Up-level your agency by up-leveling your leadership
with Karl Sakas
Strong leadership is crucial to running a successful agency. As an agency owner or executive, you’re already in a leadership role. But it’s lonely at the top; are you the best leader you can be for your team and your agency?
Leading an agency can be feel like opening a box of DIY furniture. You’re excited about the end result… but the instructions aren’t always clear. And sometimes parts are broken, or missing altogether. You can roughly put it together based on the photos, but you’re often unsure about the right next step. And it always takes longer than you expect… and sometimes there are parts left over.
In the Agency Leadership Intensive, you’ll join a close-knit cohort of agency owners and executives. You’ll get ongoing access to an expert who’s advised hundreds of agency leaders. You’ll get personalized insights into yourself and your team, plus critical accountability support to move you toward your long-term goals.
If you’re accepted to the program, I’ll help you cut through the frustration and loneliness—to help you and your team make smarter decisions for smoother growth. (Also: Hire someone to assemble the DIY furniture; your time is too valuable to waste.)
This course is for:
Agency Owners (Partner, Principal, Founder, CEO)
Agency Executives (C-level, Managing Director, GM, VP, Director)
Your team has changed; have you? Jumpstart your business goals by transforming yourself as a leader, through an exclusive curriculum and a supportive community of fellow agency leaders.
Up-level your agency by up-leveling your leadership. In this virtual intensive, you’ll get tips to find and live your balance as an agency leader, create a personalized 60-day plan to grow immediately, build your network of like-minded agency owners / leaders, and get group coaching support to help you start the year strong.
Hi, I’m Karl Sakas
I’ve advised over 600 agencies worldwide. Here’s how I can help you.
As a management consultant and executive coach, I’ve advised hundreds of agency owners worldwide. My clients call me their “agency therapist.”
As a fourth-generation business owner, I combine 20+ years of consulting with my experience as the #2 person at two digital marketing agencies. I’ve written several books about managing agencies, including Made to Lead: A Pocket Guide to Managing Marketing & Creative Teams, which I used as inspiration to create Agency Leadership Intensive.
Throughout my career I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, how to get work done, improve profitability, and determine which advice works. I’ve helped my clients improve their leadership skills so their agencies can grow more smoothly through one-on-one coaching and consulting.
Leading an agency can often feel like a complicated and expensive guessing game: your team expects you to have all the answers… and when you don’t, you’re stuck trying to figure it all out on your own. As SNL comedian Michael Che notes: “Everything looks easy till you start doing it.”
That is why I created the Agency Leadership Intensive—to help agency owners and executives learn from my successes on leading a team. In addition to myself, the Intensive will provide you with an exclusive network of like-minded agency leaders to help you navigate challenges you face today. You’ll develop and implement a 60-day plan to up-level your leadership to up-level your agency.
About the Leadership Development Program
Here’s what’s included with Agency Leadership Intensive
The Agency Leadership Intensive was built with agency owners and executives in mind. In this virtual intensive, you’ll get tips to find and live your balance as an agency leader, create a personalized 60-day plan to grow immediately, build your network of like-minded agency leaders, and get group coaching support . The cohort-based program is:
Exclusive: This isn’t a leadership program open to any generic business; it’s agencies-only. And it’s not for first-time managers. The by-application-only program is custom-designed exclusively for agency owners and executive-level leaders.
Transformational: Get personalized insights into yourself and your team, so you can prioritize where to up-level, based on the unique challenges at your agency.
Action-Oriented: It’s not just learning new ideas. You’ll practice what you learn, and you’ll create a custom 60-day “choose your own adventure” plan. And since it’s not enough to just create the plan, you’ll get support to make it happen.
Supportive: Your value continues beyond the program itself. You’ll get access to a private network of fellow agency leaders. This means you’ll get re-energizing support before, during, and after the live sessions. And you’ll get time-saving templates to create a “multiplier effect” for the future.
Applications for the Agency Leadership Intensive
2024 Applications will open on November 8th, 2023.
- Opens: Wed, November 8
Deadline: Wed, December 20
Price: $1,500 USD + tax (save $1,000)
- Opens: Thu, December 21
Deadline: Wed, January 31
Price: $1,800 USD + tax (save $700)
Opens: Thu, February 1
Deadline: Wed, February 28
Price: $2,500 USD + tax
Jumpstart your agency’s growth, by transforming yourself as a leader—through an exclusive curriculum and a supportive community of fellow agency leaders.
