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About Lead Forward
Shape your professional journey with our transformative leadership program. Lead Forward is your key to unlocking your leadership potential. Our leadership program is tailored to meet your unique needs and equip you with the tools to lead with a people-first approach.
Why Lead Forward?
Who you are…
Our program is for a leader who:
Has at least 1-3 years of professional working experience
Works in Tech & Innovation and wants to develop their leadership skills
Wants to expand their network and learn together with others
Is ready to join online meetings from 10-11:30 AM CET every Thursday (1 February ’24 – 21 March ’24)
Who you will be!
With Lead Forward, become a leader who:
Cultivates a growth mindset for yourself and your team
Emulates confidence in your capabilities and communicates them
Leverages your meaningful new connections
Applies a toolkit of practical frameworks and strategies to tackle every situation
How it Works
We blend self-paced learning with dynamic live sessions
Sessions are available as videos so you can schedule learning when it’s best for you!
Small groups for weekly interactive discussions and real-life case studies.
Dynamic content tailored to your individual needs as a leader.
Lead Forward Batch #10 Timeline
Feb 1 – March 21
Batch #10 Program Run
Batch #10 Grand Finale
Batch #10 Curriculum
Kick-off: Aligning Mindset & Goals
- Growth mindset
- Goal setting
- Identifying & flexing your leadership style
Learning group meeting:
Thursday, 1 February, 10-11:30 AM CET
Kick-off event & getting to know learning group
- Effective decision-making
- Setting OKRs
- Prioritizing & delegating tasks
Learning group meeting:
Thursday, 8 February, 10-11:15 AM CET
- Beat failure
- Getting buy-in
- Introduction to DEIB
- DEI metrics
- DEI strategy
Learning group meeting:
Thursday, 15 February, 10-11:15 AM CET
Recap of Learnings
- Reflection on learnings
- Submit assignments
Creating psychological safety
Learning group meeting:
Thursday, 29 February, 10-11:15 AM CET
- Talent management
- Inclusive recruitment & hiring
- From onboarding to offboarding
- Coaching your team
- Giving & asking for feedback
- Equitable career progression
Learning group meeting:
Thursday, 7 March, 10-11:15 AM CET
- Empathetic leadership
- Leading through uncertainty
Learning group meeting:
Thursday, 14 March, 10-11:15 AM CET
Reflection on learnings
Thursday, 21 March, 10-11:15 AM CET
Meet the Speakers
Lead Forward connects participants with some of Europe’s most innovative minds. Be prepared for multiple deep dive sessions with experts from different backgrounds, skillsets and experiences.
Senior Organisational Culture Manger – DE&I at Babbel
Focus areas for people-first leaders
Learn the top skills that today’s leaders need
Enhance decision making.
Align goals. Measure success.
Tackle unconscious bias.
Use inclusive language.
Cultivate psychological safety.
Practice empathetic leadership.
Embrace change and uncertainty.
Inclusion from hire to thrive.
Lead, empower, ignite your team.
Feedback for fueling growth.
Our upcoming Lead Forward program is designed to help individuals like you thrive in leadership roles. But you might be wondering, “Who is this program for?” Let’s introduce you to some of our past participants, Daniela, Olena and Ines, who have made significant strides in their careers with the help of our program.
Companies that trust us
Lead Forward in Numbers
Avg. Net Promoter Score
Of Alumni grew their entrepreneurial mindset
Reach out to Lead Forward Program Manager
Hi, I’m Elisabeth van Holthe tot Echten! Reach out to me if you have any questions about the program, application process, or if it’s the right fit for you!
Lead Forward – FAQs
Who can apply for Lead Forward?
Anyone working in the tech&innovation ecosystem who has at least 1 direct report can apply for the program. We love having a diverse group of participants, so our past participants have joined from all over Europe (and beyond!) and worked for startups, corporations, NGOs and international organizations. We know from experience that leaders with 1-3 years of leadership experience benefit the most from our program.
How many people participate in one cohort?
A key component of a successful leadership program is always the participants. There is no maximum number of leaders that can participate in a batch. Within each batch, we create smaller groups, so called “learning groups” of 4-5 leaders, to make it easy to build meaningful connections and relationships, and give everyone the opportunity to exchange ideas.
How does the application process work?
When you apply for the program, we will ask you a couple of questions to make sure the program is a fit for you. In case we have some additional questions after reviewing your application, we will reach out to you via email. Participating in Lead Forward asks both a financial and a time commitment, so we want to make sure you get value out of the program!
How do I pay the participation fee?
After you have confirmed you want to participate in the program, we’ll ask you to send your billing details so we can send you an invoice. You can pay via bank transfer within 10 days of receiving the invoice. If you’d like to use the option to pay in multiple installments, we’ll let you know when which amount is due.
