael O. "Coop" Cooper

Michael O. "Coop" Cooper

Executive Coach

For the past 23 years, Coop helped executives and leaders in 1,000+ companies from leading startups to Fortune 500 companies and trained over 50,000 employees across 33 countries to develop the skills to lead teams effectively, manage change and deliver for their customers and shareholders. He’s an investor, serial founder, former executive, strategist, business analyst and non-profit president. Coop created the 2021 Leadership Challenge to equip leaders with the tools, frameworks and skills to gain the trust and respect of their teams and to navigate the next series of normals as we emerge from the pandemic. He co-leads every module and coaches participants. 

Dawn Andreas

Dawn Andreas

Product Marketer at 2U & Coach

Dawn is a Product Marketer and Coach and has 15 years of experience leading teams at Eventbrite, Lululemon, 2U and several other companies. She invests deeply in her employees’ development — often using NeuroEfficiencies to set her teams up for success — and one of her favorite questions is “Which problem are we solving?” She co-leads our modules on NeuroEfficiencies and Defining Problems where she has deep knowledge and wisdom to share.

Dr. Alexandra Arena

Dr. Alexandra Arena

Therapist & Communications Specialist

Ali is a Speech-Language Pathologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Trauma-Informed Care Specialist, and a Social Thinking Practitioner. She brings 15 years of experience specializing in helping people navigate change, including neurodiverse individuals. She teaches social skills classes and co-leads our modules on Feedforward, Performance Conversations, Development Plans and Alignment. 

Justin Phalichahn

Justin Phalichahn

Senior Vice President, Talent Development at Kinesso

Justin has dedicated his career to helping others grow. He currently leads Talent & Leadership Development and manages a team of 12 to serve the 20,000 employees at ad tech company Kinesso. Justin was a student in the 2021 Leadership Challenge before joining as a guest instructor. He has deep experience in learning methodologies and is an expert at creating Psychological Safety and building high levels of trust on his team and across his organization. He co-leads our modules on Psychological Safety, Trust and Sharing Leadership.

Every manager in our company attended this  workshop series and it helped us do everything faster – that’s worth millions in a fast-paced startup environment!

Tony Biz

Director of Software Development, Cellares

The 2021 Leadership Challenge gives you hands-on instruction week after week

Module 1: Introduction & Three Main Needs Every Leader Must Focus On
Meet your cohort and coaches. Assess your team’s level of psychological safety and the three main needs every leader must focus on. We start at base requirements for team performance and how, as a leader, you must stay open to become aware of the emotional issues that may derail your team.

 

Module 2: Addressing Emotional Cues and Burnout
Leading people means understanding their emotional cues, addressing the emotions that can limit productivity and effectiveness and reducing burnout by identifying the signs and symptoms and helping employees recharge when necessary.

 

Module 3: Building, Maintaining and Repairing Trust
High levels of trust allow teams to move faster, make quicker decisions and remain competitive in a constantly changing market. We’ll cover the 8 Dimensions of Trust, how to build trust in every interaction, how to identify trust issues when they arise and how to resolve trust issues effectively to keep your team nimble and adaptive.

 

Module 4: Developing & Maintaining Team Alignment
Alignment is required to accomplish work together, yet most teams don’t spend enough time to get aligned, resulting in inefficiencies, missed expectations, rework and frustration. We’ll walk through the 8 Steps in the Cycle of Alignment, identify which steps your team habitually skip and how to resolve alignment issues when they arise.

 

Two-Week Integration Break
We have a two-week break from instruction built into the curriculum to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed and to integrate and practice the first four modules effectively. We will have a cohort discussion during the first integration week to ensure you’re applying the skills properly. 

 

Module 5: Improving Team Productivity 
The key to keeping your team productive is to provide the right information each person needs to do their job well, based on their motivators, fears, stress responses and information needs. We’ll teach you how to quickly identify which brain type each person on your team has, how to give them the right information so they can act and make decisions quickly.

 

Module 6: Feedback, Performance and Development
67% of employees want more feedback, yet feedback is often an ineffective method for improving performance. We teach you how to convert your initial reactions to work into feedforward to help your team members improve their performance. We also teach you how to conduct effective performance conversations so your team always knows where they stand and which behaviors to change. You’ll then be able to draft development plans that keep employees engaged and inspired.

 

Module 7: Defining & Prioritizing Problems to Solve
Most teams spend a lot of time addressing symptoms or solving the wrong problems, resulting in wasted time and resources. We’ll teach you how to define problems so that your team always knows which ones are important to solve. You’ll also learn how to prioritize them to achieve your organizations’ and customers’ goals.

 

Module 8: Practicing Humble Leadership & Sharing Responsibilities
One of the most critical practices to growing a team effectively is through humility. In addition to honing your humble leadership skills, you will learn the key tenets of sharing the right leadership opportunities to create additional value for your organization.

 

Closing Ceremony: Celebration, Wrap Up & Ongoing Commitment
In our last official gathering, we’ll reflect on the progress you’ve made, the lessons which had the most impact on your leadership, what changes you have made and their impact across the team and organization, we’ll explore what an ongoing commitment to your organization and leadership development looks like.

This was a wonderful program for putting compassionate and human-centric management into practice. I learned something so hard to find anywhere else: How to be the kind of manager I want to be for my team.

Brian Midili

Vice President, Experience Analytics, RAPP

These Skills Aren’t Taught in Most Leadership Programs

You could try to figure out the skills, tools, frameworks and resources you need to lead effectively, but it will be nearly impossible on your own – and you won’t have the benefit of the decades of experience and wisdom our head coach and guest instructors to shorten your learning curve.

 

This course really helped me think about different ways to approach the employees I oversee, and the managers I help coach in my HR role. Especially as more companies are going hybrid, it’s even more important to develop these management skills – many of the modules give great tips on how to manage through varying environments and workstyles. The management coaches gave us great advice and I also really valued the cohorts, which allowed me to be vulnerable with peers to get to a better place personally! 

Matt Marquess

Manager, Human Resources Business Partner, LucasFilm