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Over the course of nine months (October-June each year), a select group of participants will meet together one Friday per month (and two consecutive days during the October kick-off weekend) for carefully curated leadership development sessions. Emphasizing hands-on, practical skill development and real-world application, each month participants will focus on developing one of the essential skills to making big-time impact.

If chosen for participation, highlights of the Influencer Academy experience include:

  • 60+ face-to-face hours of interactive, participant-centered professional and personal development applicable to emerging female corporate, start-up, small business, nonprofit, educational, government, and community leaders.
  • Individualized, behavioral, skill-based leadership coaching from Alexia and her team of guest experts during each of the group sessions.
  • One-of-a-kind access to rich relationship building with fellow Influencer Academy participants, speakers, mentors, advisors, and alumni.
  • Unparalleled interpersonal communication and public speaking development. (Through creative and practical monthly assignments and assigned readings, class discussions, case studies, role-playing, presentations, and a culminating project, you will strengthen all facets of your speaking.)
  • Safe and supportive opportunities to stretch outside your comfort zone to accelerate emotional and behavioral change. (Whether you have experienced a “glass ceiling” for your success or simply want to step into your next level of impact, through Influencer Academy you will gain clarity on who you are as a leader, overcome barriers to your influence, and heighten your focus, discipline, motivation, flexibility, creativity, and self-awareness.)

Each session will run from 10AM-5PM. Attendance at each Influencer Academy session is required for graduation, and anyone missing one or more sessions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriateness of continuing in the program.

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Influencer Academy Curriculum

Awakening to Influence
October 21-22

During our 2-day kick-off session, you activate and harness your personal power, align your core values and strengths with your resources and enthusiasm, and gain clarity on your authentic influencing style. You discover the beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that get you in your own way of results, and explore how to create and solidify habits that set you up to have more energy and courage in order to facilitate greater success and impact in your company and community. As a group, we explore the must have’s for operating as an emotionally intelligent leader, enhance your capacity for strategic risk taking, and strengthen your mindfulness in order to increase your productivity and purposefulness.

Key components of the kick-off experience that continue to be revisited in future sessions include:

  • Identifying, reflecting upon, and reframing professional and personal obstacles as opportunities for more effectively leading change.
  • Taking personal responsibility in all situations.
  • Receiving and applying feedback to achieve high performance.
  • Developing mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Integrating each of the core life spheres for sustained happiness, effectiveness, and resiliency.

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Heart-Centered, High Impact Communication
November 18

The foundation of influence is communication, and in this session you learn how to use communication that meets people where they are, makes them feel heard and validated, and translates into the intended action. You identify your communication home zone and discover how to be flexible in order to best speak the language other people can hear. In addition, you compile strategies for weeding out vocalized thinking, ambiguous and confusing words, and the myriad statements that divorce you from your power. During the day, we also look at how to stay in empowered communication whether we are influencing up, down, or across by making subtle shifts in messaging and delivery in order to facilitate significant impact.

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Presentation – Skills and Style
December 9

Whether you present to staff, clients, funders, stakeholders, and community partners, or at conferences and other industry events, you leave this session with the mindset, corresponding skillset, and image to do it dynamically. We begin by honing your truth telling and storytelling to enable you to effortlessly connect with audiences, demonstrate credibility and know-how, and invite people to take concrete action. Then, we explore how to curate material and structure content that is memorable and actionable, sculpt a message quickly in impromptu speaking situations, and take responsibility for employing body language and personal style that accentuates your natural speaking voice and makes people want to follow you… anywhere. We also look at how to play nicely with both your feminine and masculine energy as well as the thoughts and sensations that often arise when we present, particularly when using speaking to advance business goals and lead people through challenging times.

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Stepping Into Thought Leadership
January 20

One of the many responsibilities leaders have is to share their expertise with those who can benefit from it. Whether that means speaking at conferences, hosting industry events, and sharing your message with the media—or expanding your individual or company’s influence through social media, blogging, and publishing—this session will look at myriad pathways for you to take your message and get it out to the people who need it most. Over the course of the day, you unearth the secrets and develop the skills, resources, and media presence to position yourself as the go-to spokesperson in you company and industry.

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Coaching Conversations
February 10

Coaching is a confidential, empowering, and catalytic relationship that allows leaders to step out of “expert” status and facilitate learning and growth so that people—whether they are employees, colleagues, or clients—become responsible for their own thinking and performance. By learning how to establish trust and build rapport, ask better questions, mirror back what you hear being said (and not said), strategize, and co-create means for assessment and accountability, you learn how to use coaching conversations to increase creativity, problem solving, innovative thinking, and strategic risk taking in order to achieve greater individual and organizational results.

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Communicating in Difficult Times
March 10

Giving a performance review. Delivering bad news. For even the most seasoned influencers, in times of real or perceived conflict, staying in and communicating from a place of power can feel impossible. By learning the anatomy of a “crucial conversation” and developing the muscles to use heart-centered, high impact communication when stakes are high, emotions are strong, and opinions differ—you strengthen your ability to diffuse conflict and maintain/repair relationships. You explore the different “difficult” personality types and how to work with each. You also develop your capacity to give effective feedback. By approaching such conversations as coaching opportunities, you explore how to give feedback that is timely, specific, behavioral, and the “right kind of personal” to empower people to correct mistakes, identify and solidify high performing behaviors, increase personal accountability, and ensure that feedback translates into action. You also hone your ability to accept and apply the feedback you receive from others by practicing letting go of negative emotions and focusing on the opportunity to develop self-management and self-awareness.

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Facilitation
April 7

Whether you run formal training or team, board, or committee meetings, to be an effective leader it’s vital to know how to give your people the appropriate balance of structure and freedom. During this session, explore how to engage your people and know when to solicit their input, when to build consensus around the best course of action, and when to move people to commit to next steps. We explore how to make these difficult and important judgment calls and develop the tools to do so with grace and conviction. Additional consideration will be given to speaking clear and concise directions, keeping people focused on both short-and-long term opportunities/impact, and how to spot and resolve interpersonal dynamics that undermine team success.

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Persuasion
May 5 

Whenever we speak in service of moving a person or group to take action, we are harnessing our persuasive speaking skills. Unfortunately, too many of us undermine our persuasion by doing too much informing, focusing on what we want rather than on what the other person or people want, and failing to use direct communication when inviting people to act. In this session, learn the key components of developing and presenting an impactful persuasive case. Develop dozens of strategies, questions, and provocative statements to amplify your impact with others. Throughout the day, you get comfortable sculpting and delivering persuasive cases across contexts—including selling ideas and products or services, soliciting funding, lobbying for new legislation, and spearheading organizational and social change.

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Negotiation
June 2

When women fail to negotiate—not only their salaries but also business contracts and household responsibilities—everyone suffers. During this session, make negotiating something you look forward to, initiate, and excel in. Develop the mindset, strategies, grammar, questions, and nonverbal communication to negotiate for yourself and on behalf of your organization and clients. Particular attention is paid to rehearsing for a negotiation, setting all parties up for success, using direct communication, and responding both to anticipated and unforeseen resistance. At the end of the day, participants present their influence projects, and the session concludes with a special celebratory reception. Participants are asked to be available until 8PM to enjoy all of the festivities.

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