Black Woman Leading™ was created to provide a safe space to center your experience as you learn, heal, and grow in your leadership capacity.
This program is best suited for mid-career Black women leaders and managers that aspire to continue to grow into more senior leadership roles in corporate and larger organizational spaces. Although it is not an eligibility requirement, our participants are often one of the only Black women leaders at their level within the department or organization.
Past participants have come from a diverse selection of industries, including technology, health care, government, higher education, and the nonprofit sector, representing companies such as Dell Technologies, Zillow Group, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the FBI. In addition to the value of the program content, this interaction with other Black women leaders from different industries creates a robust peer-learning and networking opportunity for program participants.
Get connected in a positive community of like-minded women that support your growth by providing the encouragement, accountability, and celebration you need along the journey.
When I came to Laura I had just become a manager of a team for a large organization for the first time. I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed and I really needed help with transitioning from an individual contributor to now leading the same team I had been working with since we all started together. She helped me to define my leadership style and find ways to make the transition smoother. Laura helped me to create a plan to step into my authority without isolating anyone on my team. I learned how to have effective one-on-one's and how to manage conflict on the team. As a result, I have confidence in my ability as a leader and my team has been fully supportive of me in my new role. I appreciate Laura's ability to "meet me where I was" and help me to overcome the self-doubt I had about whether I was qualified for the role and if I could succeed. I now feel ready to step into additional leadership opportunities as a result of working with Laura.
— Jeanette Alexander, Team Lead, Zillow
When I came to Laura, I was growing my team larger than ever before and I was feeling anxious and downright fearful about bringing on new people. I really needed help with putting processes in place. What I didn’t know I needed was guidance on being a better leader. Laura helped me to focus, get organized, and, most importantly, showed me how to operationalize the values of my company. Working with her helped me take my role as a leader more seriously. It was a mindset shift that will serve me forever! As a result of working with Laura, I have confidence in my ability to be a good leader, and I feel blessed to have worked with her at this pivotal moment in my company. She is extremely good at what she does!
— Addie Anderson, Founder, Begin Within
This is a virtual, small-group program facilitated over a 13-week period. The next program session will begin with an orientation on February 2, 2021, and end with a closing reflection session on April 27, 2021. In between, we will meet approximately twice per month with a learning session and mastermind session each month (see below for detail). All group sessions will take place via Zoom.
The time commitment is approximately 26 hours over 13 weeks, an average of two hours per week for participating in group sessions, individual coaching sessions, and your own self-study work to inform your personal leadership development plan.
Here's a snapshot of the program schedule:
Upon registration, you will receive a welcome email with instructions for how to get started, exercises to help you prepare for the program, your program playbook, and the link to schedule your first individual coaching session. The preparation exercises will guide you to reflect on your values, strengths, areas of improvement, and professional goals as you prepare to begin this journey. Your program playbook will help you stay organized and on track during the program. ($50 value)
You will receive a link to take the DISC Leadership assessment in your welcome email. After completion, you will receive a debrief report with your assessment results that will give you insights into your behavioral leadership style, and how to interact with others for desired impact. You will explore the impact of your results on your workplace experiences and your personal wellness in your initial coaching session. ($100 value)
You will engage in two individual coaching sessions--one at the onset of the program and another at the middle point of the program. These sessions are designed to help you clarify the components of your personal leadership develop plan, and to help you personalize the learning content to your specific situation. This is also a time for you to bring targeted challenges/goals and receive personalized coaching support to identify solutions. ($500 value)
On 2/2/2021, the group sessions will launch with a one-hour group orientation call via Zoom. You will meet your fellow members, and collectively we will establish intentions for our time together by creating group rules and participating in an engaging get-to-know-you exercise. ($150 value)
Starting 2/9/2021, we will meet as a group via Zoom every other week (two meetings per month). The meeting format will alternate between Learning Sessions and Mastermind Strategy Sessions. All sessions will be recorded, and you will have access to the recordings until 5/31/2021 (one month beyond the program end date).
Because each participant will have a different focus for their personal leadership plan, our on-demand learning vault will allow you to choose your own adventure for just-in-time supplemental learning. Topics such as change management, building influence, communicating your value, situational leadership, coaching others, creating a high performing team, motivating others, amongst others, will be covered in brief on-demand video trainings to share frameworks and theories to deepen your learning. Each topic has mini-workbook to help you with reflection and immediate application. The expectation is that you will spend some self-study time with these materials during the program to support your growth and development in the program. You should plan for approximately 2-3 hours of self-study time each month during the program. You will have access to the toolkit for 30 days beyond the program end date. ($500 value)
Iron sharpens iron! You will be connected with a dedicated growth partner to provide more intensive accountability and one-on-one support during the entire 13-week program. The expectation is that you will check in with your accountability partner virtually at least once a week. (Priceless)
Stay connected with group members to share wins, ask for feedback, and get encouragement in-between sessions. In addition, Laura will contribute weekly to provide insights, answer questions, and share resources. (Priceless)
Laura Knights is the creator of Black Woman Leading™ and Founder & CEO of Knights Consulting, LLC, where she helps organizations cultivate more confident, conscious leaders and high performing teams. She is an executive coach, speaker, facilitator, and trainer with 17+ years of experience creating professional development programs that have touched leaders all over the world. Her expertise and background in business, human resources, adult education, and as a licensed clinical social worker uniquely equip her to teach others how to deal with both the "head work" and "heart work" required to succeed at work and in life.
Laura received her Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management, from Washington University in St. Louis. She obtained her Master’s in Social Work from DePaul University. Laura is a certified workplace critical incident response professional, a certified practitioner for both the DISC and Core Values Index assessments, and holds the Licensed Clinical Social Worker designation in both Illinois and Georgia.
Laura is a teacher and master strategist at heart. She has always been dedicated to supporting Black women to move from surviving to thriving in both their personal and professional endeavors. Black Woman Leading™ is the latest iteration of her efforts, and a true passion project that combines all the best of her professional experiences and skills.