Subscription boxes are all the rage these days, available for everybody
from the person who doesn’t mind shucking oysters to the little kid who bores easily. So, it had to be only a matter of time before the concept headed into the workplace, à la a monthly subscription toolkit for creating engaged teams.
This new toolkit, called LeaderKit
, comes from startup Rising Team, founded last year by CEO Jen Dulski with a mission of helping managers be excellent at their jobs and developing their teams. If enterprises do this, she shared in an email interview with WorkSpace Connect, “then it unlocks the secret to organizational success.”
Dulski, who teaches management at Stanford Graduate School of Business and has worked in leadership and management positions at Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Change.org, spends “a lot of time thinking about what great leadership looks like,” she said. “[I’m] passionate about empowering people to reach their full potential, and [I believe] that one of the primary levers to do that is through people’s work.”
Dulski cited Gallup research
showing that having engaged employees leads to greater success at the individual, team, and company levels, and that “managers drive 70% of employee engagement.” However, she added, many managers report feeling unequipped to do their jobs.
Not being equipped with the right tools is something Dulski said she understands from her own leadership and management experience. Having felt the absence of tools that could help her develop and keep connected with her teams, Dulski was compelled to launch Rising Team and create the LeaderKit subscription service.
On a monthly basis, managers who subscribe to LeaderKit receive a collection of audio and written training materials and tools that help them learn about one key leadership theme and then, to promote engagement and connectivity, lead an in-person or virtual team-building workshop on it. In addition, they get weekly leadership tips on how to incorporate the theme into their regular routines and “fun extras” unlocked by completing the team session, Rising Team said.
Engaging & Connecting
As examples of LeaderKit themes, Dulski pointed to kits such as: Amplifying Natural Talents, Difficult Conversations, Unconscious Bias + Allyship, and Feedback Give +Take. “Research tells us what great management looks like. Our themes map directly to this research and give managers a playbook to develop in each of the key leadership skills,” she said. And, via the workshops, she added, “teams get to learn more about themselves and each other, so they build more trust and improve how they work together.”
For now, Rising Team determines the choice of topics delivered monthly, “based on a flow that makes sense to build deeper insights, connection, and skills over time,” Dulski said. However, it is open to customizing the order and content for companies that buy enterprise-wide programs, she added.
Although Rising Team is working with HR departments for use of LeaderKit for various teams or across a company, the subscription isn’t just for top-down implementations, Dulski said. In addition, “we are empowering managers to invest in their own leadership growth and in connecting their teams beyond what's offered by their HR departments,” she said, noting that Rising Team has priced
LeaderKit in such a way — $75 per month or $720 a year for a manager and a team of up to 10 people — that it enables managers to expense it within their budgets. “We often say it’s less than the cost of a team lunch,” she added.
For Rising Team today, the focus is on developing monthly kits across key leadership topics and making sure they work well for remote, hybrid, and in-person teams. Ultimately, Dulski said, she does expect to enhance LeaderKit for use with larger teams and “rollups at the company level to understand how teams can work more effectively together and feel more connected across the organization.”