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Chelsea Barker reviews WLA's Leading Edge program

Chelsea Barker, Workflow Manager at Atlas Equipment Finance, reviews WLA's Leading Edge program. Leading Edge is a four-month part-time leadership development program for women early career managers and leaders, enabling the transition into confident, capable and motivated leaders.


An unrivalled development experience for aspiring and early career female leaders

Delivered part-time over four months, Leading Edge is designed to enable the transition of aspiring and early career female managers into confident, capable and motivated leaders. The program equips participants with the knowledge and behavioural insights required for successful leadership, embedding and functionalising new learnings as real world behaviour and action. Informed by fifteen years of experience in developing emerging female talent, the program focuses on tangible, relevant outcomes tailored to the needs of each participant.​

“The program was a really enjoyable and positive experience. It is a great way to learn about practical leadership in a safe, diverse and productive environment. The workshops were really good and the facilitators were excellent. It is also helpful to do a course that is reasonably flexible from a time commitment perspective. I learnt just so much throughout the program and have been able to utilise these learnings in the workplace.” ​

Participants explore what it takes to be an effective leader using a strengths based approach. This module introduces participants to a values-based leadership framework as they take a deep dive into the relationship between authenticity and effective leadership.​

Capability Assessments

Participants attend two, virtual workshop days, interacting with peers across multiple industries. The workshop days are segmented into three high impact sessions with breaks in-between. During the workshop days, participants come together to work collaboratively on real-time challenges and build powerful alliances. The unique format offers valuable insight informed by collective experience as well as reflective practice.​

Virtual Workshop Days​

Participants attend five, ninety minute online workshops during the program. Focused on rich discussion and debate pertinent to each of the key themes, these high impact sessions aim to contextualise learning within real world situations and promote peer group interaction.​

Online Workshops

This theme considers ways that participants must continually redefine their role and value proposition to their organisation as they take on new roles and responsibilities. Participants identify their ingrained competency traps, develop new situation sensors and begin to recognise and leverage their strengths in order to develop their personal vision for effective leadership.​​

Redefining Your Role

Throughout the program, self-directed learning content is accessible via our state of the art online learning management system (LMS) allowing participants to engage with it at any time from any device. Content includes high quality video tutorials, ‘best practice’ leadership literature, experiential activities and reflective tasks. Throughout the program, participants are also free to connect with each other 24/7 via the LMS and discuss ‘top of mind’ issues.​

Self-directed Learning Modules​

In conjunction with the various program elements, participants will undertake a Workplace Application Project (WAP). The purpose of the WAP is to deepen and extend the programs learning outcomes for the participant. Further information on the WAP is included later in this document.​

Workplace Application Project​

The peer coaching sessions are designed to develop participants’ own coaching capacity so they can not only increase their own self-awareness, but support learning in others. Participants are invited to reach out to their peers in order to practice meaningful, outcome-driven coaching conversations. The peer coaching sessions offer real-time feedback to participants and enable them to develop meaningful, impactful connections with their peers.​

Peer Coaching


Encompassing a sophisticated blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning, Leading Edge immerses participants in a multilayered development journey designed to ensure maximum individual impact. Coordinated via WLA’s state of the art learning management system, the program provides powerful and accessible individualised learning.


All applicants enrolling into the program must satisfy WLA’s admissions criteria and adhere to standard admissions policies and procedures.

The standard program fee is $3,990 + GST per person. The enrolment fee covers all tuition, program related materials and access to the WLA online learning portal.


Partial scholarships are available for women in select industries. Contact us to find out if you are eligible.

If you would like to speak to a program liaison call us on 1300 938 571 or email:

Participants explore what it means to lead and begin to answer the question ‘What type of leader do I want to be?’ After examining a number of leadership frameworks, participants begin to build connections with their own style and leadership approach. There is a focus on building self-awareness and awareness of how leadership plays out within their teams and organisation. In addition, strategies for building resilience, mindfulness and wellbeing are also explored along with ways to overcome challenges, bounce back from adversity and increase resourcefulness.

Supporting Leadership Performance​

Participants are introduced to ways to communicate with presence and influence. Participants explore a range of communication skills to help them engage more effectively with others. These include approaches to listening deeply, asking questions that elicit more valuable responses and skills that enable them to balance the desire to advocate their point of view with their capacity for learning from others. Participants then extend their communication skills into the realm of performance by learning the principles of effective feedback. By appreciating the distinction between perceptions and observable behaviour, participants come to understand and meet the challenges involved in sharing difficult feedback.​

Effective Interpersonal Communication and Feedback​

Participants learn to appreciate that whilst intelligence (IQ) may be important, it is emotional intelligence (EQ) that enables them to progress further. A model of EQ is presented and participants are invited to explore the ways in which they can develop and practice a range of EQ skills. This extends into the realm of managing conflict, from which participants examine how to make conflict a constructive and potentially transformative experience.​

Emotional Intelligence and Conflict​

As our everyday environment increases in complexity it is easy to become distracted by the immediate at the expense of what’s truly important. This theme centres on developing a coherent and dynamic ‘game plan’ for future career and life fulfilment. Within the context and expectations of the participant’s workplace, they consider the steps required to fully realise their career potential. Career inhibitors and accelerators are explored and their career path is explained through the Sigmoid Curve model. Participants also explore the importance of networking from a strategic growth perspective.​

Career and Professional Growth

Most organisational achievements occur through the work of teams. Participants explore teamwork from both team leader and team member perspectives. This allows participants to develop their situational and strategic leadership skills. Participants learn the key attributes of successful teams and how to create them within their own team. The importance of diversity and inclusion and its challenges and benefits, are analysed. This includes the development of a high-performing team culture. The earlier work on feedback, communication, emotional intelligence and conflict is further considered as integral elements of developing team performance.

Elements of a Successful Team​

In today’s highly competitive employment market it certainly helps to be effective when putting your thoughts and opinions across. Although many people dread presenting, learning a few basic skills can significantly reduce feelings of fear and help to put both you and your audience at ease. This theme will help participants develop their confidence and capability in this critical area.​

Presence and Presentation Skills

Participants explore various responses to change. They learn a model for managing change and for engaging others on the journey. They also explore common challenges that are involved in change. Participants move on to learn how to integrate their new skills in order to effectively embrace and lead change within their team.​

Leading in Times of Change


Segmented into seven key themes, Leading Edge engages participants in a detailed exploration around the fundamentals of leadership and management and their individual drivers and derailers.


In conjunction with the various program elements, participants will undertake a Workplace Application Project (WAP). The purpose of the WAP is to deepen and extend the programs learning outcomes and for the participant to plan, implement and monitor a project within their context and to collect evidence around their capability. The WAP is also important in ensuring that learning outcomes are aligned to organisational objectives and that participants can be seen to be delivering something of lasting value to their organisation. The focus of the project will be decided by the participant in collaboration with their manager or workplace sponsor. Projects should focus on practical and achievable outcomes and provide opportunities for the participant to consolidate and demonstrate new skills. Project outcomes may include such things as improvements to operational processes, enhancements to team or culture or ways to improve performance and productivity. During the final workshop each participant will complete a short presentation on their WAP and their key learnings.​

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