Leadership Development - Karen Masco

A key learning is not to try and do too much too quickly, as it can overwhelm the learners.

Karen Masco

In this edition of our new Leadership Development Interview Series, we sat down with Karen Masco, Leadership Development Manager at Everise. She shared with us some success stories & key insights from training over 1,000 people.

Karen, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your current role?

I’m the leadership development manager for the US and Ireland for a global business process outsourcing company. We facilitate globally, including places like the Philippines, Guatemala, Colombia, Ireland, all over the US, and Asia Pacific. We celebrate diversity and focus on understanding culturally how we operate across our global platform. We’re very big in the healthcare arena, working with clients like Humana and UnitedHealthcare, and also in travel with American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and others like Google. We support businesses by hiring and training individuals to support other businesses, especially when they need to staff up quickly.

What does leadership mean to you, and which skills do people need to succeed as a leader?

Certainly, communication and the ability to effectively give feedback are crucial. Coaching is a top skill; everything a leader does is centred around giving constructive feedback. Emotional intelligence is also important, as is empathy, which is crucial for building lasting relationships and nurturing potential in others.

What does leadership development look like at your company? Which tools and programs do you have in place, and how do you currently select new leadership talent to develop?

We have three main programs and a fourth being launched soon. The first is the Freshmen Supervisor Accelerator, followed by the Sophomore phase for more advanced learning. The Junior Manager Accelerator is for senior supervisors and assistant managers. These programs include computer-based modules and intensive in-class workshops. We focus on real-world simulations and practical application. Leadership candidates are nominated by their leaders, ensuring they have the right mindset for growth and development.

What was your biggest success story with implementing or improving a leadership development initiative? We’re also interested in hearing stories about what didn’t work!

Our biggest success was the launch of our Junior and Director series programs due to the fantastic results of our initial training programs. We’ve trained over 1,000 individuals since its inception. A key learning is not to try to do too much too quickly, as it can overwhelm the learners.

What are some current challenges with leadership development overall in your company? What are hard parts about developing leaders?

One of the challenges has been to focus on coaching and giving effective feedback. We emphasize the importance of constructing feedback positively and engagingly. We also focus on ensuring the training content is relevant and real-world applicable, engaging key leaders and subject matter experts in the content development process.

Have you considered using AI tools in developing the future generation of leaders?

Yes, we use AI tools in our computer-based training modules. These modules are more interactive and engaging compared to traditional methods. AI is a huge component of our program, aligning with our core values of putting people first, celebrating diversity, and incubating innovation.

What applications of AI seem most promising to you from a leadership development standpoint? Where does AI fall flat?

AI will be increasingly used in our facilitated modules, especially for more senior roles where traditional training methods are less feasible. We plan to use AI to deliver more tailored and micro-learning modules. AI is promising in delivering interactive and contextually relevant content, though the human element of training, like sharing experiences and hands-on practice, remains crucial.

To learn from more experts on how to grow leaders at your company, check out our full list of interviews here.

If you’re looking to grow future leaders at your own company, get in touch to see how Bunch can enable you to give every person in your company a personalized, continuous development program in just 2 minutes a day.