Pathways to Executive Leadership: Class 4

Pathways to Executive Leadership will span 6 months beginning October 12-15, 2019 at the ACEC Fall Conference in Chicago, IL and ending April 25-28, 2020 at the ACEC Annual Convention in Washington, DC.

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Or click here for the faxable registration form.

Member Organization: National Events

Faculty: Geordie Aitken & Magda Dominik, Aitken Leadership Group; Rod Hoffman & Barb Smith, S & H Consulting; and ACEC Member Firm Exectives as Guest Speakers

Program Overview

A practical, focused program for new leaders facing the challenges of a continuously evolving business environment.

To be successful at taking on higher levels of leadership responsibility and prepare for the demands of being owners, new practice builders need specific and relevant training in the intricacies of leading an A/E firm in ever-changing, always uncertain economic times.

Pathways to Executive Leadership is an intensive leadership program for early-career elites and promising mid-career professionals with 8-12 years of experience who are just beginning to lead and think strategically about their practices and careers. The reality-based curriculum focuses on the core skills necessary to think strategically in their markets, build effective teams, and deliver great service for their most valued clients.

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Pathways to Executive Leadership fills a vital gap and creates a strong connection between ACEC’s Business of Design Consulting curriculum and the Senior Executive’s Institute capstone program. It targets those who are making the transition between managing one team (e.g., project managers) to those managing managers and multiple teams. This program is designed to establish habits for long-term high-performance and to create a trusted, national network of colleagues with which to make the journey.

FLOW OF LEARNING:  The challenges budding practice builders face require new skills to manage people and the uncertainty of a continuously evolving business environment. Pathways to Executive Leadership will lead participants through a practical curriculum focused on becoming more balanced in their personal and professional life, more influential in team development, coaching and client relationships, and more strategic in their business relationships to build a strong client portfolio. The curriculum will include aspects of the following:

  • Personal & Career VisioningParticipants will focus on identifying long term goals, objectives, hopes, strengths and challenges.

  • Strengths, Self-Awareness & Understanding the JourneyUsing assessment feedback, and personalized coaching, participants will learn about their strengths and areas needing improvement.

  • Coaching, Active Listening, and Managing OthersQuestion-asking, deep listening, and performance coaching skills will be practiced. 

  • Intentional Influence - Focused on successfully influencing others who don't report to us, participants will learn how to understand others’ perspectives, and how to use these observations and techniques to create persuasive messages, internal and external.

  • Personal SustainabilityBuild resiliency in individuals for the hard work and work-life balancing that is inherent in the principal’s role.

  • Effective Community & Political InvolvementParticipants learn about the the political process within the consulting community, how political action committees fit, and what is often expected of principals to influence public policy for betterment of business.

  • High-Level Business Development - Introduces the idea of “Clients for Life” and how you build the role of a trusted advisor. It will introduce client analysis techniques, capture plans for major pursuits, and how to craft persuasive messaging to win work.

  • Leading a Team of TeamsExplore ways to work across technical and management boundaries with colleagues and teams.

  • Strategic Market Analysis - Prepares participants to “skate to where the puck will be” by identifying durable trends in their markets. Participants will leave with new tools and techniques to better understand their markets and how to focus on most promising investments.


Program Details

The Pathways to Executive Leadership program includes two in-person sessions to encourage deep relationship-building and offer hands-on practice of fundamental interpersonal skills. These face-to-face sessions create an experience of enduring impact, practical value, and lasting relationships.

In-Person Session 1: ACEC Annual Fall Conference >> October 12-15, 2019 – Chicago, IL


Interactive Online Class Series
The in-person sessions are supplemented by a robust, high-engagement online learning presence. Three immersive online classes bring together nationally-recognized subject matter experts to create interactive, practical distance learning sessions.

Online Class 1 – Time and Energy Mastery:  December, 2019

  • Time and Boundaries — Urgent vs. Important
  • Delegation (Situational Coaching framework OR Things Only I can do/Must/Should/Could do)

Online Class 2 – Financial/Principal/Ownership: January, 2020

  • The Business of the Business - financial intelligence 201 for mid-level leaders

Online Class 3 – The CEO Forum: March, 2020

  • Joining Community - professional and political Involvement [Facilitated discussion]
  • The influence of local, state and national organizations and how A/E leaders can interact with these forces

Bonus Online Class - Key Issues Briefing/Update on ACEC IssuesApril 2020


In-Person Session 2: ACEC Annual Spring Convention >> April 25-28, 2020 – Washington, DC



Registration fees for Pathways to Executive Leadership includes access to ACEC Fall Conference and Annual Convention education sessions, presentations, and select program events.

ACEC Members - $7,450
Non-members - $10,450

$1,000 non-refundable deposit required to secure your spot in the class.

Online Registration
Faxable Registration Form


Sheraton Grand Chicago
301 E North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-464-1000

Washington Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road NW 
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: 202-328-2000


Katie Goodman




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