University of Wisconsin–Madison

Launch Into Leadership for New Supervisors

Interested in receiving a 10% discount when you take 3 or more leadership courses?

Click here to contact us for your special registration link.

Leadership courses that qualify for this offer include:  Launch into Leadership for New Supervisors, Positive Power Plays: Skills for Conflict and Negotiation, Communication & Delegation Skills, Fearless Performance Management, and Leading with Emotional Intelligence.

Sarah was a great teacher and leader. I’m excited to use the new leadership ideas with my team. I believe I can communicate with my team in ways that will be positive and productive.”

Sierra, Project Manager, Paul Davis Restoration


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 one day workshop will get you going in the right direction with some fundamental 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

Virtual Launch into Leadership Class Option

Location: Online over 5 sessions (web link will be sent to participants shortly before the class begins)

Class Structure: This live, virtual course will provide opportunities for participants to interact with each other and spread their learning across the week. Participants will be asked to complete brief reflections before class and to actively participate. If technically feasible, participants will also be asked to keep their cameras on during the sessions to facilitate a cohort experience.

Dates & Schedule: Participants will join all 5 dates. 

  • Monday, September 21, 2020 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Friday, September 25, 2020 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Fee: $269

Click to Register for the On Line Session 


This Program is pre-approved for SHRM recertification




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. If there is inclement weather, please call 608-263-2221 for a recorded message after 6:30 am for day classes or after 3:30 pm for night classes.

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.


Sarah Smyrk, Northwetern MutualSarah Smyrk, RCC

Field Supervision-Training and Communications Lead at Northwestern Mutual

Sarah Smyrk currently leads training and communications for the Field Supervision Team at Northwestern Mutual.  In this role, she is responsible for identifying training gaps and setting the training and communications strategy to support the needs of the Directors of Network Office Supervision as they implement and oversee field supervisory policies and procedures.  She leads the training team to develop and execute curriculum to help close the gaps.  Sarah joined Northwestern Mutual in April of this year (2016).

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. and its financial advisors.  In addition, she was responsible for training for CUNA Mutual Group’s Life, Annuity and Health Product Sales Teams.

As a Registered Corporate Coach™ (RCC), Sarah is passionate about working closely with advisors on an individual basis to help them achieve top levels of success and take their business to the next level, while providing an outstanding client experience.   She uses her leadership and coaching expertise to help teams build and implement mentoring programs that help strengthen and reinforce goals and top priorities.

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 and is actively involved in her community; volunteering with several non-profits and teaching a class for the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center.  In 2013, she was recognized by Madison’s InBusiness magazine as “40 Under 40.”  She enjoys working out and running with her dog, Wally