Cultivating leaders

November 13, 2013

Participants of the Women's Executive Shadow Program 2013Getting up close and personal by job shadowing is one of the best ways to explore different career paths. That’s why several women were inspired to launch a Women’s Executive Shadow Program at Adobe. The program is geared towards providing leadership and career development opportunities for women employees. It’s an intensive, one-day shadowing experience where employees get a chance to partner with a key leader in the company to experience a day in the life of the executive. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what it’s like to manage and lead teams, consult with clients, and strategize on business goals. The program also aligns with our ‘check-in’ approach where feedback flows freely throughout the organization and employees encouraged to drive their career growth and development.

Adobe’s Women’s Executive Shadow Program is a grassroots initiative that was inspired by a similar volunteer-run program at Cisco. After a successful pilot earlier this year, 22 Adobe women employees and 22 executives were recently invited to officially kick-off the program. Today, a core team of five Adobe executives and employees drive this program in North America. The team plans to expand it across global offices as the response has been extremely positive. Here’s what participants had to say…

  • The program exceeded my expectations. I’ve observed leadership and communication skills of my executive and learned how he interacts with his team and peers, how he understands the dynamics of various teams and stays extremely driven and focused with his goals and objectives. Lavanya K., Quality Engineer (Shadower)
  • “I designed a schedule to provide a diverse view of what I do on a regular basis including one-on-one, staff, and customer meetings. I not only enjoyed the day with my ‘shadower’ but also appreciated hearing a fresh perspective on my leadership. This program provides an opportunity for promising women leaders to learn new things by
    shadowing a mix of executives in different functions across the company.”
    Danny W., Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media (Executive)
  • “I have gained insights that I can immediately apply personally and share with my team. I learned a key trait from my executive that differentiates a leader from a manager – the ability to take initiatives and calculated risks. Solu N., Information Management Strategy Analyst (Shadower)
  • “The program introduces participants to people outside of their circle, allows employees to build and foster relationships, and energizes them to continuously network for professional development.” Mark A., Corporate Development Director (Executive)
  • What I learned was the importance of being ‘present’ at all times with no distractions from computers or phones. I realize this seems basic but it is so easy to multitask during conversations. I learned the power of active listening today.”  Joyce S., Senior Brand Strategist (Shadower)
  • “For those who are moving into leadership positions for the first time, my advice would be to ensure your team knows the big picture and vision, and how they fit in to that. Don’t be afraid to repeat the big vision and keep focusing on your goals!” Brad A., Senior Director Chief Security Officer, Technology and Corporate Development (Executive)

Continuous learning is a way of life at Adobe. Check out some of the other professional development avenues available to our employees:

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1 Comment

I’d love to hear more about the program and participate in the shadowing program next time it is offered. Sounds like a great program, very cool.