LEAD360’s Dr. EW Walton Enrolls The Mastery Of C-Suite Officers To Increase The Success Of Black Corporate Leaders
While working as vice president of marketing and sales for a pharmaceutical service company, Eric Wynstin Walton, Ph.D., MBA, realized that leaders of color became fewer as he rose in leadership rank. Consequently, the required opportunities for peer-to-peer mentoring and coaching to help leaders of color navigate at high levels were greatly reduced. That is when Dr. Walton formed the concept of galvanizing the learnings from other successful and experienced leaders to educate, coach, and mentor Black leaders was born. That concept materialized into the formation of the WYN Academy (WYN360.com), an executive education platform that provides emerging middle managers and senior leaders with the knowledge to master the art of enterprise leadership.
Dr. Walton’s mission is to help people of color WYN in commercial leadership roles. Initially gaining clients in the pharmaceutical space, the organization quickly gained headway with leaders from the financial, retail, manufacturing, and technical industries. Throughout his years of training hundreds of successful leaders, Dr. Walton holds firm in his belief that the signature of an effective leader is their organization's ability to cultivate an inclusive and equitable culture. A culture that enables agility and innovation in solving great challenges amidst uncertain, complex, and ambiguous conditions. However, that cannot be achieved without the proper support structure to recruit and retain diverse talent. This is a key factor in his success in developing the LEAD360 brand and product line to produce award-winning curricula resulting in global alliances, partnerships, and repeat business with some of the most prestigious Fortune 500 brands.
Although there are now several verticals to LEAD360’s educational offerings, it began with the WYN Academy. Understanding that high performance is a given as leaders excel in general management roles, a determinant to the success and expansion of WYN Academy’s offerings is the understanding of the Black executive experience. The cultural nuances related to societal pressures, social connections, navigating bias, and cultivating comfort with bringing full authenticity into the workplace environment are key differentiators of the WYN Academy. These factors can often be difficult for Black leaders working in cultural constructs that struggle to embrace equity and inclusion. Although the company’s initial focus was on Black professionals, LEAD360’s clients quickly assessed that the WYN Academy offering would be of value to other leaders of diverse racial and ethnic groups.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization curated educational and leadership content that engaged 200 leaders annually who convened in a conference format. During these meetings, the best minds of Black leadership, corporate strategy and diversity, equity and inclusion, collaborated to create strategies for both individuals and organizations focused on furthering equitable opportunities and fostering inclusionary environments where women and people of color are better equipped to excel. Additionally, members of LEAD360's thought leadership network collaborated with institutions like Cornell University and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business to participate in executive corporate "Think Tank" sessions. These learnings provided some of the foundational components that were incorporated into the WYN Academy curriculum.
During the pandemic, Dr. Walton and his team realized a gap in online and virtual executive learning offerings and birthed the creation of WYN360.com. This new masterclass learning platform captures the lessons and stories of the nation’s most successful Black leaders, providing relevant and actionable lessons for middle and senior leaders. The platform's popularity and usefulness have sparked interest from companies, universities, and individual leaders, expanding usage to professionals across job functions at varying career levels.
Currently, the platform features leaders like Rodney Gillespie, Vice President, Oncology Sales & Marketing, Solid Tumor at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Audra Bohannon, Senior Client Partner for Korn Ferry, Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer at Proctor & Gamble, Jerilan Greene, Global Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer of Yum! Brands, Inc. and Chairman and CEO of the Yum! Foundation., Erania Brackett, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Dentsply Sirona, and other cutting-edge commercial influencers.
If you are interested in learning more, be sure to stay connected by subscribing to the mailing list or registering to view the WYN Academy Masterclass content at WYN360.com. Also, be sure to look out for the upcoming release of new classes, interviews, short stories, and the LEADERCAST video blog being released this fall. If you are a corporation looking to learn more about LEAD360’s executive training curriculum, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Dorinda Walker