FastFwd Introduction and background
The ongoing changes and problems in business, requires a new kind of leader: a leader that is authentic (real), has integrity (whole) and thinks innovatively (creative).  Leadership is not about a specific style, or copying another leader’s behaviour, but about responsibility and stewardship.  True leaders appeal to people’s hearts and minds by living according to their vision and values.    
Effective leaders have balance in their lives, know who they are and live according to their values.  Their leadership is extended to all areas of their lives, and they are healthier, less stressed, perform better at work and are more productive.   
Research shows that people do not have to be born with specific characteristics or traits to be a leader.  You also do not have to be at the top of your organization – leadership can be, and should  be, learned.

Why focus on women in leadership?
Women today have opportunities in the workplace that were not available to them in the past, but old paradigms of leadership and management, as well as cultural and traditional role expectations, can still have a restrictive influence.  Women face challenges in the workplace that men don’t because “so much of what it takes to be a leader has been historically defined by men” (Libby Sartain, Yahoo.Inc). Research shows that women often don’t have confidence in their own abilities, or they copy male leadership styles in order to gain acceptance and respect. This means these women are not authentic leaders, and they experience high levels of stress; tend to feel overwhelmed, unfocused and pessimistic.  The result is that, in spite of workplace equality programs, women are still underrepresented on executive level.
Women bring distinct personality and motivational strengths to leadership with their open, consensus-building approach to leading (Caliper study).  Female leadership qualities combine to create a leadership profile that is much more conducive to today’s diverse workplace, and it is therefore also in the company’s best interests to ensure that female leadership is developed optimally.
Purpose of this programme:
This programme has been developed to identify female leaders in organizations and guide them on a journey of self-discovery to become successful, effective and authentic leaders, irrespective or the role they play or the level at which they operate.
The programme is developed to promote insight and critical self-evaluation. Participants have to take responsibility for their personal development and have to understand the impact of their behaviour on others.  Participants have to identify their leadership strengths and challenges, and identify areas of personal development.  The outcome is a personal coaching/development plan, which is aligned with personal and business objectives and goals.  
Participants are encouraged to identify role models to inspire them, and mentors that can support them on their journey to becoming authentic leaders.
The standard programme consists of:
1. Pre-screening: (1-2 days, depending on size of group)
Various leadership assessments as well as interviews with participants and their managers
2. Workshop 1: (2 days)
The first workshop covers various aspects of leadership such as styles, myths, characteristics, different leadership roles and gender differences in leadership.  The focus is on authentic and total leadership
3. Workshop 2 : (2 days)
The focus is on ‘lead yourself”, developing EQ and LQ; and the outcome of the second workshop is a personal development plan for each participant.
4. Follow up and mentoring
To ensure sustainable and continued change in behaviour, participants should have 6 weekly follow-up sessions with the facilitator to address problems that may be experienced and provide further support in achieving goals and objectives, and provide mentorship.  
Workshops can be tailormade to meet a specific company’s needs, and full proposals and costing will be provided in advance.
What do people say:
“This is the first time I have seen real and sustained change in behaviour in employees after attending training.  The women who attended are positive, motivated and an inspiration to the other employees.  We will roll this programme out to the rest of our company”
MD: Services Sector
Comments from some of our participants:
“This was an amazing experience and changed my life. Thank you”
“I have been empowered a lot through this workshop.  The content was excellent and the facilitator was exceptionally good, caring and throughful’
“I was very negative and thought my career has reached a ceiling.  Within 6 weeks of attending this workshop, I was promoted and people around me comment on the change in me.  My confidence has increased and I know I have a great future in my company”.
Find out more:

Breaking Stereotypes

The Fun Side of Being Serious Book Series