Jim McCarthy , President, Northland Communications

With many options out there, what makes Emergent's LeadFORWARD program right for you? We asked past participants to weigh in. Check out our Q&A with Jim McCarthy.

Why did you decide to enroll in LeadFORWARD?

I knew I needed to step up my game as a leader, as the president of our company. We have a lot of opportunities as an organization, and I thought this would be a great chance to enhance my skills in order to maximize those opportunities.

Describe what you mean by “leader,” as opposed to “manager.” Is there a difference?

Managers are often reactive, focused on the problem that’s in front of them. A leader takes a more long-term view of things and works on building solutions, not fixes. That takes planning and recognizing where you are today, and having a clear vision of where you want to be and a path to get there. It means putting your team members in a position to be successful.

Did LeadFORWARD deliver on what you hoped to get out of it?

Absolutely. The LeadFORWARD program is as advertised: transformational. I admit I went in a little skeptical because many programs claim to be transformational, but this one truly delivered on that. It greatly accelerated my path to becoming the leader that I wanted to be. And it’s not just the tools you develop, but being in an environment where you can learn from other people. The collaboration among the participants was really game changing for me.

What else makes LeadFORWARD different from other programs you’ve researched or tried?

What makes it unique is that it’s truly authentic. You don’t have to agree with everything. You’re encouraged to challenge things and use tools as you see fit. You’re not forced down a path using a formula with a pre-determined outcome. Emergent is very focused on how it will work best for you. I think that’s why this is the program that’s truly made a difference.

What was your biggest takeaway from LeadFORWARD?

A new perspective. LeadFORWARD gave me a deeper understanding of who I am and who I want to be and it gave me the opportunity to align that with our organizational goals and values, and ultimately the direction I wanted to take Northland. Probably more eye opening was learning what my leadership team viewed as my strengths - and weaknesses.

It sounds like there’s a certain amount of vulnerability involved.

In order to grow, you have to be vulnerable. LeadFORWARD pushes you outside your comfort zone. But living outside that comfort zone, I’ve seen growth in myself and I’ve seen growth in the people around me, and it’s made life so much more rewarding and exciting.

Would you recommend LeadFORWARD?

I would definitely recommend it to anybody who is committed to growing as a leader. It’s truly transformational, and I can’t imagine life without the skills, the resources and the friendships I’ve developed through LeadFORWARD.


of organizations anticipate a shortfall of leaders in the next 5 years.


of organizations say less than 10% of critical leadership positions have ready and willing successors.


of organizations are not ready to meet leadership needs.


of organizations overall are currently experiencing a leadership gap.

Engage with High-Impact

LeadFORWARD is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive and immersive learning experience. It creates a framework for senior leaders and organizations to develop the capacity for continuous learning and transformation, and provides the insight and tools to help leaders learn how to act as a catalyst for greater impact and high performance.

LeadFORWARD provides the tools and insights to:

  • Create strategic alignment to goals
  • Enhance team relationships and influence
  • Improve organizational performance
  • Engage with vision and purpose
  • Enhance strategic decision making
  • Manage energy and capacity for enhanced leadership
  • Develop space for creative and strategic thinking

Transformation Starts Here

Emergent’s LeadFORWARD program is a 12-month leadership transformation experience for senior level executives and high potential leaders. Leaders are realizing that the way they’re working isn’t sustainable, potentially leaving the leadership pipeline empty.

LeadFORWARD targets leadership growth in three areas:

  • Individual Leadership Competencies.
  • Team Performance.
  • Organizational Impact.

A 12-Month Immersive Learning Experience

Over the course of the program, you’ll participate in five different retreats, each building on the other. At these retreats, you’ll embark on a journey of self-discovery, and you’ll take away valuable information that you can put to work in your life immediately. This is a transformative experience, and each retreat is an opportunity for growth toward your full potential.

Fully Integrated approach

Leaders will discover new practices, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally, that will support their leadership transformation

  • Monthly one-on-one coaching
  • Two 1-day retreats
  • Three 2-day retreats
  • Five mastermind group sessions

LeadFORWARD Program Areas

When you participate in the LeadFORWARD program, our certified performance coaches work with each participant to address these key challenge areas:

Health & Energy
  • Poor health: Not enough exercise, poor eating habits or insufficient sleep.
  • Debilitating stress.
  • Lack of energy to get everything done.

Strategic Time Management
  • Taking too much on and not delegating
  • Working after hours because you can’t get it all done.
  • Too much time fighting fires instead of working strategically.
  • No time to reflect "on" the business.
  • Leaders feel overwhelmed.

Organizational Influence
  • Not inspiring your team to perform at its best.
  • Lacking influence up and down the organization.
  • Lack of ability to build effective relationships that influence stakeholders, peers, clients and others.

Team Performance
  • Not communicating effectively with team.
  • Unable to navigate difficult conversations or situations.
  • Not driving improved team performance.
  • Knowing that your team has performance issues, but not being able to find solutions.
  • Lack of trust in the organization.

Purpose, Direction & Alignment
  • Not having a clearly defined purpose.
  • No sense of purpose within team.
  • Lack of clarity as to what we’re doing and why.
  • Not connecting daily activities to overarching purpose.
  • Disconnected at home; sense of emptiness.

One-on-One Coaching

As part of the LeadFORWARD program, we provide monthly one-on-one coaching for our participants so they can experience an even deeper level of growth and discovery. Our certified executive coaches work with you to develop both short and long-term goals and practices that provide a pathway to success. These practices are followed up with regular contact to evaluate progress and to adjust or modify the practices selected.

Mastermind Learning Groups

The LeadFORWARD program includes the formation of mastermind learning groups where leaders develop peer relationships that are leveraged to share critical challenges and problem solve with one another to foster personal and professional growth, drive results, and the attainment of goals.

  • Develop a network for support
  • Solicit peer feedback and perspectives
  • Engage in brainstorming
  • Improve clarity of vision and actions
  • Enhance accountability

Schedule your 30-minute consultation

LeadFORWARD’s program is unique. With no cost or obligation, schedule a conversation with one of our certified performance coaches to help ascertain LeadFORWARD’s fit for you or your organization’s specific needs and goals. Call us at 315-635-6300 or submit the form below.