surge leadership development program

Surge is a design thinking program for mid-level managers and emerging leaders seeking to improve their leadership effectiveness.

Leadership is fast-paced and dynamic, requiring problem solving and interpersonal skills that can seem overwhelming to emerging leaders new to their increased responsibilities. Design thinking provides a robust framework to tackle even the toughest of these challenges — but like any viable solution, consistency and accountability are key to making it stick. 

The Surge program was developed specifically to address the issues facing mid-level managers, and importantly, to allow them to work through their unique, specific challenges. Surge participants will do real problem solving as they generate, prototype, and test the solutions they will implement when they return to the workplace. To aid in learning, we’ll use the metaphors of velocity and vehicle dynamics to frame activities and discussions. They are perfectly applicable to leadership, and starting with a topic we are familiar with will help connect and embed learning. Participants leave each session with a concrete action plan and a new appreciation for the opportunity to lead and impact those around them.

The work doesn’t stop there. Change is hard, and behavior change is really hard. The Surge program provides the ongoing coaching and support to help participants integrate new behaviors, while also providing the insight and accountability necessary to ensure success.

Program Content

Consider an organization as a finely-tuned machine. When things are humming along smoothly, multiple components are working together in harmony. However, with so many moving parts, an imbalance with one component can disrupt the whole system. The function of a leader is not only to troubleshoot, but diagnose and repair when necessary. 

The Surge program is divided into a series of workshops where the following leadership challenges are addressed in a collaborative, peer-to-peer environment. During each session, participants do a deep dive into their specific challenges regarding the leadership topic. We will utilize design thinking to ideate, prototype and test solutions that they can implement with confidence when they return to the workplace.

Leadership Power: Empowering Self, Team and Organization 

  • What is leadership power and how is it used effectively?
  • Identifying and navigating the balance of power within your organization
  • The differences between wielding authority versus empowering your team
  • Keeping self-charged in order to be a power supply for your team


Leadership Support: Harnessing Strengths to Support Team Weight 

    • Attributes of supportive leaders
    • Understanding “team weight” and how to support it
    • Appreciative inquiry
    • Reflection on personal support systems
    • Mental readiness and ongoing learning

Leadership Friction: Understanding and Managing Conflict

      • Conflict as a positive catalyst
      • Understanding common workplace conflicts
      • Effective ways to manage conflict
      • Using constructive evaluation
      • Diffusing conflict and reframing in proper context
      • How conflict resolution changes based on relationship ( member/peer/boss)

Leadership Fears: Overcoming Personal and Team Fear

      • What a leader’s responsibility is to protect their team
      • How to push team members appropriately while still providing “guardrails”
      • Confronting personal and professional fears
      • Building belief and self confidence
      • Creating the situations and environments for success

Leadership Traction: Digging In and Propelling the Team as One 

  • Setting clear goals
  • How engagement and inclusion leads to commitment
  • How a leader provides momentum to their team
  • Respecting and appreciating each person’s contribution
  • Ways to maintain momentum after initial launch

Leading Authentically: Growth Mindset and Building a Personal Leadership Style

  • Positive mindset and impact on performance
  • Leadership masks
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Building an authentic leadership style and identity
  • Overcoming interpersonal dissonance and its effects


Leadership Illumination: Creating and Honing the Bright Ideas

      • How to light the path for team members via inclusion versus filtered information
      • Providing opportunities for role ownership
      • Why leaders aren’t obligated to have all of the answers
      • Encouraging and promoting innovation
      • Planning and improving focus

Leadership Velocity: Charting Speed and Direction 

      • How effective leadership allows team members to pull in the same direction
      • How over or under correction affects the organizational course
      • How to effectively pivot when leadership change is required
      • Organizational pace and tempo
      • Knowing when it’s time for a right turn

Leadership Toxins: Providing a Clean and Safe Environment for Your Team

      • How to determine the difference between personality clashes and toxicity
      • The hidden impact of toxic people on an organization
      • Proper work/life balance and dissipating internal toxins
      • Building trust 

Leadershp Vision: Seeing and Sharing the Big Picture

  • Effective ways to share leadership vision
  • How communication engenders shared trust and engagement
  • How to manage leadership distractions
  • The leader’s role as navigator, not back seat driver
  • Framing performance errors and setbacks as opportunities

Ready to see how Surge can accelerate leadership in your organization?