This event is part of the Chamber’s new series, The Racial Wealth Gap.
2:00pm - 3:00pm
This free, members-only event is designed specifically for our small to medium-size member companies who want to expand their network of contacts, generate new business leads, and learn the most effective strategies for networking.
8:00am - 9:00am
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Join us for the fist in-person MITX event of the year! Come and network with people in the tech and innovation industry.
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Sam Adams Taproom
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
We are now recruiting for our 2022 fall DEI cohort! We hope you’ll join us in our mission to increase DEI fluency and change in the Boston business community – starting with you.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For more than 25 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
Through MITX (the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange), we’re building valuable connections between the people and ideas behind technology and its impact on the future of customer experiences, all to create a community that’s finding tomorrow’s solutions together.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
Alyssa Rodning is Senior Customer Success Manager at HubSpot. She is also a participant of our Boston’s Future Leaders Program, a yearlong professional development program that activates emerging leaders under the age of 40 to confidently lead Boston into the future. Throughout the program, participants build their socially conscious and civically engaged leadership and effective management toolkit through academic sessions at Harvard Business School, and exposure to established public, private, and nonprofit leadership practices, access to our region’s top leaders, experiential behind-the-scenes learning opportunities, and a cross-sector network.
Interested in applying? Nominations are open until December 4!
My experience with Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) has been an incredible one. There is too much to share in one post, so I’m diving into a few highlights that impacted my personal journey during the last year.
During the pandemic I, like so many others in Boston and across America, was furloughed because of COVID-19. Never having been through that experience before I was rather surprised by how emotional I felt and how wrapped up my identity was in my work. I started working when I was 15 and have had a job since. I was a respected leader in my field. While I knew this was happening to so many others, it still somehow felt embarrassing and scary. Needless to say, the unknown (will I get brought back, or won’t I?) weighed on me heavily.
My first session with Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) after I was furloughed, this feeling began sinking in. I was feeling quite self-conscious as I sat in a discussion session with my incredibly smart and talented colleagues. Was I an imposter? Without current examples from work, how would I be able to contribute to my class? Then during a session discussing “Wicked Problems, Malia Lazu shared about leading through change and how to “be like a palm tree.”
To weather the storm during times of change you need to have strong roots, but also be flexible enough to bend in the breeze.
It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I reached out to Alyson Weiss (our fearless leader and Chamber liaison) and asked her to please connect me with anyone else in the group who might also be furloughed or laid off so I might see if they wanted a space to share thoughts. I needed to talk to others in a similar position and ask them how they were doing and dealing.
Before long, there was a small group of us who came together to share our experience and discuss whether to wait out our furlough or start looking for new opportunities. We even reviewed resumes and cover letters together. It was powerful to connect with those from different industries that were also reimagining where this next step might take them.
During our first session at Harvard Business School with Professor Scott Snook, we learned about Authentic Leadership. He shared one of his favorite quotes from Viktor E. Frankl: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” He talked about the space in our brain that is freed up when we start to become more authentic. Our class worked through vulnerable 1:1 sessions where we practiced self-disclosure, the norm of reciprocity, and how to deeply ask for feedback. We worked through the Johari Window model and learned in order to be fully self-realized we have to move beyond a sense of self that depends on social comparison in order to gain self-acceptance and self-assurance. He then worked through other case studies where we learned that research today shows that one of the only quantifiable measures of successful leaders is self-assurance.
I started to feel a light. Maybe this was powerful? Was I starting to craft my own response?
In addition to Professor Snook, Karla Driscoll reminded us that we can never “outperform our self-portrait.” She covered effective tactics for communication and how to truly be present when listening and how powerful that can be.
Professor Kash Ragnon brought us back to HBS and taught us how to know when to zoom in and when to zoom out as a leader. We dug into authenticity and vulnerability and how that can help leaders lead through tough times.
What did I really want to do?
As all of these conversations were taking place I leaned on my new friendships formed in both my furlough-support group and through my cohort’s peer group. Different members offered informational interviews about their fields and asked great questions helping me to clarify my vision. They offered tips and tricks they had learned. They made me feel supported, valued and hopeful.
In the end, I decided I would not wait for furlough to end and would use this time to embrace my discomfort and try to understand what I truly wanted to do. In my case, I really wanted to explore a new industry and have the opportunity to learn something completely new. My journey through COVID gave me the skills, strength and insight to bring my whole-self to my interviews and authentically show up to see what might be a good fit for my next step.
Because of the relationships I’ve formed, the incredible leadership lessons I learned, and the challenges that we explored during our time with BFL, I am proud to share this story of growth and exploration. While I’m no Shackleton (if you are accepted into this program, you’ll learn what I mean)…I am at heart an explorer, albeit a more local one.
At the beginning of COVID, Jim Rooney told us to throw out our job descriptions, to demonstrate agility and to embrace the moment.
In my application for the BFL Class of 2020, I wrote: “I hope to use this opportunity to self-reflect and to learn to ask bigger and better questions of not only myself, but also of the community. Our city can set the bar for excellence, and I would like to play a role in that effort.”
At the end of September I made the move to join the incredible team at HubSpot and I couldn’t have done it without the experience of BFL. The way I see myself, how I lead, and how I engage with my community daily will forever be changed for the better.
I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and will cherish it.