The participation fee is a barrier for me, can I still apply?
We want to be as transparent as we can when it comes to pricing.
In order to create a high-quality program, we use the participation fee to cover the costs of employee salaries, experts in the program, and program tools (community platform, etc). That being said, if paying the participation fee of 1,800 EUR at once is a barrier for you, we can set up a payment plan to pay in four equal instalments at no extra cost. If you would like to use this option, reach out to our program manager.
We also offer scholarships. If you are interested in finding out more about this option, please contact the program manager by August 20.
What is the time commitment?
With everything, what you put in is what you will get out of it. Once a week, you’ll meet for one hour on Zoom with your learning group. To prepare for these sessions, you’ll need about 2-3 hours to complete the lessons. These lessons consist of a combination of videos, exercises and additional resources. These asynchronous materials allow you to schedule learning when it’s best for you.
What will I learn?
The program is divided into four focus areas: execute strategy, foster alignment, navigate resistance and develop potential. Each area consists of several lessons, and you’ll get access to content tailored to your leadership level. For a comprehensive overview of the program’s curriculum, download the brochure.
What do the online meetings look like?
We meet once a week for 1 hour via Zoom. After a short check-in, you’ll go into a break out room with your learning group (4-5 leaders). Each week, you’ll receive a structure for this meeting, depending on that week’s content – this includes, for example, working on real-world case studies, practicing a particular skill or discussing personal work challenges.
Do I get support from the Female Founders team during the program outside of the weekly sessions?
Yes! If you need any additional support during the program, you can reach out to the program manager for individual guidance.
Entrepreneur & Angel investor I Managing Partner – Investor Relations Consultancy @ VERTIK
Daniela: Investor Relations Unleashed
Daniela Aldescu is an experienced leader with a demonstrated track record in investor relations and strategy. With over ten years of active involvement in the capital markets, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role as Managing Partner of VERTIK. Passionate about advancing the field of investor relations, Daniela joined forces with her colleague three years ago to develop VERTIK, a top consulting company in the capital market specializing in providing comprehensive consulting services for Investor Relations and Public Relations strategies and operations, playing a central role in leveraging her extensive experience and strategic mindset to deliver exceptional results for clients. The VERTIK team has a collective experience of over 60 years in IR and PR, allowing us to provide comprehensive support to our clients.
Daniela’s journey in investor relations began during her tenure at prominent companies listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. During her time there, she played a crucial role in overseeing investor relations and strategy activities and contributing to the success of the organizations.
Daniela’s expertise extends beyond her role at VERTIK. She has been actively involved in coordinating the operational activities of the Romanian Investor Relations Association (ARIR) for over five years and collaborating with the 40 members of the organization to ensure the implementation of IR best practices on the local capital market.
Daniela continues to drive excellence and make valuable contributions to the field of investor relations, elevating the performance and reputation of organizations in the capital markets and being also actively involved in the start-up ecosystem by mentoring, evaluating, and financing them. She is also an international evaluator for programs supported by European institutions and contributes to the growth and development of start-ups, sharing her insights and expertise to help them thrive.
Olena: Leading the Way in Global Recruitment
Olena Didenko-Weber, the Head of Operations at Avomind, a global recruitment firm, has been in her current role for 3.5 years. She joined the firm when it was just six months old, and since then, she’s been instrumental in its growth. But what exactly does her role entail?
In Olena’s own words: “I help our clients build their dream teams by finding them smart and driven people to work with and help grow their business. Also, I help our candidates find a place to work where they will use their skills and knowledge, have a great team to work with, and feel appreciated. Internally, I focus on helping our team be more productive and efficient and managing our internal learning & development training program.”
Olena’s team is international and vibrant, with unique skills and backgrounds that contribute to a dynamic work environment. She works closely with around 10 team members in total, spanning EMEA and APAC regions.
Avomind, the startup where Olena works, values delivering the best service and experience to its clients and candidates, trust and empowerment of team members, global expansion, and the joy of building the firm together.
Ines: Data-Driven Leadership in the Insurance Sector
Ines Hartmann is another inspiring leader who participated in our program. She works at UNIQA, an insurance company with a mission to cover customers’ risks and make life better for all. As a data scientist, Ines finds joy in combining her passion for customer-centricity with data analysis.
Currently serving as the product owner of their customer decision hub, Ines focuses on determining the next best actions for customers. This includes everything from product recommendations to customer app registrations and birthday wishes. She has been in this role for a year and has spent two years on the next best action project.
What makes Ines’ job even more exciting is that she’s part of two teams – her agile team, responsible for implementing the customer decision hub, and her business unit team, which exposes her to various topics and continuous learning opportunities.