Designing Leadership is a professional development program that focuses on developing managers and leaders through individual growth and reflection. Each year the program investigates a theme and provides tools, strategies and resources to enhance the participants’ skillset to navigate their careers. With dozens of participants each season, the program provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect and network with a wide range of professionals across disciplines and backgrounds. The program caters to mid-career professionals, but all career levels are welcome.
|Coaching/Mentorship||Holistic Practices||Power and Influence|
|Communication||Implicit Bias||Project Management|
|Conflict Management||Imposter Syndrome||Self/Collective Care|
|Diversity, Equity, Inclusion||Leadership Styles||Strategy|
|Giving/Receiving Feedback||Mentorship||Workplace Culture|
The 2023 season of Designing Leadership is now CLOSED
The 2023 program will examine the theme of belonging. Think back to a group you belonged to where you felt secure, supported and part of the group’s identity; everyone cared about you, understood you and valued you. You brought your authentic self. This is the kind of environment that sparks sharing, innovation, and growth. Stretching beyond diversity and inclusion, a sense of belonging does not form naturally when people from various backgrounds are thrown together. It takes planning and effort. This intensive program provides tools, activities and strategies for individual leaders to build a sense of belonging within the workplace and within themselves.
Experiment with workplace culture practices that foster a sense of belonging.
Draw inspiration and energy to center belonging in your work by envisioning what it can achieve in the future.
How to maximize mentors and coaches to support (non)linear career growth and how to support others in those roles.
Build confidence and a toolkit to navigate internal behaviors and ways of thinking when a sense of belonging is challenged.
Looking for a workshop to expand your leadership skills in the meantime? Learn more about Designing Leadership’s Deep Dive Series.
SPRING 2023 CURRICULUM
The curriculum will be a hybrid format over 3 weeks in April 2023. Participants should plan to be fully present for the entire program, including attending all sessions in full, completing pre- and post-work assignments and actively engaging with facilitators and the cohort throughout the program.
Shaping and Imagining Workplace Culture
Many of us are eager to try new, innovative, and inclusive practices in our offices, but often encounter hurdles to bring those ideas to life. In the first week, collectively create and experiment with a workplace culture that will offer an aspirational model to bring to your professional spaces. Afterwards, imagine and dream a workplace culture that achieves belonging. What are the tools we might need to make our dreams real?
In-Person | Thursday, April 13, 10:00AM – 4:00PM
Grounding Through Mentorship and Coaching
Personal cheerleaders show up all around us – as sponsors, friends, mentors, coaches, and peer groups – and deepen our sense of belonging. Develop a personal board of directors and set expectations to use them effectively. Once your network is thriving, learn how to lean on them to advance your (non)linear career path. And finally, support your team by practicing how to offer guidance in the same ways you are seeking.
Virtual | Tuesday, April 18 | 9:00 AM – 11:00AM
Virtual | Thursday, April 20 | 9:00 AM – 11:00AM
Centering Confidence from Within
The frame of mind and care we grant to ourselves strengthens the spaces and people around us. Sometimes we fall into misleading self-talk, comparisons to others, overcompensating or playing down our experience. In the final session, center yourself as an individual and celebrate your contributions to locate your inner authentic flow.
In-Person | Friday, April 28 | 12:00PM – 5:00PM
In-Person | African American Museum of Philadelphia | 5:00PM – 7:00PM
“The Designing Leadership program was truly an Aha! moment for me, which is surprising after more than 20 years of leadership within nonprofits and government. I credit this program with illuminating my perspective and offering tools for examining the “why” guiding the work I have been dedicated to professionally. I took so much away from my participation—most importantly the time to think critically about my next act was incredibly valuable.
Three tangible takeaways and unexpected learning moments I retained from the program are:
Setting a boundary around shrinking myself into places that I have outgrown. I was able to be honest with myself about the healthiness of my relationship with comfort and loyalty and how playing small can hinder how I am being poured into and what I have to pour into others.
I learned that Imposter Syndrome is real and challenges many of us. The program helped me identify and relieve the shame of it by taking away the stigma and recognizing how I can embrace it, which is a concept I had not considered.
The New Golden Rule! I was taught to treat people the way you want to be treated. One of the facilitators presented the idea of “The New Golden Rule” for our consideration, which is to treat people how THEY want to be treated. I have since incorporated this into my day-to-day interactions. It reminds me to interact with others guided by a curiosity to learn about their unique perspectives relieved of bias.
I could, most certainly, share more evidence of how wonderfully the Arts & Business Council curated this program. However, I will conclude with acknowledging that this was about more than the professional spaces I occupy. With the support of a cohort of other leaders I was able to dig deep in a supportive community. I encourage anyone, who not only wants to develop their professional will, but also take an intimate look at the root of their leadership philosophies, to attend this program.”
Ivory Allison, American Liver Foundation, Class of ’21
“Designing Leadership revealed a number of common thread lines from my personal history that are directly related to my professional attitude and accomplishments. By taking the time to look inward and backward, we are better able to assess our place in the present and our potential future. I also gained a new perspective on my personal journey towards self-actualization. The work that I am doing both personally and professionally is combining my idealized success with real-world business success; these two lives are not mutually exclusive, but may in fact be one in the same.
A major takeaway from the program was the idea of positive conflict. In a wonderful exchange with another cohort member, I asked the question, “Isn’t all conflict negative?” I was met with an enthusiastic response outlining all the ways in which conflict can in fact be positive (constructive criticism, disagreement without losing one’s cool, personality vs. performance).
It was heartening to discover through the program, particularly amongst cohort members who were a similar age to me, that we are all experiencing together the same feelings, doubts, achievements, conflicts and struggles about our leadership journey.”
Alex Styer, Bellevue Communications Group, Class of ’21
Spring 2023 Faculty
This program is designed and led by the Arts + Business Council’s Director Elizabeth (Liz) Thompson. Please visit the About section of the Arts + Business Council’s website to learn more about her background.
For Professionals Interested in Designing Leadership
ABC recommends the following rates depending on the size of the business or organization. A 20% discount is offered when multiple individuals participate from the same institution.
|Businesses Sponsoring Employees|
|Large (>50 employees)||$1,250|
|Small (<50 employees)||$1,000|
|Business Professionals Paying Out of Pocket or Self Employed||$750|
|Nonprofits Sponsoring Employees or Board Members|
|Mid-Size and Large ($5M->$10M Budget)||$1,000|
|Grassroots and Small (<$1M-$5M Budget)||$750|
| Nonprofit Professionals Paying Out of Pocket|
A limited number of seats are available at this amount.
Many employers support the program fee as an investment in leadership development, community engagement, and good corporate citizenship. Interested individuals are encouraged to inquire about their professional development with their department and/or supervisor. The Arts + Business Council is available to assist with facilitating a conversation between an interested professional and their employer.
Philanthropic grants enable the Arts + Business Council to provide financial assistance. If an organization or business is interested in participating but the fee poses a hardship, the Arts + Business Council may be able to accommodate different budgets.
Deep Dive Series
In an effort to offer continued learning to ABC’s Designing Leadership alumni, ABC is offering additional individual workshops that dive deeper into leadership themes and topics.
These workshops are FREE to Designing Leadership alumni and open to the public at a sliding scale rate.
INTENTIONAL LANGUAGE | TUESDAY, December 13, 2022 from 9:00AM – 11:00AM