At Vera Solutions, we cultivate skill-building and cross-functional collaboration at all levels of the organization. We invest in growing our emerging leaders in concrete, structured ways. One example is the Rising Leaders program we run for staff from around the globe. This program focuses on tailored leadership development planning, peer support, and connection with Vera’s senior leadership.
The Rising Leaders program traces its roots back to Vera CEO Zak Kaufman’s participation in the Global Good Fund (GGF) Fellowship in 2017. The GGF Fellowship supports successful social entrepreneurs by investing in their leadership development. Zak decided to pay it forward and invest in building a program for emerging leaders within Vera that takes inspiration from the GGF Fellowship Program.
In-Person Summit: Building Bonds Across Borders
The heart of the Rising Leaders Program is its summit, where leaders from diverse geographies and roles come together for a week of training, peer learning, and professional development. This in-person component is more than just a series of workshops – it’s an opportunity for Verites to forge bonds that transcend roles and locations.
Last month, 14 nominated Rising Leaders came together to participate in a three-day summit in Cape Town. The cohort participated in a curriculum that included skill-building exercises, peer support sessions, values identification exercises, goal-setting and planning, and a creative “art jam” reflection. Heavy focus for this year’s cohort was on strategic thinking and motivation – including a session investigating the science behind motivation, a workshop on energy management and avoiding burnout, and a panel discussion with Vera alumni sharing their motivational strategies.
Dedicated Time for Skill Building and Reflection
One standout feature of the program is the benefit of dedicated paid time for skill-building and deep reflection. Participants were asked to step back from their day-to-day responsibilities, zoom out, and critically examine their career trajectories. This intentional pause allowed the cohort to assess where they currently stand in their career, where they aspire to be in the future, and the strategic path to bridge the gap through a Leadership Development Plan. This plan provides Rising Leaders with an opportunity to recalibrate and align both personal and professional goals.
Peer Support and Access to Senior Leadership
Another highlight of the program is the emphasis on peer support – the program fosters an environment where leaders can learn from each other’s experiences. During the summit, Rising Leaders gained invaluable access to senior leadership within the company, creating a bridge for knowledge transfer and mentorship. This year’s summit included one day that overlapped with the Vera Leadership Team, providing an opportunity for Rising Leaders and Leadership Team members to connect to the workshop together.
Strategic Overlaps: Aligning Leadership with Company Vision
This year’s summit allowed emerging leaders and senior leaders to align on the company’s strategic goals in-person. Rising Leaders participated in key discussions on company strategy and learned about the concept of “situational leadership” – the adaptive styles required in different leadership contexts. The structure allowed the Rising Leaders to learn from leaders across Vera as they navigate their own leadership journey.
A Year-Long Journey of Continuous Growth and Leadership-Building
The Rising Leaders program is not just an in-person Summit, it’s a year-long journey that shapes leaders into the best versions of themselves. Drawing from over five years of success, the program continues to evolve, ensuring that each cohort receives a tailored, transformative experience.
Vera Solutions is committed to professional development by nurturing a community of leaders who are not only skilled in their roles but are also empowered to steer the company towards a future marked by innovation, collaboration, and impactful leadership.The Rising Leaders program stands as a testament to Vera’s investment in its people and its unwavering dedication to fostering leadership excellence.
Introducing the 2023-2024 Rising Leaders cohort
Mary Lycke – Senior Accounting Manager
Gus Valentim – Lead Consultant
Chris Metzker – Customer Success Manager
Hasti Sawala – Solutions Architect
Prathmesh Mengane – Lead System Architect
Pronit Agrawal – DevOps Lead
Prateek Gupta – Senior Product Manager
Srivtasan Ramesh – Global Services Manager
Prasad Sawant – Senior Developer
Carmen Kingwill – Customer Success Manager
Rory Mc Lean – Senior Business Development Manager
Caitlin Graaf – Solutions Architect
Hetile Mabunda – Senior Success Engineer
Lucia Thesen – Solutions Architect