Helping the workforce reach new orbits of confidence
The ability to lead doesn’t come naturally to every person, but that shouldn’t close the door of opportunity for those with high aims in life.
In every company, there are people that can excel at a middle management position — and excel enough to gain the attention of the executive members.
But for those people who are lucky enough to move from a middle management position to a C-Suite position, who is there to help them develop the skills necessary to lead a company?
That is the goal of Rocket eXBA, a new program specifically designed to provide real-world leadership training for the C-Suite and middle managers with a dynamic, comprehensive curriculum.
Rocket eXBA, short for Rocket Executive Business Accelerator Course, is born out of the Rocket Masterminds group in San Luis Obispo.
Headed by Uta Birkmayer, she founded the first Rocket Masterminds group in San Luis Obispo in 2016 as a place for local CEOs to share their wins, their struggles and most importantly, their pain points.
One of those pain points was recruiting talent to come to the Central Coast.
“It’s just really hard because it’s expensive to live here and those management positions don’t get paid the amounts the wages that they get paid in San Francisco and Los Angeles,” she told the Business Times.
“As a result, they really need to develop the staff they have and the local workforce.”
The program is a 12-day course over the length of the year, so one class a month. Birkmayer said the most important thing for her when starting this program was finding instructors who were “passionate.”
“Anybody could teach accounting for example, but if it’s boring, it is boring,” she said.
“We didn’t look at just backgrounds, we looked at what they were most passionate about teaching.”
But this program isn’t just for the benefit of the middle-management workforce in San Luis Obispo. Santa Barbara will also be involved, according to Doug Lynch who heads the Mastermind’s group in Santa Barbara.
“My group down here is a bit smaller than what Uta has but what we want to have is to want to do this for the Central Coast as a whole,” Lynch said.
“This is building a relationship between all of us and makes the Central Coast into one strong business community.”
Lynch and Birkmayer are the course developers and have rounded up a dozen instructors across different specializations and industries to give people the most hands-on experience they could pay for.
The program starts Sept. 14 later this year, and the goal is to have at least 20 people in this first round of the program, Birkmayer said.
The group is currently in the marketing phase right now, aiming to convince companies about the benefit of such a course.
“Instead of going to Pepperdine for two years, I hope for people to say, this is a great course that I got a lot of practical applications from and for them to view it as a mini-MBA,” Lynch said.
People can sign up on their own for the course but the group is also pushing for companies and C-Suite members to sign their own staff up and give them the confidence to take a course like this.
“This is an opportunity to retain and train your great people,” Lynch said.
“People complain about how hard it is to train and that they will leave, but what if they don’t? What if they stay? So being serious about training your workforce is a wonderful benefit.”
But arguably the most important part of the course is instilling confidence. Some people struggle to envision themselves as a manager.
Some people believe they have to be the same type of leader as the one they worked under for years.
But for Lynch and Birkmayer, their goal is to show these people that they can learn to be a leader using their own set of skills and preparing them for a life of success.
“The exciting thing about leadership is that we’re all different and you have to understand and maximize that difference. That’s what makes the workplace exciting and that’s how you are most authentic to yourself and that is what excites us,” Birkmayer said.