In 2020, Scalefocus introduced one of its most important internal programs with the goal to stimulate and prompt people with leadership inclinations to grow that proclivity into action.
The initiative, called LEAD, is a 15-week course, that brings together and supports new managers in their first steps in leading and building effective teams, helping them avoid the most common management mistakes, and set them on a successful course for becoming fabulous leaders.
The program, led by Scalefocus mentors with support from the co-creator and external expert Mihail Stefanov, was met with resounding success and is now starting its second iteration within the company. We wanted to share some of that success with a quick overview of LEAD and the art of building powerful teams and effective leaders.
LEAD as an equipment tool
The initiative was specially designed to dive deeply into essential leadership topics: for example, how to build effective teams, how to communicate with different behavior types, how to create trust quickly, how to moderate team meetings for maximum results, how to do efficient one-on-one, how to give constructive feedback, and many more. Those are the most sought-after skills a manager should have, but not everyone is able to use them so effortlessly. In other words, you can know the theory but without having the necessary confidence - you will not be properly equipped for your manager role.
LEAD is an interactive training and not at all boring theory, going through 6 modules with video lessons, quizzes, and practical assignments, with step-by-step guidelines.
At the end of each training module, the trainees were assigned a task in a real-life Scalefocus situation so that they can implement their knowledge and see how it works firsthand.
Each module, on the other hand, was focused on developing a different facet of the new manager’s knowledge and skills, like:
How to avoid the most common management mistakes
Understanding basic human behavior, motivation and developing tactical empathy
Developing high-trust teams
Developing common-value teams and conversation management
Inspiring and creating high-efficiency teams
Exceptional Response and Second Iteration
Six experienced managers from the Scalefocus ranks joined the program as hosts, to train and help the new managers within the company thrive. With a blended learning approach, LEAD is a unique combination of several components pertaining to theory and practice.
Here is what some of the people who completed the program successfully (resulting in their changed positions later) shared.
"LEAD is about bringing people together, no matter how different they are. For me, it was the experience that made me rethink the concept of teams and gave a stronger meaning to the word."
Tsvetan Smardanski, .NET Technology Team Lead
"The LEAD program helped me upgrade myself as a leader, learn about different techniques, and identify which style is best to apply depending on the goals I want to achieve. I believe that the program helps people learn different ways and approaches to successfully lead, unite and engage others so that you can create teams that are ready for any challenge."
Tushka Dermendzhieva, previously - Java Technology Team Lead, currently - Java Technology Manager
The LEAD program helped me strengthen the trust index within the team. I learned how crucial psychology safety is for a successful collaboration and received many great tips on working better and more efficiently together with my peers. Borislav Chomonev, previously Technology Team Lead, currently - Technology Manager
The second iteration of the program is currently starting in the spring of 2021, once again uniting hosts and trainees in the quest for getting into the best leadership mindset possible. Creating great teams, building up leaders, and cultivating growth have always been and will be among the main purposes of Scalefocus as a company and we are proud to say the potential of our amazing team and their abilities have been mind-blowing.
LEAD will continue to nurture and build stronger and stronger leaders in the IT sector, help people believe in themselves, and inspire them to become more.