Our flagship executive development program offers Ascent Fellows a six month-long learning experience as part of a carefully-selected peer cohort. Each fellowship venue, session, faculty and mentor is individually curated to meet the unique needs of its participants, enabling the most relevant, meaningful experiences to take place.
An extensive nomination process involving our advisory, expert and mentor networks ensures a community of thoughtful, committed, and engaged executives. Beginning with a comprehensive executive assessment, Ascent Fellows commit to three residential modules delivered in collaboration with global partners, in unique venues around the world. Each module lasts 3-4 days.
We also offer an individual, single-module Immersion program, which is a pared-down version of the Ascent Fellowship Program that caters to those focused on a specific leadership goal.
Our first three fellowship programs will convene:
Chairmen, CEOs and Presidents of Family and/or Founder-led Businesses
(November 2018 – May 2019)
C-Suite Executives of Rapidly Growing Multinational Corporations
Next-Generation Leaders of Family-Run Businesses
Fellows undergo a rigorous executive assessment process, administered by a global executive recruiting firm, using the tools and methodologies employed to select and develop CEOs for the world’s largest companies.
The assessment, conducted by trained expert psychologists, focuses on skills and competencies, growth potential and adaptability, collected 360º feedback, and aspects of interpersonal style and personality.
Ongoing coaching and guidance throughout the program will build on the development plan crafted during this initial assessment.
Fellows participate in several 3-4 day residential stays hosted by the world’s most relevant and insightful partners (such as global think tanks, academic institutions, and international organizations) who assist with the curation, creation, and delivery of unparalleled experiences.
Our first cohort will spend several days at Summit Skywalker Ranch in California, focused on creativity, impact, and the power of narrative; participate in a custom-designed extended workshop on collaboration, influence, and negotiation in Harvard Yard with some of the university’s leading academics; engage in a political simulation in a full-scale replica of the U.S. Senate at the Kennedy Institute in Boston; and join owners of the New York Mets at their home facility to explore the complex stakeholder dynamics of these unique family businesses.
Fellows engage with current and former global CEOs and other mentors throughout the fellowship year, who provide ongoing feedback and guidance to the cohort, share experiences unique to the leaders in these challenging roles, and offer one-on-one advice.
Confirmed mentors for our first fellowship cohort include the former CEO/Chairmen of publicly listed companies such as Willis Towers Watson, international organizations such as the World Economic Forum USA, privately-held companies such as 1-800-Flowers, as well as a former US ambassador.
Nominations are currently open for our first two cohorts:
Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of leading family and/or founder-led organizations
September 2018 – May 2019
Athletes, Celebrities and Influencers crossing over to the Private Sector
March 2019 – November 2019
Inaugural Fellowship Program, Day by Day (Chairmen, CEOs and Presidents of Family and/or Founder-led Businesses)
Each fellowship program will be carefully curated to meet the needs and expectations of the particular cohort. For our inaugural cohort, Ascent is convening Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of leading family and/or founder-led organizations, and designing experiences focused on the unique attributes of these visionary leaders. The example below follows their experiential journey, which will take place from November 2018 through May 2019.
PRE-PROGRAM ASSESSMENT •
A leading executive search firm’s deeply trained experts will conduct assessments of each member of the cohort. The specific tools and approaches used will include:
- An in-depth behavioral interview, which looks at skills and experiences in the context of recent professional experiences to better assess capabilities and areas for improvement.
- A on-line instrument which delves into interpersonal style and personality, to better understand not just what an individual does but how they do it.
- A case-based exercise which benchmarks executive responses to a global database of CEOs and other executives’ answers and thereby provides insights into cognitive ability, adaptability and emotional intelligence.
- 360º interviews with individuals who have worked closely with the executive, to confirm hypotheses and better understand their working style, followership and impact.
These results are shared with the executive during a one on one debrief, and used to develop an individualized action plan. By understanding our cohort’s needs, we can customize their experiences throughout the duration of the fellowship program.
Ongoing interactions with mentors, coaches, and learning groups will build upon insights from the assessment and happen throughout all modules, as well as during the months in-between the residential sessions.
Technological Disruption, creativity, Narrative & Legacy •
4 Days (November 2018)
The first module takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay. In partnership with the media company Techonomy, we will be joined by a who’s who of technology leaders to explore the technologies and companies most actively disrupting industry and society.
Together we will travel north, to Marin County to Skywalker Ranch, for two nights in residence with George Lucas’ team, focusing on aspects of creativity and narrative. A culminating exercise, using multimedia presentation and supported by prominent creatives and artists, will explore the legacy executives wish to leave behind through their professional and personal efforts.
Collaboration & Influence •
3 days (February 2019)
In Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, participants will spend three days on simulations, exercises, and tailored experiences with world-leading academics, bringing best practices related to persuasion, compromise, and influence to life.
With experts from Harvard and MIT, business leaders and former heads of state and several business leaders. Fellows will study negotiation, collaboration and influence in Harvard Yard’s Loeb House, for many years the residence of Harvard presidents, and today, the home of Harvard’s Governing Boards.
At the Edward M Kennedy Institute, Fellows will will be immersed in negotiation, collaboration and comprise in a more political context, experience, culminating in an interactive exercise in the full-scale replica of the US Senate.
Stakeholder Engagement •
3 days (may 2019)
Just outside of New York City, this module focuses on successfully engaging the various constituencies most relevant to senior leaders, such as boards, governments, investors, employees, customers, etc.
Fellows will stay in residence at the Greentree Foundation’s Estate in Manhasset, Long Island, anThe estate is reserved for use as a conference facility for international social justice issues, and hosted numerous UN-led negotiations and meetings. This module will be be organized in collaboration with the B Team, a global group of business leaders dedicated to catalyze better ways of doing business for the wellbeing of people and the planet. Together with select UN and non-profit officials, we will explore stakeholder engagement & societal impact.
Finally, the fellowship participants will spend a half day at the home stadium of one of NY’s major league sports franchises, with members of the team’s ownership group. Together with leading authorities on sports management, we will explore how family businesses can successfully engage their key public and private stakeholders - using sports teams as an illustrative example of family businesses in the spotlight.
upcoming fellowship programs
Planning is already well underway for upcoming programs, including fellowships for C-suite executives from companies that are rapidly expanding globally, and next generation leaders from family-led businesses. Modules for these fellowships are currently under development in Beijing, China; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Geneva, Switzerland; and New Orleans, USA.