The PTC Emerging Leaders program came to Hege Sollie-Zetlmayer, SVP, Human Resources, in a dream. “I wanted to create a program that was tailor-made for PTC, for the culture we have and want to keep at our company,” said Hege. “The goal was to create a program that would help future PTC leaders address a key question: is being a leader the right choice for me?”

Together with Noam Farago, Senior Director, Global Talent Management, and Janis Lane, Senior Director, Human Resources, through brainstorming and mind mapping, the inaugural class was created. And on April 28 at PTC’s South Plainfield office, 15 Emerging Leaders (EL) program participants graduated with more than 40 PTC team members in attendance at the ceremony.

PTC Leadership Graduates 2022

When the EL planning team started on this journey, they knew the end result needed to be a program specifically made for future leaders of PTC: one that was built around PTC’s Expectations, each individuals’ Clifton Strengths, and how to lead in an entrepreneurial, co-creating, tight-knit culture like PTC’s. Importantly, the team wanted to learn from the rich experiences of PTC’s senior leaders, using the power of stories as valuable tools and techniques to create engaging, inspiring, and determined future PTC leaders. For Hege, it was also essential to create a community of future leaders within PTC that would one day lead to a healthy range of diversity at the top as these emerging leaders advance at the company.

With the program mission in place – enriching the PTC leadership pipeline – three core tiers of the program were created: Leading Myself, Leading Others, and Leading in a Disruptive World. From there, 15 “students” were chosen to participate in this first group. The students were divided into four study teams, with Executive Committee (EC) members in place as each team’s sponsor. Each individual student also had a certified Clifton Strength coach throughout the whole journey.

Every training day was opened by an EC member, who shared their story and their Clifton Strengths, creating an open and honest dialogue with students about their experiences in leadership. These sharing sessions were critical to the program, as each student learned the value of diversity in experience and that there is no one leadership profile.

For Emerging Leader Andressa Federhen, Director, Medical Affairs, Brazil, these story sharing moments were among the most memorable of the entire program. “The time we had with the leadership team in each session was very inspiring,” she said. “It was great to learn from their journeys, listen to the challenges they faced, and how they overcame those challenges and became great leaders.”

The best advice I received was that if we put in the effort, we can all be the type of leader we want to be. Choosing to be a leader is easy, but being a great leader is hard…it’s a long but rewarding journey.

Following the openings each session by PTC’s senior leaders, the participants engaged in learning sessions about a variety of topics like emotional intelligence, personal branding, and inclusive leadership to better understanding the drug development and commercialization processes.

The teams were also thoughtfully assembled to maximize diversity and provide everyone with a unique opportunity to work with people from other cultures and roles at PTC, and to network with senior leaders, including PTC’s CEO, Stu Peltz. “The time that the CEO, the EC, and other senior leaders put into this program speaks volumes,” said Hege.

“My experience in the program was greatly enriched by hearing colleagues, coming from different departments and different countries, share their experiences,” said Emerging Leader Paolo Signorotto, Business Director. “The journey through ‘leading yourself,’ ‘leading others,’ and ‘leading in disruptive world’ matched the needs of each leader’s growth. It was the best professional experience I’ve ever had.”

The four study teams proposed and worked on projects, which were approved and endorsed by the EC, that will be implemented by the Emerging Leaders in the future. These projects include: Organizing a PTC Day for all employees, developing a toolkit for Early Career Professionals, creating a First Friend program for the Fellow program graduates, and improving PTC’s reputation by enabling a team of brand ambassadors.

The best guidance I received was around the importance of creating an environment of confidence as a critical factor for growth and development, along with the importance of building trust, active listening, exploring the strengths of each person and being empathic.

At the in-person graduation, the excitement in the room was palpable. For Paolo, this was his most memorable moment of the program. “After meeting many times virtually during the course of the program, it was so great to have the chance to meet each other and the EC members in person and spend time together,” he said.

Andressa felt the same way and was thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with and learn from colleagues from different departments, with different roles and backgrounds – then meet at the graduation ceremony.

For the Emerging Leader program participants, the experience greatly shaped their roles and approach toward leadership in general.

Said Andressa, “After the Emerging Leaders Program, I understood that leadership is a skill ‘in progress’ and I strongly believe that the program was a turning point in my development as a leader. I am using learnings from the program, and I feel more empowered to lead people.”

Paolo agrees. “This experience made me aware of the potential I have,” he said. “Being a part of this amazing team gave me the chance to challenge myself more than ever. This experience has given me more confidence in what I can do as a leader.”

With the success of this first group, the EL planning team is already moving forward with the next class, continuing to enrich and grow the future leaders of PTC.

“The quality of the program has exceeded all my expectations,” says Hege. “I’m looking forward to seeing the full impact of the program in a few years as the participants take on broader roles and more responsibilities in the organization.”