The Howells Group Blog

The Power of Support in Growing Leadership

 Ann and Karen

Today was a good day. Actually; a very good day…one of those days when you get in your car after a long awaited meeting finally takes place and you are more than pleased with the results. (As anyone knows who is reading this; those days can be few and far between!) After six months of planning, enrolling and communicating, one of my consulting partners and I launched an internal leadership program for 24 technical women who navigate life and careers within a technology company that is still largely male dominated. The response was overwhelmingly positive! Most of these women had never even met each other. Women in leadership roles often become isolated and are challenged to network beyond their long work days, since many have “ a second shift” at home awaiting them; otherwise known as family responsibilities. This program, like others we’ve facilitated, will include feedback from a leadership survey that will go out to at least 10 people in their work universe, content on how to expand skill to become a more agile leader and individual 1:1 development coaching. They’ll create a case study from their current leadership challenge and get feedback from us as coaches and from their peers in the group.

All this is great and useful; and makes the program valuable and unique. But what will prove to be most useful, career and “life shaping” will be the support from the community we will build. Creating a tight knit group of professionals that are “for you”; having a place to be known and honest, and connecting leaders to each other in our very human aspirations, fears and difficulties is the magic ingredient that creates true transformation for participants. Seeing these women come back every month over the 9 month program and report on their successes, their insights, and challenges they’ve overcome is inspiring. Watching these leaders become connected and cheer on their peers – it’s absolutely amazing!  Over the years I’ve designed and facilitated this particular program that we call “Leadership Councils”, I’ve seen groups continue to meet long after the “program” was finished. They’ve welcomed babies, celebrated promotions, mourned miscarriages and been there for each other during reorganizations and layoffs. It’s profound and powerful what can happen when people come together to learn and grow; they end up creating this palpable synergy that can only happen in a true learning community. So – hats off to all these leaders that I’ve had the privilege to coach, support, encourage and instruct. You give me more back than I can possibly give out.

Here’s  a quote from a participant of a similar women’s leadership program,  “The women’s leadership forum allowed me to develop insight into my own leadership and the leadership styles of others. I was at the beginning of my leadership journey and look back on it as a wonderful, learning experience. Karen is a true coach, in that she draws out your true potential!”

Ashley  – Medical Director, Banfield Pet Hospital

If you’d like more information on bringing this program into your organization, contact or to enroll in our Open Enrollment programs that are similar, IGNITE and ADVANCE launch on September 11, 2014.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>