Case study

Professional services

The Challenge

This global professional services firm wanted to increase the leadership pipeline of female and ethnic minority internal candidates.

What We Did

Vercida were appointed to support them in designing and delivering a future leader programme for 500 ethnic minority and female participants, their sponsors and their line managers.

The programme consists of three highly engaging core modules for participants delivered over a 9-month period:

Personal Insights – developing self-awareness, identifying skill gaps and strengths

  • Understand your leadership style
  • Exploring your core values, drivers, and motivations
  • Authentic leadership and emotional agility in a hybrid work environment 
  • Learning how to leverage opportunity through authentic leadership
  • Navigating the complexities of imposter syndrome 
  • Building personal leadership skills

Navigating the Landscape – understanding challenges to progression

  • Exploring how difference is read 
  • Exploring how to navigate a highly networked culture
  • The pros and cons of ‘code-switching’ at work
  • Considering the organisational culture and opportunities to success
  • Developing a personalised network

Sustainable Leadership – setting direction and putting in place tailored development action plans

  • Refining leadership vision and development plan
  • Amplifying your voice for business impact
  • Exploring the career advice, you didn’t get
  • Maintaining momentum by managing your energy

The core modules are supported by a selection of 60-minute elective modules focusing on specific topics aligned to the core modules:

Career Planning: Clarifying personal ambition, drive and purpose

Clarifying vision, purpose and ambition with guidance and practical actions for Participants to take. Exploring Hubert Joly’s 5 principles of purposeful leadership – be clear about purpose, role, whom you serve, be driven by values and be authentic.

Personal Brand: Balancing your authentic work and personal selves and taking ownership of your brand

Revisiting the principles of authentic leadership in Module 1 and exploring how to balance authentic work and personal selves with case studies from different leaders and suggested steps for participants to take. 

Impact & Presence: Developing your unique leadership style and executive presence

Drawing on the five basics of executive presence by Tracey Spears to share practical tips and actions to develop executive presence

Being an Authentic Leader: Using your difference as a source of strength

Exploring key themes from the authenticity paradox by Herminia Ibarra including taking charge in an unfamiliar role, selling your ideas (and yourself), processing negative feedback and developing a playful frame of mind. We will also outline how participants can apply the themes.

Communicating Like a Leader: Communicating so people listen

An overview of the 5 principles of effective leadership communication set out by the Centre for Creative Leadership along with practical steps to apply them to participant’s roles.

Leading in Uncertain Times: Developing the skill and confidence to lead in a changing environment

Developing the skill and confidence to lead within a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) work environment and practical ways to apply the principles learned.

A complementary programme for sponsors and people leaders, aligned to the core modules was designed to help them support the participant journey:  

Understanding difference

  • The science & psychology of building trust
  • Understanding the impact of difference in the workplace and the barriers faced by women and ethnic minority talent 
  • Creating psychologically safe work relationships

Emotional Intelligence and Vulnerability

  • Understand the principles and practical application of authentic leadership and emotional agility
  • The principles of empathetic and authentic leadership 
  • Building solid relationships

Leadership Sustainability

  • Developing and sustaining leadership vision
  • Maintaining momentum by managing energy levels
  • Amplifying different voices
  • Supporting participants to pursue their career ambitions

The Impact

This programme is ongoing but based on current feedback, 84% of participants rated the programme as 4 or 5 stars and 91% rated the facilitators as 4 or 5 stars (from a maximum score of 5 stars)

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