The next live, virtual program runs from March 6th to April 24th, 2024 on six Wednesdays at 12-2pm ET (NYC Time)
Week 0: Prepare for Success
Week 1: Know Yourself as a Leader (March 6th)
Week 2: Get More From Your Team (March 13th)
Week 3: Choose Your Leadership Growth Strategy (March 20th)
Week 4: Draft Your 60-Day Plan (March 27th)
Week 6: Feedback and Revise Your 60-Day Plan (April 10th)
Week 8: Take Action on Your 60-Day Plan (April 24th)
Frequently Asked Questions
What should we know?
Who's the program for?
This program is for agency leaders (owners and top executives) who want to grow their agency by up-leveling their leadership. Most agencies will have between 5 and 100 team members.
Why should I apply to the Agency Leadership Intensive?
If you feel stuck as an agency owner or executive, the Agency Leadership Intensive (ALI) can help you break through the plateau. You’ll learn new techniques, connect with a network of peers, and get accountability support amidst the busy-ness of your daily life.
What outcomes or results can we expect?
You’re responsible for your results—but we’ve designed the program to help you up-level as a leader, so you can up-level your agency. For some, this means growing the business. For others, it means preparing to create a succession plan. For others, it’s about reducing day-to-day drama.
Can two people from our agency go to the Intensive?
Yes, we’ll consider this on a case-by-case basis. It tends to be a match when the two people don’t report to each other (since it’s hard to talk about leadership challenges when your direct report is in the “room”). For instance, this can work when you’re both owners, or peers on the executive team. Each person will need to apply separately, and (if accepted) buy their own ticket.
Can a boss and their subordinate both go to the Intensive?
Maybe. In your individual applications, you’d need to make the case that it wouldn’t be weird. We don’t want a situation where one person is uncomfortable sharing in front of their #2, or an executive employee is uncomfortable sharing in front of their boss.
When does the Agency Leadership Intensive course start?
You’ll do 3-5 hours of pre-course work before the sessions start. The first live session is Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 at 12-2pm EST via Zoom. (Note: Applications are currently closed. Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open for 2024.)
Does the program apply to leading a remote agency?
Yes, definitely. It’s harder to run a remote agency, so growing as a leader will help you get better results. And if your team is in-person or hybrid, you’ll benefit, too.
Are there pre-requisites or other requirements?
You need to be an agency owner or top executive, at an agency with a headcount of 5+ people. Likely, all participants will have fewer than 100 people on their team.
Beyond that, we’ll give application preference to people who’ve previously completed an introductory leadership or management training (like Manager Tools, LifeLabs Leader Lab, GS10KSB, or leadership coursework in a graduate program).
To help jumpstart your progress, plan on doing 3-5 hours of “pre-homework” before the first live session. You’ll receive access to the assignments as soon as you’re accepted and paid.
About the Agency Leadership Intensive
What's the format for the Agency Leadership Intensive?
The live, virtual program runs from March to April 2024 (with weekly 2-hour meetings in March, and then two follow up session in April.
When is it? What are the exact dates and times?
There are six live sessions between March 6th and April 24th, 2024. If accepted, you’ll get a calendar invite with the Zoom links. (Note: Applications are currently closed. Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open for 2024.)
Want to add "holds" to your calendar now?
Here are dates and times of the Zoom sessions (all in the same time zone as New York City):
- Week 1: Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 12:00-2:00pm EST
- Week 2: Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 3: Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 4: Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 6: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 8: Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
Each week, you’ll do a couple hours of “homework” on your own time. The homework is typically things you’d be doing anyway, or that help you move your agency forward.
Note: We are NOT meeting Wednesday April 3rd or April 17th. You’ll use that to work on “homework” as you finalize your 60-Day Plan.
What's the time commitment of the program?
We’ve designed the program for busy agency leaders, recognizing that you’re juggling a lot already.
During the program, you’ll spend 3-5 hours a week. This includes the live sessions (2 hours a week) with your fellow participants, plus homework and otherwise “practicing” what you’re learning.
Your time commitment will depend on what you chose to do in your 60-day plan.
How does this compare to the "Work Less, Earn More" bootcamp?
