University of Wisconsin–Madison

Launch Into Leadership for New Supervisors

“The course offered good perspective on cultivating awareness of how my decisions and behavior impact other team members.”

Jason Gates, Estimating Manager, Paul Davis of South Central WI


Your first step in leadership development

Taking on new supervisory responsibilities is a great opportunity and challenge. Many in supervisory roles have learned either by trial and error or by following what was done by their predecessor. In most cases, this is not a very effective strategy. This virtual online series will start you in the right direction with fundamental leadership skills and ideas for how to continue your growth as a supervisor and leader.

Who should attend?

  • Newly promoted or hired supervisors
  • Small business owners starting to supervise employees
  • Candidates for upcoming supervisory positions

Benefits of attending this program:

  • Reduced stress associated with supervision
  • Increased confidence in your leadership ability
  • Improved team performance
  • Focus on the most important things as a supervisor/leader
  • Plan for continued training and development to build skills and knowledge over time

Key topics addressed:

  • New role = new mindset
  • Basic supervisory responsibilities
  • Dealing with co-workers in your new role
  • Improving communication in your team
  • Effective delegation
  • Recognizing and motivating team members
  • Planning your future leadership development

Course Objectives:

  • Distinguish specific leadership behaviors
  • Practice specific behaviors correlated with exemplary leadership performance
  • Integrate specific leadership habits into their daily activities
  • Evaluate their progress in developing as a leader
  • Understand strategies to help others develop their leadership behaviors
  • Design a personal action plan for developing their own leadership behaviors

Registration & Cost

Location: ONLINE

Date: September 29, 30 & October 1, 2021  9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Fee: $269

Click to Register or call 608-262-3909 to register. BONUS: Place 2 or Fall paid leadership courses in your cart, and use discount code SBDC10 for 10% off. Classes must be purchased in the same transaction.

Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration; you must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register. 

Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-3909.

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations.

The Small Business Development Center at UW Madison is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.


Sarah Smyrk


Assistant Director of PX Adoption

Sarah’s career is driven by her desire to understand and relate to people.  Throughout her career she has worked in many roles to help business leaders drive product and program strategies that are rooted in strong relationships, made by data-driven decisions, and centered around the holistic customer experience.  She is passionate about working closely with individuals to help them achieve top levels of success and take their business to the next level while providing an outstanding client experience. Using her leadership skills and experience as a Registered Corporate Coach™ (RCC),  she has excelled at helping teams build and implement programs that help strengthen and reinforce goals and top priorities.

In her current role with Northwestern Mutual, Sarah is responsible for leading the adoption strategy for their planning experience.  Sarah joined Northwestern Mutual in 2016 and had held leadership roles in Enterprise Compliance and Change Management where she earned her Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF®)designation through the American College and Certification as a Change Management Professional (CCMP®) through PROSCI.  She is currently undergoing additional change management designations through LaMarsh Global.

Previously, Sarah was with CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, WI, from 2007-2016, where she was responsible for leading the vision, strategy, and execution of training initiatives for CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) and its financial advisors.  In addition, she was responsible for training for CUNA Mutual Group’s Life, Annuity and Health Product Sales Teams.

Sarah also focuses on programs that help females in the financial services industry succeed.  While at CUNA Mutual Group, she developed and led CBSI’s Women of Distinction program; a group of the company’s top female financial advisors.  The group focused on mentoring advisors who were either new to organization or to the industry.

Sarah lives in Sun Prairie, WI with her husband Sam.  She is actively involved in both the United Way of Milwaukee County and Dane County and is currently serving as the 2020 United Way Campaign Chair for all of Northwestern Mutual.  She actively volunteers with several other non-profit organizations as part of Northwestern Mutual’s Foundation.  In 2013, she was recognized by Madison’s InBusiness magazine as “40 Under 40.”  Sarah is a competitive bodybuilder, enjoys working out, and always being active.