Emerging Leaders is a program in which women learn, connect and grow in a way that will advance both their careers and their companies. Cohorts of high-potential professional women experience empowerment and connection as they elevate their careers and their companies. Women from organizations across Kansas City, from small nonprofits and startups to Fortune 100 companies, leverage their Emerging Leaders education both at work and in the community. Registration for the 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders class is now open. Lisa Diven is one of more than 300 Emerging Leaders graduates who constantly puts her Emerging Leaders lessons into play.
“I’M ALWAYS EXCITED TO DEVELOP MY LEADERSHIP SKILLS MORE, ESPECIALLY IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF ALL WOMEN, TAUGHT BY WOMEN.”
Lisa Diven had a successful career in engineering at Burns & McDonnell before making an exciting leap into the nonprofit world, leading Win for KC as its director. As her career developed and led her to a managing role, Lisa was ready to develop her skills as a leader.
“I’m always excited to develop my leadership skills more, especially in an environment of all women, taught by women,” Lisa says. Win for KC’s similar mission of empowering women led to a natural partnership with Central Exchange. As Lisa became more involved with Central Exchange, she encountered numerous women who encouraged her to participate in the Emerging Leaders program.
“I WAS INTERESTED RIGHT AWAY.”
In Emerging Leaders, Lisa discovered a year-long, active learning course that would empower her to grow in incredible ways through sessions with regional thought leaders, small group discussions, and a network of women committed to supporting each other in every aspect of life.
“I was interested right away,” Lisa remarks. With Emerging Leaders’ reduced nonprofit rates, Lisa was able to enroll in the program and take a big next step in her leadership journey. “I was excited that Emerging Leaders gave nonprofit leaders the opportunity to participate,” Lisa says. “Nonprofit leaders bring a unique perspective to the group. As someone who’s been in both industries, corporate and nonprofit, it helped me bridge my leadership skills between the two.”
“BEING PART OF THE PROGRAM HAS CHANGED ME.”
The lessons Lisa gained from Emerging Leaders have had a notable impact on her career and the organizations she has led. “Being part of the program has changed me,” Lisa explains. As a director of a nonprofit, Lisa had to navigate her first experience with managing employees. She applied what she learned from an Emerging Leaders lesson on difficult conversations to better work with her direct reports and communicate effectively.
“THE SUPPORT OF A GROUP OF WOMEN WHO UNDERSTOOD ME PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY WAS INVALUABLE.”
“I’ve leveraged those lessons in ways I didn’t expect to need to leverage them,” Lisa says. When she faced an unexpected career change, Lisa again utilized Emerging Leaders takeaways.
While the decision to leave her job to address some health issues was heartbreaking, Lisa found support from fellow members of the Emerging Leaders program. “I leveraged a lot of the skills I learned and the network I gained from that group in my job search,” she remembers.
Emerging Leaders became instrumental as Lisa explored what her next step would be. With experience in both engineering and nonprofits, Lisa had a big choice to make. By simply mentioning the Emerging Leaders name, she was able to get in the door and schedule meetings with many influential people willing to help with her next career move. This support enabled Lisa to determine what was important to her and what her priorities were. “The support of a group of women who understood me professionally and personally was invaluable, and they were able to guide me on this journey,” Lisa relates.
When the job offer came to return to her previous firm, Lisa was tempted to accept it immediately. But the voices of her Emerging Leaders instructors rang in her ear and she felt empowered to negotiate the offer. “I was very proud of myself for going back after the initial offer and was really happy with how those negotiations turned out,” Lisa says.
“EMERGING LEADERS IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE INVESTMENT.”
Lisa is quick to commend her Emerging Leaders instructors. “Robin and Denise are absolutely fantastic,” she shares. “As individuals, what they taught was amazing, but partnered together, they make the perfect duo to lead this class.”
“Emerging Leaders is absolutely worth the investment of your time and money because it’s an investment in yourself as a leader,” she says. Lisa is just one woman in an empowering group of Emerging Leaders who have strengthened their ability to lead and make an impact on the community.
Accelerate your growth as a leader. Join Emerging Leaders in the journey to elevate yourself and those around you. You’re invited to apply, or nominate an up-and-coming woman in your own organization!