Successful leadership isn’t about what you know―it’s about who you are and how you show up. The Bregman Leadership Intensive is designed to help you:
- Raise hard-to-talk-about issues in a way that others agree to address them.
- Act courageously in risky situations.
- Connect with people in a way that inspires their commitment.
- Stay grounded in the face of success, failure, or uncertainty.
- Respond productively to opposition without losing your focus.
- Communicate skillfully in the presence of strong emotions.
The length of the Bregman Leadership Intensive and the limited number of participants will allow you to do deep work, learn from the other leaders, and gain significant traction on your own challenges. This is not about simulations. It’s about real progress on real issues that will help you grow as a person so you can move your organization forward.
The Bregman Leadership Intensive isn’t about learning new theories. It’s about taking new actions. It’s about breaking long-standing, ineffective habits. And it’s about transforming your capability to act powerfully and courageously in your life, in your work, and in the world.
The Bregman Leadership Intensive is limited to 20 participants. An interview is required before admission. Please complete this form to set up a 30-minute call with Peter Bregman.
Application for the Bregman Leadership Intensive
Four Foundational Beliefs
1. Leadership is context specific. Have you ever wondered why someone can be a great leader at one company, and then utterly fail in another? Leadership is never in a vacuum. There are very few generalities that apply universally to leadership. It’s about leveraging the best of who you are to the environment and the mandate.
- What’s your industry? What are your organization’s priorities?
- What’s your company’s recent history? What’s its culture?
- Who are your colleagues on the leadership team?
- What are the challenges your employees are facing?
- Where are you in the hierarchy?
- What are your strengths, weaknesses, differences, and passions?
Even in a group setting, our leadership work is specific to each individual, situation, and organization.
2. Leadership is about making choices and taking risky actions. Sitting in the safety of a classroom thinking about leadership doesn’t help people become better leaders. The real challenge of leadership is the challenge of behavior. It’s the challenge of making, following through on, and learning from hard choices and complex decisions.
- When push comes to shove are you willing to take the difficult and risky actions necessary to grow your organizations?
- Are you willing to commit to a big idea?
- Are you willing to push a risky strategy through to execution?
Our leadership work focuses on taking difficult actions, with support, inside and outside of the classroom.
3. Leadership is personal. There is little difference between who you are as a person and who you are as a professional. Leaders bring their whole selves to work and are adept at managing all different aspects of themselves. Leadership is not just a mental challenge, it’s emotional, physical, and even spiritual.
- Do you know what you are feeling at any given moment?
- When you feel strongly about someone or something, are you able to unpack the emotion?
- Are you able to identify what’s going on and distinguish between a trigger and useful data?
- Do you know your limits and move through your activities with energy and presence?
You can bring all parts of yourself to our leadership work.
4. Leadership is about relationships. Your ability to lead is directly related to your ability to connect with others, inspire them, and motivate their action. Leaders know how to develop the kinds of relationships that build loyalty and commitment in those around them.
- Do you trust yourself enough to act courageously?
- Do you accept and appreciate others as they are, bringing out their best without trying to fundamentally change them?
- Are you willing to be vulnerable?
- Are you committed more to the collective than you are to your own interests?
Our leadership program operates in a group setting so participants can experiment with, gain insight from, and be challenged by their colleagues in real ways.
Who Should Come
The Bregman Leadership Intensive is right for you if you are ready and willing to:
- Face, head on, your own real and current leadership challenges and work through them in a group of others doing the same.
- Close the gap between what books tell you to do and how your situation actually plays out. For example: What do you need to do to inspire more commitment in your team, manage through difficult politics, create more collaboration, or take bolder risks with your business, etc.
- Step out of your comfort zone, just like real leadership situations demand.
- Show up as a leader in support of others who are wrestling with their own leadership challenges.
What You Can Expect
You can expect to wrestle with some of your greatest challenges, emerging with a new understanding of why you’ve been stuck and what to do to move forward.
You can expect to be surrounded by other smart, capable people who are focused on, and committed to, becoming stronger, more powerful leaders.
You can expect to dance on the edge of your comfort zone, increasing its size and opening new possibilities for your future.
You can expect to feel profoundly supported by the other members of the group, and to step in as critical support when others need it.
You can expect to step into the unknown, take risks, uncover blind spots, learn novel things about yourself, feel deep emotions, and become a stronger leader as a result.
You can expect to engage in large and small group interactions, personalized coaching, new ideas, discussions, exercises, writing, meditation, yoga, and more.
You can expect to want to do it all again.
Our work during the Bregman Leadership Intensive will be guided by the specific needs of the individual participants. Among other things, we will address the following:
Being a great leader. What makes you a great leader?
Creating a self-motivating culture. How are you leading to get the most out of people’s internal drive?
Building an independently capable team. How can you help people learn, think, and act for themselves?
Clarifying the roadmap for success. What are your explicit and implicit expectations and how can you best communicate them?
Influencing strategically. Who do you need to persuade, about what, and how can you approach it most effectively?
Flexing your leadership style. How do you show up and how can you flex your style to be most effective?
