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Taking Charge: Women's Executive Leadership

Prepare to Move Ahead

Taking Charge is a 7-day intensive leadership experience for mid – to – senior-level female managers looking to gain the executive presence and capabilities necessary to lead at the executive level. The program includes a 360° leadership assessment, executive coaching, and interactive classes focused on critical skills including effective negotiation, communication, and change management.

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Strong female leader looking confident

Fall 2020 Program Starts October 8th

The Taking Charge program has provided a wonderful opportunity to self-reflect on my leadership style. I'm much more aware of what I'm saying, how I'm saying it, and how I'm leading my team.
Lisa Melton
Vice President of Marketing, Amica Insurance

Critical Topics, Active Learning, At a Pace That Works

Taking Charge focuses on the critical knowledge and skills you need to effectively lead and impact your organization. Together with other senior women leaders, participate in interactive classes led by faculty members who are ongoing practitioners in their areas of expertise. The program sessions are structured to fit the busy schedules of our participants, and promote the best learning environment. You will come to campus for a full day session, every other week for 5 sessions. This will enable you to process what you have learned, and incorporate new skills into your current role as you progress. Your final session will consist of two days to take a deep dive into your leadership capabilities through the review of your 360 assessment and then creating an action plan based upon that feedback to continue developing and growing beyond the program.

During the program you will:

  • Gain insight into your leadership strengths and developmental opportunities
  • Understand the unique challenges of women in leadership and strategies for advancement
  • Strengthen your communications skills for improved effectiveness with internal and external constituents
  • Build knowledge on strategic leadership and change management 
  • Participate in an executive coaching session focused on engaging and leading teams
  • Define your personal vision for leadership
  • Learn to build a business network for the long term
  • Meet senior level women who will give candid insights for the journey ahead
Program Topics and Structure

Taking Charge begins with a two-day session, followed by five one-day sessions on alternating weeks from 8:30am – 4:30pm over the course of three months. 

Women in Leadership

  • What's in the water
  • Leadership and you
  • Leadership styles
  • Management versus leadership
  • What role does gender play?

Leading Through Change

  • Simulation exercise
  • Managing and promoting change
  • Engaging followers and stakeholders
  • Measuring and communicating results

The Power of Communication

  • Negotiating well – types and styles
  • Advocacy
  • Interests versus positions
  • Power negotiation
  • Ethical standards
  • Difficult conversations

Strategic Leadership

  • Why strategic thinking is important
  • Characteristics of strong strategic leaders
  • Levels of strategic thinking / leadership
  • Challenges to strategic leading and mitigations

Women on Boards - Why should you consider future board involvement

  • Corporate versus nonprofit boards
  • Expectations and responsibilities of board members
  • Board compensation
  • Essential strategies to seeking board position

360° Leadership Assessment

Executive Coaching Leading Teams

  • Small group sessions with professional executive coaches
  • Team dynamics exercise with individual and group feedback
  • Leader as coach: how to coach your people
  • Individual and team feedback

Celebration of Accomplishment

Who Should Attend?

Committed professional mid-to-senior level women who are:

  • In a significant management role, demonstrating career progression
  • Designated to assume increased responsibilities
  • In a period of transition or moving between functional groups
  • Desire enhanced presence and confidence for the next career stage

Organizational titles of participants may vary dependent on the size and type of their business. The cohort of 15-20 women may include program managers, senior directors, CFOs and financial managers, general counsels, operating managers, vice presidents and similar.

Program Requirements
  • Participants should have a minimum of eight years of progressively responsible experience within a corporate or professional organization.
  • All participants are required to obtain agreement from their selected peers, direct reports, and manager to complete an assessment tool three weeks in advance of the program start. All results are kept confidential (as outlined in a letter that is provided for this exercise).
Meet the Faculty

Without exception, the instructors are highly qualified experts in their fields, with extensive real-world experience. Most are also regular lecturers at the MBA level and all are actively involved in senior management consulting roles with some of the world's leading organizations. Some faculty featured in this program include: 

Susan Adams

Susan M. Adams (PhD Georgia Institute of Technology) is Professor of Management at Bentley University. She brings practical and academic insights to learning environments in and out of the classroom from her consulting work and practical experience with public and private firms, start-up ventures, government entities, and non-profit organizations. Dr. Adams has served on and chaired boards of companies and non-profit organizations. Her work has been featured in over 40 publications that appear in both academic and industry outlets. Her work focuses on individual and organization development to anticipate and cope with changing environments.

Jill Brown

Jill Brown (PhD Strategic Management University of Georgia) is an associate professor of Management at Bentley University. Prior to her position in academe, she worked as a Commercial lender for several financial institutions, including BNY Mellon and First Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia, PA. She is also an executive with a family-owned manufacturing business. Professor Brown’s research, teaching, and consulting interests include ethics, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and strategic leadership facilitation.

Bill Starner

William Starner spent over 25 years in executive management roles including general management, marketing, customer service and human resources. He has extensive international business experience and possesses in-depth knowledge of a variety of industries. Mr. Starner is an Adjunct Professor of Management at Bentley University where he teaches courses in Leadership, Negotiation and Interpersonal Relations in Management.

Joe Weiss

Joseph Weiss is a Professor of Management at Bentley University where he designed and teaches the MBA courses on leadership, business ethics, and organizational theory. He specializes in developing individual and team leadership effectiveness, organizational change, project management, and business ethics. He is an international management consultant with two decades of experience. Dr. Weiss had coached executives from Fortune 500 and 1000 firms across industries and geographies.

Register and Take Charge of Advancing Your Career
Taking Charge participant discusses strategy with another student and professor

Fall 2020 Program Dates

Includes 7 Days of Learning, begins with a two-day session followed by five one-day sessions on alternating weeks from 8:30am – 4:30pm over the course of three months.

Fall 2020 program dates: 

Sept 25,

Oct 8,  

Oct 23,

Nov 6,

Nov 20,

Dec 3 – 4

A young female executive asking a question

Program Cost: $4,950

Program fee includes tuition, instructional materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

Register early to receive a 10% discount.

Bentley alumni receive a 15% enrollment discount.

Bentley Campus

Bentley Refund Policy

Bentley University will grant a full refund for cancellations received at least 30 days before the program start date. A 50% refund will be given for those cancellations made prior to fourteen days of the program start date. No refund will be granted for those cancellations received after that time.

Offer Taking Charge at Your Location Tailored to Your Business

Every day at work I feel that I am drawing from my experience at Bentley, implementing the tools and skills I've gained through the Taking Charge program.
Susan Sheffer
Lender Eligibility & Product Manager, Masshousing

Get More Info

We are happy to answer your questions and provide more details about the program. 

Contact Lisa Dinsmore, Associate Director of Executive Education 781.891.3458

Please provide the requested information to download the Taking Charge brochure.