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Curriculum | 2020 Rising Leaders Cohort


The curriculum follows four main threads:

  • Emotional intelligence and leadership development
  • “Hard” skills development
  • Equity, inclusion, social justice, and power
  • Career development

Topics within these threads include: values (personal and organizational); facilitation, collaboration, and decision-making; self-awareness; listening and inquiry skills; conflict management; power mapping; managing up.

The Cohort features:

  • Five cohort sessions, broken into two modules (total of ten content gatherings), held every three weeks for 3 hours  
  • Four group coaching sessions between each content-based session  
  • All sessions will be held virtually via Zoom, and will incorporate state of the art engagement and connection platforms  
  • Intimate cohort experience with 15-20 participants 
  • Facilitated experience with the Reflected Best Self Exercise, a personal development tool that helps you see who you are at your best, engaging you to live and work from that powerful place daily 
  • Presentations and activities from expert faculty 
  • Opportunities to practice what you are learning in real-time and through homework assignments 
  • Access to tools, templates, resources, and shared learning 


Session 0 | Orientation and Connection  

  • Description: This first session, two hours long, meaningfully introduces and connects participants and faculty with one another against the backdrop of the content and the context within which we are hosting the Rising Leaders Cohort. We will prime participants to the design of the institute, review program curriculum and pedagogy, and get ready for our first session together.  

Session 1A and 1B | Managing Self: Building and Leveraging Self-Awareness  

  • Description: Our world is becoming increasingly complex. Philanthropy, in particular, is facing unprecedented challenges as the global community and our planet struggle to sustain resilience. Today more than ever we need leaders who consciously lead with self-awareness, integrity and skill to tackle our volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.  This first session of the Rising Leaders cohort will lay the framework for the program and launch this journey with a focus on self-awareness, a key competency of effective leadership. We will explore your career journey to date and help you claim your future narrative and identify the learning that will help get you there. 

Session 2A and 2B | Managing Relationships: Navigating and Influencing Power  

  • Description: We each have power, and this power is experienced by us and others in multi-dimensional ways. In this session we will explore the power we each hold, from the varying intersections of our identity, and learn how that power can be leveraged for greater self-awareness and to lift up the power of others. We will also explore the inherent power in hierarchy and how you can manage and influence those in higher organizational positions. We will explore concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as accountability. 

Session 3A and 3B | Managing Relationships: Working Collaboratively and Addressing Conflict 

  • Description: As you rise within your career, the requirements demanded of you don’t just scale they evolve. At higher levels of an organization your ability to see systems, create and execute strategy, rally and coach others towards collective goals, and more, will define your success. Doing all of this well requires skill and emotional intelligence. In this session we will tackle one of the most difficult dimensions of relationships, conflict. In the soup of disagreements, the capacity to understand your own story, to see and illuminate the stories of others, and the ability to co-create solutions with integrity divide average and remarkable leaders. 

Session 4A and 4B | Hard Skills: Facilitation and Collaborative Leadership with a Systems Lens  

  • Description: Skillful collaboration is facilitated by an open mind and heart, keen powers of observation of self and others, compassionate communication, a whole-systems view and a willingness to witness and experience emergence and transformation. This module will promote these qualities while seeking to enhance leadership skills, self-awareness and a capacity to contribute to positive change at any scale. By practicing presence, expanding our awareness of self and others and unlocking our creativity, we can realize our potential as inspired and skillful facilitators or participants in any group system. Participants will be introduced to a variety of group work and collaborative leadership tools which will help improve our practical facilitative tools for decision–making and conflict resolution, as well as develop the courage to imaginatively embrace emergence. 

Session 5 | Closing 

  • Description: In this last session of the Rising Leaders Cohort we will step back and reflect on the learning experience and create space for participants to finalize and share their leadership aspirations and goals.