Leading change and gaining ownership. How can you get the right people to take accountability for the change you are leading?
Getting the right things done. How can you reorganize, re-prioritize, and react more efficiently to achieve your objectives and the needs of the business?
Conveying the right messages in the right ways. What’s your plan for making sure you communicate with the right people in the right way with the right timing?
Managing conflict and difficult situations. How can you resolve conflict in ways that build commitment and enthusiasm amongst everyone involved?
A Note From Peter Bregman
Why I run this program
Leadership is about taking risks – and I want us to experiment with, and experience, taking risks. If possible, I want us to do it with, and in front of, other people with whom we work – so that we will be more likely to continue taking risks when we return to our workplaces and our lives. That will help us become more familiar with our fear and that is how we build our courage.
I want us to understand ourselves – and each other – better. I want us to develop the courage to live our lives in ways that make us proud and ways that support ourselves, the people around us, and the world. I want us to stop getting in our own, and each other’s, way with clumsy communication. And to be strong enough – in skill and in confidence – to navigate each other’s clumsy communication without getting thrown off balance. I want us to develop patience, empathy, clarity, and caring. I want to us to feel – to know – that none of us is alone in our fears and our dreams and I want us to draw strength and conviction from knowing that.
I want us to take chances and fail and get up again. And I want us to understand – or at least consider – what’s important enough to do, that we are willing to fail in pursuit of it. I want us to feel our own emotions deeply and become comfortable sitting with each other’s emotions – even if that means anger directed at us. I want us to experience rising above our emotions – not repressing them – but acting deliberately while in full feeling of them – to do things we know are right even if we are afraid or uncertain. And I want that to engender a deep trust in ourselves and in the people around us. All of this is part of being a leader.
I want us to be real human beings – with cracks and challenges and emotions – and to stand strong as leaders, not despite our humanness but because of it.
That’s the world I want to live in. Those are the leaders I want to lead with. That’s what I want to help create in our time together.
Top 13 Outcomes of the Bregman Leadership Intensive
How confidently do you stand when confronted by others? How willing are you to take real risks that may fail? How well do you manage your emotions when you take those risks? How courageously and skillfully do you bring up topics that others are afraid of or resistant to discuss? How powerfully do you connect with others?
These are the things that determine your success as a leader. And these are the things that we impact at the Bregman Leadership Intensive.
How do we know? Don’t take our word for it. We asked previous participants how they benefited from the program. We also asked the families and the peers of the participants about what changes they noticed in the participants’ behavior upon returning. Based on the data, here are the top thirteen outcomes of the Bregman Leadership Intensive:
1. The Intensive makes you a measurably better leader.
Even eight months after the Intensive, with no interim intervention from us, participants experienced increased effectiveness in all categories that we measured through surveys, including:
- Raising hard-to-talk-about issues in a way that initiates important conversations.
- Taking risks that could lead to new possibilities.
- Connecting with people in a way that inspires their commitment.
- Staying grounded in the face of success, failure, or uncertainty.
- Communicating skillfully in the presence of strong emotions.
- Driving the most critical business results.
- Overall leadership effectiveness.
2. The Intensive creates lasting relationships you can count on.
After one participant shared a challenge over email with the other participants, many responded:
“Anything I can do to help, I am always here for you.”
“I have a couple of thoughts after your words, and I just want to share them . . .”
While participants come from all over the world, they develop into a community of like-minded people who care about being strong leaders and helping each other lead powerfully. A profile of past participants includes:
Gender: 40% female, 60% male
Geography: US, Germany, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Nigeria
Industry: Finance, Technology, Manufacturing, Consulting, Not-For-Profit, Government, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Start-up
Functions: General Management, Sales, Technology, Operations, Finance, Entrepreneurs
Positions: CEOs, Executives, Senior Managers, Consultants, In-Transition
3. The Intensive develops your ability to act when you’re at your edge.
“I got so far outside my comfort zone, into a place I wasn’t ready for at all. And at that moment I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is what it feels like when you don’t have any leadership tools left in your bag. So now what? If you’re really such a great leader, now what? You don’t have a tool for this. What now!?’ In those moments, with Peter’s support, I discovered how to deal with situations where I had no clue what to do. I was able to feel incredibly uncomfortable and yet stay grounded and present and powerful. The confidence that came from this was real, and it has persisted.”
4. The Intensive develops your confidence in critical leadership moments.
“The changes in me have been astounding. When I stand up to speak in front of groups, or participate in any high stakes meeting, I now consciously—almost habitually—think about my ability to remain strong and capable, particularly in the face of unknowns. I hear myself saying, ‘I’m here and I’m ready for this. Even if I don’t have all the answers, I’m ready and I’m strong and I’m good and I’m grateful that I’m capable of standing in this moment.’ That is never the way I thought before. That type of awareness or gratitude wasn’t even on my radar. It calms me, which unquestionably improves my ability to contribute in these critical moments.”
