Leading Edge

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.

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.


Applications for the 2019 Leading Edge Program are comings soon!

If you are a professional with a passion for growing your career and becoming actively engaged in the community, the Emerging Leaders Series offers the ideal setting to expand your horizons.

Make Grand Rapids your classroom with five half-day sessions that combine tours, speakers, activities, and inter-disciplinary discussions that build community connections, leadership skills, and insight into issues facing Grand Rapids. Plus, you’ll discover new opportunities to engage in the community.


LEADING EDGE is right for you if you:

  • Are ready to take personal inventory and accountability of your leadership potential
  • Want to cultivate a strong skill set—from basic to advanced—as a confident and inspirational leader
  • Desire an actionable plan for immediate on-the-job application of key concepts, skills, tips and tools
  • Are looking for an opportunity to become connected with other like- minded women

Expert leadership trainer, Barbara Rapaport, 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.


Session Topics

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.


Questions? Contact Ashlie Johnson, Talent Development Coordinator at 616.771.0310