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About the course

Prepare to Move Ahead

Taking Charge is a 7-day intensive leadership experience for mid – to – senior-level female managers looking to gain the executive presence and capabilities necessary to lead at the executive level. The program includes a 360° leadership assessment, executive coaching, and interactive classes focused on critical skills including effective negotiation, communication, and change management.

Critical Topics, Active Learning, At a Pace That Works

Taking Charge focuses on the critical knowledge and skills you need to effectively lead and impact your organization. Together with other senior women leaders, participate in interactive classes led by faculty members who are ongoing practitioners in their areas of expertise. The program begins with a two-day session, followed by five one-day sessions on alternating weeks over the course of three months. This structure allows participants to incorporate new skills into their current roles and build a long-lasting peer network.

During the program you will:

  • Gain insight into your leadership strengths and developmental opportunities
  • Understand the unique challenges of women in leadership and strategies for advancement
  • Strengthen your communications skills for improved effectiveness with internal and external constituents
  • Build knowledge on strategic leadership and change management
  • Participate in an executive coaching session focused on engaging and leading teams
  • Define your personal vision for leadership
  • Learn to build a business network for the long term
  • Meet senior level women who will give candid insights for the journey ahead

Program Topics and Structure

Taking Charge begins with a two-day session, followed by five one-day sessions on alternating weeks from 8:30am – 4:30pm over the course of three months.

360° Leadership Assessment

Women in Leadership

  • What's in the water
  • Leadership and you
  • Leadership styles
  • Management versus leadership
  • What role does gender play?

Leading Through Change

  • Simulation exercise
  • Managing and promoting change
  • Engaging followers and stakeholders
  • Measuring and communicating results

The Power of Communication

  • Negotiating well – types and styles
  • Advocacy
  • Interests versus positions
  • Power negotiation
  • Ethical standards
  • Difficult conversations

Executive Coaching‐ Leading Teams

  • Small group sessions with professional executive coaches
  • Team dynamics exercise with individual and group feedback
  • Leader as coach: how to coach your people
  • Individual and team feedback

Strategic Leadership

  • Why strategic thinking is important
  • Characteristics of strong strategic leaders
  • Levels of strategic thinking / leadership
  • Challenges to strategic leading and mitigations

Women on Boards - Why should you consider future board involvement

  • Corporate versus nonprofit boards
  • Expectations and responsibilities of board members
  • Board compensation
  • Essential strategies to seeking board position

Celebration of Accomplishment

Who should attend

Committed professional mid-to-senior level women who are:

  • In a significant management role, demonstrating career progression
  • Designated to assume increased responsibilities
  • In a period of transition or moving between functional groups
  • Desire enhanced presence and confidence for the next career stage

Organizational titles of participants may vary dependent on the size and type of their business. The cohort of 15-20 women may include program managers, senior directors, CFOs and financial managers, general counsels, operating managers, vice presidents and similar.

Trust the experts

William Starner

William Starner spent over 25 years in executive management roles including general management, marketing, customer service and human resources. He has extensive international business experience and possesses in-depth knowledge of a variety of industries. Mr. Starner is an Adjunct Professor of ...

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Jill Brown

Jill A. Brown (Ph.D., University of Georgia), is an associate professor of management at Bentley University. Her scholarly interests include corporate governance, ethics, corporate social responsibility, and strategic leadership. Brown’s work has been published in Organization Science, Journal of...

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Joseph Weiss

Joseph Weiss is a Professor of Management at Bentley University where he designed and teaches the MBA leadership course, business ethics, and organizational theory. He specializes in developing individual and team leadership effectiveness, organizational change, project management, and business e...

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Susan M. Adams

Susan M. Adams (PhD Georgia Institute of Technology) is Professor of Management at Bentley University . She brings practical and academic insights to learning environments in and out of the classroom from her consulting work and practical experience with public and private firms, start-up venture...

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