Dive deeper into our webinar series and individual events on professional development and leadership.

Transitions Series

We developed a series of “Transitions” webinars to provide insights and skills to guide you in your career development. We suggest you begin your journey by viewing our webinar with Dorie Clark, an expert at self-reinvention and change management.

“Reinventing You” with Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, frequent contributor to HBR, and author of three books, including Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. During our wide-ranging discussion Dorie provided enlightening stories and actionable advice on important topics:

  • How to do a personal “inventory” to uncover hidden strengths
  • How to converse at networking events
  • Ideas to develop strong communication skills
  • How to “stand out” and be credible in a busy digital world

Watch Dorie Clark's "Reinventing You" (1 hour).

View Dorie's free self-assessment workbook.


The Transitions series also includes the following webinars on leadership and management, communications, and data. 

Leadership and Management

“Leadership and Life Hacks” with Alyssa Rapp

Alyssa is the author of Leadership and Life Hacks: Insights from a Mom, Wife, Entrepreneur and Executive. Alyssa is the CEO of Surgical Solutions and one of Crain Chicago’s “Notable Women in Health Care.” She taught courses at both the Stanford School of Business and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Hear Alyssa discuss:

  • How to manage the fear of going through transitions and change
  • How to manage mentor, mentee, and other professional relationships
  • Ideas to manage schedules, and work-life and leadership issues

Watch "Leadership and Life Hacks" with Alyssa Rapp (1 hour).

“Women’s Leadership in the Workplace” with McKinsey partner Irina Starikova

Each year McKinsey reports on their research with LeanIn.org, and the data collected from almost 600 companies and more than a quarter of a million people. The research shows it is not the “glass ceiling” keeping women from the top level of leadership, but the “broken rung” at the bottom of the corporate ladder. 

The webinar includes a discussion of the following topics:

  • Promotion rates, progress of women in the C Suite, and why it is important for women to occupy the highest levels
  • The data showing the barriers and lack of progress for women of color
  • How to fix the “broken rung” so that more women move to management roles, including how to create awareness in the workplace using the McKinsey data

Watch "Women’s Leadership in the Workplace" with Irina Starikova (1 hour).

“The Art of Excellence: An Entrepreneur, Executive Recruiter and Podcaster Shares His Insights” with Glenn Zweig

Glenn shares his transitioning insights from his strategy work at The Walt Disney Company, as a business and marketing executive at multiple technology companies, Silicon Valley CEO, real estate developer, investment advisor with Goldman Sachs, to his current position as executive recruiter at Egon Zehnder. 

Hear Glen discuss:

  • Why your mindsets about risk and failure are critical to making transitions
  • The importance of curiosity and the role reframing plays in career success
  • How Glenn and his company assess talent, and how you can navigate interviews and transitions in a virtual environment 

Watch "The Art of Excellence" with Glenn Zweig (1 hour).

“The Gray Rhino: Why We Ignore Obvious Problems and How to Act on Them” with Michele Wucker

Michele Wucker is a speaker, strategist, and author of The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on The Obvious Dangers We Ignore. She coined the term “gray rhino” to describe obvious risks that are “neglected despite – indeed, often because of their size and likelihood.” Our conversation focused on her career transitions, leadership, managing through ambiguity, global economics, the pandemic, and policy making. 

Listen to learn:

  • Why finding purpose in your work is important, especially for leaders managing ambiguity and uncertainty
  • Insights on biases that hinder and help policy-making 
  • How and why she created the concept of the "gray rhino", and its impact on markets, global challenges, and world leaders

Watch “The Gray Rhino: Why We Ignore Obvious Problems and How to Act on Them” with Michele Wucker (1 hour).


Leadership and Communication

“Getting Your Message Heard Amid All the Covid-19 Noise” with Paul Rand and Mark Peters

The pandemic has unleashed a flood of information, analysis, and public policy recommendations. Learn how you can get your message to “break through” with Paul Rand, the Vice President for Communications at the University of Chicago, and Mark Peters, the Senior Director of Content at the University of Chicago. Our speakers share their insights on how narrative can serve as a powerful and critical tool for policymakers. 

