How confidently do you stand when confronted by others? How willing are you to take real risks that may fail? How well do you manage your emotions when you take those risks? How courageously and skillfully do you bring up topics that others are afraid of or resistant to discuss? How powerfully do you connect with others?
These are the things that determine your success as a leader. And these are the things that we impact at the Bregman Leadership Intensive.
How do we know? Don’t take our word for it. We asked previous participants how they benefited from the program. We also asked the families and the peers of the participants about what changes they noticed in the participants’ behavior upon returning. Based on the data, here are the top thirteen outcomes of the Bregman Leadership Intensive:
1. The Intensive makes you a measurably better leader.
Even eight months after the Intensive, with no interim intervention from us, participants experienced increased effectiveness in all categories that we measured through surveys, including:
- Raising hard-to-talk-about issues in a way that initiates important conversations.
- Taking risks that could lead to new possibilities.
- Connecting with people in a way that inspires their commitment.
- Staying grounded in the face of success, failure, or uncertainty.
- Communicating skillfully in the presence of strong emotions.
- Driving the most critical business results.
- Overall leadership effectiveness.
2. The Intensive creates lasting relationships you can count on.
After one participant shared a challenge over email with the other participants, many responded:
“Anything I can do to help, I am always here for you.”
“I have a couple of thoughts after your words, and I just want to share them . . .”
While participants come from all over the world, they develop into a community of like-minded people who care about being strong leaders and helping each other lead powerfully. A profile of past participants includes:
Gender: 40% female, 60% male
Geography: US, Germany, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Nigeria
Industry: Finance, Technology, Manufacturing, Consulting, Not-For-Profit, Government, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Start-up
Functions: General Management, Sales, Technology, Operations, Finance, Entrepreneurs
Positions: CEOs, Executives, Senior Managers, Consultants, In-Transition
3. The Intensive develops your ability to act when you’re at your edge.
“I got so far outside my comfort zone, into a place I wasn’t ready for at all. And at that moment I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is what it feels like when you don’t have any leadership tools left in your bag. So now what? If you’re really such a great leader, now what? You don’t have a tool for this. What now!?’ In those moments, with Peter’s support, I discovered how to deal with situations where I had no clue what to do. I was able to feel incredibly uncomfortable and yet stay grounded and present and powerful. The confidence that came from this was real, and it has persisted.”
4. The Intensive develops your confidence in critical leadership moments.
“The changes in me have been astounding. When I stand up to speak in front of groups, or participate in any high stakes meeting, I now consciously—almost habitually—think about my ability to remain strong and capable, particularly in the face of unknowns. I hear myself saying, ‘I’m here and I’m ready for this. Even if I don’t have all the answers, I’m ready and I’m strong and I’m good and I’m grateful that I’m capable of standing in this moment.’ That is never the way I thought before. That type of awareness or gratitude wasn’t even on my radar. It calms me, which unquestionably improves my ability to contribute in these critical moments.”
5. The Intensive uncovers your unique blind spots and helps you remove them as an obstacle to your success.
From someone whose blind spot was an unwillingness to ask for help: “I’m discovering that I feel differently about my business since I’ve returned. I’m making an effort every day to acknowledge my difficulties asking for help – voicing this to different people, for different reasons. In return, I’m experiencing a great deal of encouragement and support. As that shift is happening, it’s getting easier to ask for what I need and to be clear about the specifics. Interestingly, I feel as though it’s enhancing my ability to think about a bigger vision for my company. It’s a slow evolution, but this development has been very unexpected.”
6. The Intensive increases your effectiveness in the face of uncertainty or ambiguity.
“I don’t need to know exactly what to do next anymore. Not all the time. More often than not when I start to get anxious, I just let it flow through me instead of letting it electrify the moment and stress me out and stop me in my tracks. And as a result I’ve become a much more powerful and genuine leader.”
7. The Intensive develops your courage.
“My organization benefits from me being more courageous. I’m more capable of just stepping in and not being afraid of the things that used to stop me: fear of confronting people or failing or not being good enough.”
8. The Intensive develops your ability to have difficult conversations with productive outcomes.
“Yesterday I had a very difficult personal conversation with someone that involved boundary setting and had needed to happen for a long time. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but by the time I actually sat down and made the phone call, my resolve was there and the actual conversation was very good. I felt calm, my feet were planted solidly on the ground, and I was breathing (sometimes a lot!). I spoke from a place of authenticity and told the truth. I felt heard and the response indicated we made a breakthrough. Despite challenges to what I was saying, I kept focused and stayed on point. I had tried many other ways of dealing with the situation and had avoided saying the things I said yesterday because I feared hurting this person, but I ultimately realized I was preventing him from growing and learning because I wasn’t saying the difficult things. After it was over, I felt great. It was powerful and freeing for both of us.”
9. The Intensive stimulates you to stop procrastinating on important leadership actions.
“I’ve been avoiding a conversation with my marketing contractor for about two months. The short story is that she is the biggest line item in my budget and there have been a number of small mistakes, here and there, that have accumulated to the point that it causes me concern. I had hoped that the problem would correct itself, which was ridiculous of course. Then I thought about your words, about emotional courage, about the key lessons that continue to rise up for me from the Intensive, and about having faith in myself that I could share this feedback in a way that felt supportive but firm. We had a very open, honest conversation. We ended the call on a very good vibe and I truly feel like a weight has been lifted tonight. So I want to thank you for that…it really was your guidance, and the Intensive, that helped me get there.”
10. The Intensive can have a positive impact on your career.
“I got a promotion yesterday and a very big vote of confidence from my senior management team, even though we did not have the easiest relationship in the last few months.”
11. The Intensive can have a positive impact on your business results.
“I submitted a proposal three weeks after I returned from Intensive. I remember thinking at the time that it was one of the best proposals I’d written in a long time because I felt more centered and assured. I knew it was going to be a tough competition. Well, I got word this morning that I won it. I beat out the front-running competitor who were essentially pre-wired to win it—they’d created the project plan and approach that pulled in the money to fund the project. Based on current figures, it will result in a 26% projected revenue increase for 2014, 104% projected revenue increase for 2015, and 86% increase in total value of projects currently under contract. I really do attribute a great deal of this to the revelations I’ve had since attending the Intensive.”
12. The Intensive develops your ability to change your behavior.
“Every single conversation I had yesterday changed. I am working differently with the same people with whom I have been working for the past nine months. My tasks have not changed, but my whole thinking has changed in the last twenty-four hours. It is as if I have a pause of one to two seconds before I do something. A momentary pause to actually think about my action and make a better choice.”
13. The Intensive provides lasting impact on your leadership.
“I’m really surprised at how long the changes have persisted. In general, I’m a great student; I’ll learn the stuff, and I can spit it back out, and that part has never been a problem. The challenge has been for the knowledge to change how I act. In just a few days at the Intensive, I took in messages that I still think about all the time and that change what I do on a daily basis. I had never attended any kind of training that did that, that provided actual lasting impact.”