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Leading Edge

Leadership Advantage 1

Identify your leadership potential with Leading Edge

Applications for the 2020 Leading Edge cohorts are now open.

Click Here to Apply

Your application is NOT COMPLETE without a signed commitment form. Please submit this to mel@grandrapids.org to be considered for Leading Edge.

Click Here for the Commitment Form


About the Program

Specifically for the next generation of women leaders in the workplace, Leading Edge helps you create a successful path forward by teaching practical concepts and offering a hands-on practicum in the leadership skills you need. It offers opportunities to discuss how personal worldviews have an impact on how you show up at work. Leading Edge is targeted to high-performing women who are currently leading projects and/or people in the workplace. A minimum of four years professional experience is required.

Expert leadership trainer, Barbara Rapaport, of Real Time Perspectives, will guide Leading Edge participants through six, three-hour sessions that incorporate reflective dialog, large- and small-group exercises, case studies/real-life scenarios, and experimentation through reflective practice. Leading Edge

Additionally, participants in last year’s Leading Edge told us that they wished there was more time for peer coaching during each session. They wanted more time to wrestle with real-time challenges in the workplace and get guidance and support from the cohort. We listened! For 2020 we are providing an additional benefit, participants will have the option to join in virtual coaching sessions using the platform, ZoomThese non-mandatory 60-minute sessions will build on what participants are exposed to in the bi-weekly, large group sessions at the Chamber to provide that added coaching support between in-person sessions.

Leading Edge is right for you if:

  • You are ready to take personal inventory and accountability of your leadership potential
  • You want to cultivate a strong skill set—from basic to advanced—as a confident and inspirational leader
  • You desire an actionable plan for immediate on-the-job application of key concepts, skills, tips and tools
  • You are looking for an opportunity to become connected with other like- minded women
  • You are ready to have courageous conversations about how implicit bias may be impacting your actions

Chamber leadership programs prioritize creating spaces where diverse perspectives can come together to learn, grow and push our community forward.


Session Dates, Descriptions & Cost

Session Dates:

Cohort 1

All sessions run on Tuesdays from 1:00pm-4:00pm

·      August 25, 2020

·       September 8, 2020

·       September 22, 2020

·       October 6, 2020

·       October 20, 2020

·      November 3, 2020

Session Descriptions:

Session 1: Orientation

Session 2: Intentional Listening and Responding

Develop a sensitivity to how different approaches to listening and responding can impact your capacity for empathy; identify emotional triggers that may impede your ability to listen and respond with intentionality; practice strategies aimed at demonstrating emotional intelligence.

Session 3: Leading Through Difficult Conversations

Gain an understanding of the conscious and unconscious elements of difficult conversations; discover your viewpoint on the value of conflict in leadership situations; practice strategies intended to navigate conflict effectively.

Session 4: Engaging with High Performing Teams

Identify how leaders contribute to creating and sustaining effective teams; be exposed to a method for analyzing team effectiveness; discover strategies to inspire accountability at individual and team levels.

Session 5: Becoming Who You Intend to Be

Determine the values that you will strive never to compromise; map out your life/career timeline in a way that aligns with these values and your aspirations for the future; identify strategies that can help you thrive no matter where you are on the journey.

 Session 6: Reflecting Back, Moving Forward

Revisit the frameworks you’ve been exposed to in the program; reinforce key concepts, skills, and personal insights; discuss strategies for integrating what you’ve learned today and in the future.

Cost and Scholarships:

Program Cost: Tuition must be paid in full by the first class session.

Chamber Member:  $1,000

Non-Member: $1,150

There are a limited number of partial scholarship funds available. Please submit the following scholarship application form to mel@grandrapids.org, along with a short explanation of the reason for your request, by no later than 30 days prior to the first session to be considered for scholarship.

Click here for the scholarship form


Questions or Comments?

Please reach out to Mel Trombley, Director of Leadership Programs, at mel@grandrapids.org.


Program Sponsors

Premier Sponsor

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summit 7

Trustee Sponsor

Advocacy Engagement Series 9

Emerging Sponsors

131st Annual Meeting 10

EPIC Awards Gala 8