Listen to learn:

  • How to “grab” and maintain the attention of your audience
  • Examples of stories that created policy change and the elements that made those stories powerful
  • The principles of persuasion and examples of persuasive narratives

Watch “Getting Your Message Heard Amid All the Covid-19 Noise” with Paul and Mark (1 hour).

“Crisis Management” with Daniel Diermeier 

Daniel Diermeier, the thirteenth Provost of the University of Chicago and ninth chancellor of Vanderbilt University, is an internationally renowned political scientist, management scholar, and crisis management expert. The current pandemic has demonstrated that even experienced professionals can be overwhelmed by crisis situations. In this webinar, Daniel offers advice and answers questions about the unprecedented challenges presented by managing Covid-19 and other crises. 

His advice includes:

  • Details about the four major factors that influence stakeholder trust, which are important for policy decision makers
  • How to authentically communicate both competence and warmth with examples to overcome fear and lack of information
  • How to use crisis as an innovation tool 

Watch "Crisis Management" with Daniel Diermeier (1 hour).


Leadership and Data

“Data Science to the Rescue: Identifying those most vulnerable to Covid-19” with Kurt Waltenbaugh and David Johnson

Kurt is a serial entrepreneur who has built successful analytic solutions, products, and companies in a wide variety of industries. His previous companies were sold to Oracle and Pearson Education. Dave, a former healthcare investment banker, is the CEO of a boutique thought leadership company, and the author of two books about healthcare. His most recent book is The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All.

The webinar includes a discussion of the following topics:

  • Carrot Health’s critical infection risk dashboard that policymakers can use to predict Covid-19 spread and allocate medical resources
  • The evolution of data science
  • The use of data analytics in healthcare
  • The privacy of personal health information in the “Big Data” era
  • The need and potential for transformative healthcare change

Watch Data Science to the Rescue with Kurt and David (1 hour).


Influencing Series

To be an effective professional in today’s work environment, you have to exert influence. How do you convince your co-workers, your boss, colleagues in other organizations, and even your friends, that they should listen to your ideas and accommodate your point of view? How do you affect change in thought and behavior in people and organizations?

Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues, acknowledges that gaining influence in the modern workplace is difficult. In a recent HBR article he asserts that “It’s never been harder to influence others, because they’ve never been more distracted. Information overload and the pace of our digital lives [have led to short attention spans].” Of course, the importance of exerting influence continues to be critical for policy leaders.

Our Influencing Series provides you with opportunities to gain insights and skills that will help you discover your voice, express yourself in the workplace, and exert your influence to create positive change.

“It Doesn’t Have to Be This Tense: Persuasive Discourse” with Jay Heinrichs

Jay Heinrichs has provided rhetorical training to development staff at Harvard, aerospace engineers at NASA, pediatricians at Kaiser Permanente, and the Pentagon vaccination agency, among others. His book Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion, has been published in 14 languages and 4 editions. It ranks among the top 10 books assigned to Harvard undergraduates and is used in more than 3,000 college courses. More recently he has published two more books on rhetoric, Word Hero and How to Argue with a Cat. He is the founding partner of the publishing imprint Gavia Books.

Jay's webinar explores:

  • What the ancient rhetoricians can teach us about leadership and influence
  • Persuasive rhetoric tactics to improve our personal and professional conversations
  • Communication strategies to manage toxic politics
  • Employing humor, empathy, and the future tense to craft persuasive arguments on climate change, the pandemic, and during job interviews

Watch It Doesn't Have to Be This Tense: Persuasive Discourse with Jay Heinrichs (1 hour).

“Let the Story Do the Work” with Esther Choy

Author and Chief Story Facilitator Esther Choy of Leadership Story Lab, teaches us about the power of storytelling and how to use it during interviews and with prospective employers. Esther earned her BA in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara, her MS in Higher Education from Texas A&M University, and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Listen to learn more about:

  • How leadership, persuasion, and storytelling connect
  • The fundamental rules of story structure and how to craft a “hook”
  • How to use stories to give you confidence to succeed in interviews and at networking events
  • A framework for creating smarter and more effective presentations with data

Watch Let the Story Do the Work with Esther Choy (1 hour).