The two programs are complementary to each other. They’re designed to help agency owners and executives make things easier:
- “Work Less, Earn More” Bootcamp: Helping you increase their income and reduce their hours.
- Agency Leadership Intensive: Helping you up-level your agency by up-leveling your leadership.
Most people will benefit from taking both, but they’re designed to work individually. And you can take them in either order—the Bootcamp and then the Intensive, or the Intensive and then the Bootcamp.
There are similarities in format (100% virtual, live sessions, accountability, creating a plan, accountability support, Agency Lounge private community). But only ~10% of the content overlaps between the two.
Applying to the Agency Leadership Intensive
How do I apply to the Agency Leadership Intensive?
Applications are currently closed.
The application itself is a 10-question survey. The sooner you apply, the lower the price (if accepted).
Interested in the Agency Leadership Intensive? Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open next!
Does it cost money to apply?
No, it’s free to apply. And if accepted, you can decide whether to join. Paying by the deadline (it’ll vary by application round) locks-in your spot.
How long does it take to apply?
Most people will complete the free application in under 15 minutes, once it open. We know you’re busy!
How soon will I get an application decision?
Our goal is to share a “yes/no” decision within 2 weeks (or less) of each application deadline.
If you’re accepted, you’ll get a payment link; the payment locks-in your spot.
What if spots sell-out before I apply?
The sooner you apply, the better your odds of getting accepted. Once the event is sold-out, we’ll update the page to reflect this, and switch to accepting “waitlist” applications.
Pricing for the Agency Leadership Intensive
What's the cost for the Agency Leadership Intensive?
There are three tiers of pricing, based on how soon you complete the application. Depending on your billing address, Teachable may charge sales tax on top of the base price.
- Pre-Sale Applications: Applications open Wednesday, November 8, 2023. Pre-Sale deadline is Wednesday, December 20, 2023. If accepted via the Pre-Sale phase, you’ll pay $1,500 USD plus tax. This is a $1,000 discount.
- Early-Bird Applications: Applications open Thursday, December 21, 2023. Early-Bird deadline is Wednesday, January 31, 2024. If accepted via the Early-Bird phase, you’ll pay $1,800 USD plus tax. This is a $700 discount.
- Regular Applications: Applications open Thursday, February 1, 2024. The Regular deadline is Wednesday, February 28, 2024, but we may sell-out prior to the deadline. If accepted via the Regular phase, you’ll pay $2,500 USD plus tax.
Is there a group discount or "team" ticket option?
Up to 3 people per agency are welcome to join. You can save $250 apiece on the 2nd and 3rd ticket(s).
Each person would need to apply separately, and if (accepted) buy their own ticket. The 2nd and 3rd person will get a coupon for $250 off their ticket (at the then-current price).
How do I pay?
Once applications open, you’ll click the “Apply to Join” button to apply to the program. We’ll review your application, and follow up within two weeks of the application round’s deadline.
If accepted, you’ll get a payment link via email, to sign up and pay via Teachable. The price is based on your application tier (Pre-Sale, Early-Bird, or Regular). Depending on your billing address, Teachable may charge sales tax.
What's the refund policy?
The program is non-refundable, but you’re welcome to send a business partner or top executive in your place. If you need to substitute a colleague, please email us ASAP to confirm they’re eligible.
Benefits of the Agency Leadership Intensive
Does this overlap the "Work Less, Earn More" bootcamp?
Only about 10% of the Agency Leadership Intensive content overlaps the “Work Less, Earn More” bootcamp. Neither is a prerequisite for the other; you can take them independently, or take them together in any order.
If you’ve done the bootcamp before, the ALI will help you grow further. And if you’re considering the bootcamp, the ALI will help jumpstart your progress. After all, it’s easier to “Work Less, Earn More” when you improve as a leader.
How long do I have access to the program?
You have access (within Teachable) to the course material for at least one year.
What technology are we using?
Live sessions are via Zoom Meetings. Recordings and assignments will “live” on Teachable, the learning management system. Once you enroll, you’ll get immediate access to the platform, including the Week 0 materials.
Is the course designed for accessibility?
Each video has closed captions (in English), plus a downloadable transcript. You can also watch videos slower (or faster) than 1X speed. Here’s more about Accessibility at Teachable.
What if I have a different question?
Glad to help! Email Karl and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.