5. The Intensive uncovers your unique blind spots and helps you remove them as an obstacle to your success.
From someone whose blind spot was an unwillingness to ask for help: “I’m discovering that I feel differently about my business since I’ve returned. I’m making an effort every day to acknowledge my difficulties asking for help – voicing this to different people, for different reasons. In return, I’m experiencing a great deal of encouragement and support. As that shift is happening, it’s getting easier to ask for what I need and to be clear about the specifics. Interestingly, I feel as though it’s enhancing my ability to think about a bigger vision for my company. It’s a slow evolution, but this development has been very unexpected.”
6. The Intensive increases your effectiveness in the face of uncertainty or ambiguity.
“I don’t need to know exactly what to do next anymore. Not all the time. More often than not when I start to get anxious, I just let it flow through me instead of letting it electrify the moment and stress me out and stop me in my tracks. And as a result I’ve become a much more powerful and genuine leader.”
7. The Intensive develops your courage.
“My organization benefits from me being more courageous. I’m more capable of just stepping in and not being afraid of the things that used to stop me: fear of confronting people or failing or not being good enough.”
8. The Intensive develops your ability to have difficult conversations with productive outcomes.
“Yesterday I had a very difficult personal conversation with someone that involved boundary setting and had needed to happen for a long time. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but by the time I actually sat down and made the phone call, my resolve was there and the actual conversation was very good. I felt calm, my feet were planted solidly on the ground, and I was breathing (sometimes a lot!). I spoke from a place of authenticity and told the truth. I felt heard and the response indicated we made a breakthrough. Despite challenges to what I was saying, I kept focused and stayed on point. I had tried many other ways of dealing with the situation and had avoided saying the things I said yesterday because I feared hurting this person, but I ultimately realized I was preventing him from growing and learning because I wasn’t saying the difficult things. After it was over, I felt great. It was powerful and freeing for both of us.”
9. The Intensive stimulates you to stop procrastinating on important leadership actions.
“I’ve been avoiding a conversation with my marketing contractor for about two months. The short story is that she is the biggest line item in my budget and there have been a number of small mistakes, here and there, that have accumulated to the point that it causes me concern. I had hoped that the problem would correct itself, which was ridiculous of course. Then I thought about your words, about emotional courage, about the key lessons that continue to rise up for me from the Intensive, and about having faith in myself that I could share this feedback in a way that felt supportive but firm. We had a very open, honest conversation. We ended the call on a very good vibe and I truly feel like a weight has been lifted tonight. So I want to thank you for that…it really was your guidance, and the Intensive, that helped me get there.”
10. The Intensive can have a positive impact on your career.
“I got a promotion yesterday and a very big vote of confidence from my senior management team, even though we did not have the easiest relationship in the last few months.”
11. The Intensive can have a positive impact on your business results.
“I submitted a proposal three weeks after I returned from Intensive. I remember thinking at the time that it was one of the best proposals I’d written in a long time because I felt more centered and assured. I knew it was going to be a tough competition. Well, I got word this morning that I won it. I beat out the front-running competitor who were essentially pre-wired to win it—they’d created the project plan and approach that pulled in the money to fund the project. Based on current figures, it will result in a 26% projected revenue increase for 2014, 104% projected revenue increase for 2015, and 86% increase in total value of projects currently under contract. I really do attribute a great deal of this to the revelations I’ve had since attending the Intensive.”
12. The Intensive develops your ability to change your behavior.
“Every single conversation I had yesterday changed. I am working differently with the same people with whom I have been working for the past nine months. My tasks have not changed, but my whole thinking has changed in the last twenty-four hours. It is as if I have a pause of one to two seconds before I do something. A momentary pause to actually think about my action and make a better choice.”
13. The Intensive provides lasting impact on your leadership.
“I’m really surprised at how long the changes have persisted. In general, I’m a great student; I’ll learn the stuff, and I can spit it back out, and that part has never been a problem. The challenge has been for the knowledge to change how I act. In just a few days at the Intensive, I took in messages that I still think about all the time and that change what I do on a daily basis. I had never attended any kind of training that did that, that provided actual lasting impact.”
Peter Bregman’s bio
Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm which advises CEOs and their leadership teams, helping them break down silos and tackle their most important priorities together. He speaks, writes, and consults about how to lead and how to live.
He is the author, most recently, of the Wall Street Journal’s bestselling book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, winner of the Gold medal from the Axiom Business Book awards, named the best business book of the year on NPR, and selected by Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Post as a top 10 business book. He is also the author of Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change and co-author of five other books. Featured on PBS, ABC, and CNN, Peter is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, National Public Radio (NPR), Psychology Today, and CNN as well as a weekly commentator on Fox Business News.
Peter began his career teaching leadership on wilderness and mountaineering expeditions and then moved into the consulting field with the Hay Group and Accenture, before starting Bregman Partners in 1998. Peter has advised CEO and senior leaders in many of the world’s premier organizations.
Peter bases his work on the notion that an organization, at its core, is a platform for talent. By unleashing that talent, aligning it with a compelling vision, and focusing it on business results, both the individual and the organization thrive. Since 1989, Peter has trained and coached all levels of management and individuals to recognize their leadership, exhibit leadership behaviors, model and stimulate change, and foster their own development and growth as well as that of their teams and colleagues.