“Influencer Stories from Tom Alexander: Diversity and Inclusion Entrepreneur, Communications Strategist, and Policy Wonk"

If experience is the best teacher, then Tom Alexander is a walking case study for exerting influence effectively. Tom is a leader in inclusion and diversity, and the founding partner of Holistic, a technology firm dedicated to improving the entire employee experience through the use of data. Before founding his own company, Tom was the COO for 1871, one of the largest technology incubators in the United States, and the number one rated university-affiliated incubator in the world.

The webinar discusses:

  • How Tom has exerted influence in both the public realm and private sector
  • Rethinking the workplace for diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Why personal relationships, networks, and communities are core components of leadership

Watch Influencer Stories from Tom Alexander. (1 hour).

“Persuasion, Communication and Personal Branding” with Hal Weitzman

What is your career “superpower?” We all have some special skill that sets us apart – but if you can’t articulate it in an interview or demonstrate it on the job, it will remain a secret. In this workshop, Hal Weitzman explains how to identify your career superpower and wield it in job interviews, salary negotiations, and team meetings. Hal is the Executive Director of Intellectual Capital and Adjunct Associate Professor of Behavioral Science at the Booth School of Business. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the Chicago Booth Review and host of The Big Question.

Topics covered:

  • How to identify and demonstrate your career superpower
  • The art of expressing yourself in a professional setting
  • Tips for improving your written and verbal communication skills

“Unapologetically Ambitious: A Conversation with Shellye Archambeau”

Shellye Archambeau was one of the first female African American CEOs in Silicon Valley and has a track record of building brands, high-performance teams, and organizations. Under her leadership as CEO, Metric Steam grew from a fledgling startup into a global market leader with over 1,200 employees serving customers from around the world. Shellye has taken risks, broken barriers, influenced countless people and organizations. Now, she has written about her life and career in her new book Unapologetically Ambitious.

Listen to learn:

  • How to set ambitious goals and craft proactive strategies to make them come true
  • The importance of using influence, positive self-image, and hard work to overcome challenges in the workplace
  • How to build a network of supporters by being upfront about your goals and asking for guidance
  • Management strategies that can be used in the office and at home to maximize your time and effectiveness

Watch Unapologetically Ambitious: A Conversation with Shellye Archambeau (1 hour).


Leadership Series

Our Leadership series focuses on providing you with opportunities to learn critical leadership skills and insights from experts and experienced leaders.

“Leadership Matters: Active Listening and Questioning” with Steve Edwards

Steve Edwards is an award-winning journalist who has worked as Chief Content Officer at WBEZ (Chicago’s NPR member station), Executive Director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, and host of two acclaimed daily news and culture programs, The Afternoon Shift and Eight Forty-Eight. Now he is transitioning into a new position as a managing director with executive recruitment firm Koya Partners. As he makes this exciting transition in his career, Steve spoke to us about the surprising connections between journalism and leadership.

Join us to learn:

  • Insights about navigating and leading through challenging times
  • How active questioning and listening can supercharge your leadership skills
  • The techniques of inquiry journalists use to uncover deep answers and leaders use to manage teams
  • Why open-ended questions are most likely to elicit deep answers in interviews

Watch Leadership Matters: Active Listening and Questioning with Steve Edwards (1 hour).

“You Are What You Risk” with Michele Wucker

Crain’s Chicago has described Michele Wucker as a “global thought leader.” She is a sought after global strategist, speaker, and writer. Michele is the author of four books, including the international best seller The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore. Her TED talk about gray rhinos has attracted more than 2 million views. Recently we talked with Michele about her new book You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World. Listen to learn:

  • A bold new framework for understanding and re-shaping our relationship with risk and uncertainty

  • What contributes to our individual “risk fingerprints” and why understanding them opens us up to more insights about ourselves such as our need for control and our discomfort with ambiguity

  • Strategies for shaping our “risk muscle” so we make better decisions, including how to get out of our comfort zone

  • Why the biggest risk you take may be “standing still”

Watch “You Are What You Risk,” a conversation with Michele Wucker (1 hour).