The Science

We leverage the best research from psychology, education and neuroscience to design programs around how people actually change.

Drive Lasting Change

It’s impossible to change behavior without knowing how change happens. Most leadership programs fail because they do not address the leader’s real needs.  Our programs start with a scientifically developed behavior change model to understand the requirements for lasting change.

The Change Lifecycle

Behavior change doesn’t happen all at once – especially in a classroom. People pass through stages before arriving at enduring growth.

At each stage, there are multiple needs – and the needs are different at each stage.  Careerwave’s unique coaching and employee growth platform provides support for leaders at each stage of their change process.

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Stage 1: Unaware

Leaders don’t know that they need to change.  Learning focuses on learning about their behavior and how it fails them.  Support focuses on coping with the sense of failure and building motivation to change.


Stage 3: Action

Leaders work on learning new information and building new skills.  Support focuses on persevering in spite of the difficulty of being a novice and gaining self-awareness of what’s working and what isn’t.  Traditional learning programs focus almost exclusively on this stage.


Stage 2: Awareness

Leaders now know they need to change, but change what?  Learning focuses on understanding strengths and weaknesses and what more productive behavior is.  Support focuses on dealing with the unknown and the knowledge that performance failures exist.


Stage 4: Maintain

Learning focuses on how to build habits and routines to prompt the new behavior day in and day out.  Support focuses on reinforcing the behavior outside the intensive coaching system, and coping with “falling off the wagon.”

Growth Principles

Growth and learning is different for adults than for kids – and techniques that work for kids, like classroom programs, aren’t effective for adults.  Our programs create growth by leveraging the best research on adult learning and development in a service that’s efficient and scalable.

Highly Relevant

Effective growth uses real-world business projects and objectives for the “learning laboratory”.  Coachees invest more and learn to apply skills better in projects that are part of their work.

Extensive Stakeholder Support

Effective learning incorporates peers and the team around the leader to support and assist with growth.

Learn by Doing

Leaders learn best by doing.  Applying the coaching to real-world problems, with all their difficulty and complexity, provides the greatest depth and transferability of new skills.

Highly Personalized

Effective programs meet the leader where they are, with learning tailored to each leader’s individual strengths and growth opportunities.  Less senior leaders often need basic skill development.  Effective programs provide the level of support that each leader needs.

Leader Choice

Leaders must have a voice in what they’ll learn.  We provide coachees with the tools and support to identify growth opportunities that align with company goals, ensuring that leaders are invested in the coaching and develop skills that benefit the company.

Consistent Quality

Effective growth across an organization requires shared ideas and experiences, and effective growth for individuals requires a meaningful, scientifically validated approach.  Coaching should leverage research and provide a consistent program across your team.

What It Means to Lead

All coaches and development programs have some theory of what it means to be a leader.  Effective programs have a theory that is scientifically validated and that matches with your company’s values and culture.


All leadership is situational

Effective leadership is tailored to the other person and the situation, not how the leader likes to lead.  We call this “intelligent leadership”, and developing the ability to lead in different situations and with different teams is critical.


Leadership is a relationship

Leadership is a relationship between people, and like any other relationship, trust, support and honesty are critical.  Employees feel that the best leaders truly care about them.





Leaders are made, not born

Leadership skills can be learned and developed, and great leaders become great through practice and focused effort.  Even the best leaders improve with practice and support.


Leadership is responsive

Leaders serve their teams, not vice versa – the leader’s goal is to help the team become more effective.  The leader must focus on how to help the team be better, not how the team can make the leader succeed.


Leadership is flexible

Great leaders are well-rounded and flexible, and build strength across all leadership characteristics.  Responding to the situation and team requires leaders who have a deep “toolkit” of leadership approaches.


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