Agency Leadership Intensive with Karl Sakas
Your agency’s team has changed. Have you?
A 100% virtual program this fall: $2,500 USD plus tax
Applications have closed for 2022. Get notified when applications for 2023 open.
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.)
Hi, I’m Karl Sakas
I’ve advised over 400 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 to help you start 2023 strong. 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.
Application Deadlines for 2022 Agency Leadership Intensive
Applications for 2022 are now closed.
What You’ll Learn
Jumpstart your agency’s growth, by transforming yourself as a leader—through an exclusive curriculum and a supportive community of fellow agency leaders.
The live, virtual program runs from September 14 to October 19, 2022, on Wednesdays at 12:00pm-2:00pm EST (NYC time). Then, there are two 90-minute followup accountability sessions—the first in mid-November and the second in mid-December. These are to help fine-tune your 60-day plan and to reflect and debrief on progress made.
Week 0: Prepare for Success
Week 1: Know Yourself as a Leader (September 14th)
Week 2: Understand Your Agency (September 21st)
Week 3: Know Your Team (September 28th)
Week 4: Get More from Your Team (October 5th)
Week 5: Choose Your Leadership Growth Strategy (October 12th)
Week 6: Draft Your 60-Day Plan (October 19th)
Week 10: Get Accountability on Your 60-Day Plan (November 16th)
Week 14: Debrief on Your 60-Day Plan Progress (December 14th)
This course is for:
Agency Owners (Partner, Principal, Founder, CEO)
Agency Executives (C-level, Managing Director, GM, VP, Director)
At the end of this intensive, you might find yourself saying…
I feel more confident in my leadership and in my team.
After making one key change, my team is happier with our weekly meetings.
I have the tools to communicate with my team in a way that resonates with them!
I've connected with other agency leaders who helped me feel not so alone.
I feel more confident about taking a break for lunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who the Agency Leadership Intensive Is For
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 in early September 2022. The first live session is Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at 12-2pm EDT via Zoom. After a break, there’s one session on Wednesday, November 16. And then the final session is Wednesday, December 14, 2022. (Note: Applications for 2022 are now closed. Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open for 2023!)
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 on September 14, 2022. 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 mid-September to mid-December 2022 (with weekly 2-hour meetings for six weeks in September and October, and then two 90-minute followup accountability sessions in November and December). Applications open July 13, 2022.
When is it? What are the exact dates and times?
There are eight live sessions between September 14 and December 14, 2022. If accepted, you’ll get a calendar invite with the Zoom links. (Note: Applications for 2022 are now closed. Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open for 2023!)
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, September 14, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 2: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 3: Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 4: Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 5: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 6: Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EDT
- Week 10: Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 12:00-1:30pm EST
- Week 14: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 12:00-1:30pm EST
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: Applications for 2022 are now closed. Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open for 2023!)
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.
In September and October, 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.
In November and December, your time commitment will depend on what you chose to do in your 60-day plan. In terms of the Intensive itself, the live portion is limited to 1.5 hours apiece on November 16 and December 14 (from 12:00-1:30pm EDT on each Wednesday).
Some participants may spend more time. And you’ll likely want to participate in the Agency Lounge private community, to receive (and share) answers and support with your cohort of fellow agency leaders.
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 for the 2022 Agency Leadership Intensive are 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, but the 2022 dates don’t work for you? Sign up here, and we’ll notify you when applications open for 2023!
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 opens July 13th. We know you’re busy! In our testing, people were ranging from 3 minutes to 7 minutes.
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. That is:
- Early-Bird: Apply by July 27th, get decision by August 10th.
- Regular: Apply by August 22nd, get decision by August 31st.
- Last-Chance: Apply by September 2nd, get decision by September 7th.
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.
This is a new program for 2022, so we’re not sure what will happen. But our “Work Less, Earn More” bootcamp sold-out in its first year, and again in the second year.
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.
- Early-Bird Applications: Applications open Wednesday, July 13th. Early-bird deadline is Wednesday, July 27th. If accepted via Early-Bird, you’ll pay $1,500 USD plus tax. This is a $1,000 early-bird discount.
- Regular Applications: Applications open Thursday, July 28th. Regular deadline is Monday, August 22nd. If accepted via the Regular phase, you’ll pay $2,000 USD plus tax. This is a $500 discount.
- Last-Chance Applications: Applications open Tuesday, August 23rd. Last-chance deadline is Friday, September 2nd. But we may sell-out prior to the Last-Chance deadline. If accepted via the Last-Chance phase, you’ll pay $2,500 USD plus tax.
Is there a group discount or "team" ticket option?
Each person will need to apply separately, and (if accepted) buy their own ticket. Since this is primarily intended as an individual program, there isn’t a “team” discount.
How do I get the discounted price?
You’ll automatically get the lowest available price. That is, you’ll get the lowest price based on the date of your application (Early Bird, Regular, or Last-Chance). That is, you don’t need a coupon code to get the discount.
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 (Early-Bird, Regular, or Last–Chance). Depending on your billing address, Teachable may charge sales tax.
Is there a payment plan?
No. If accepted, you’ll make a single payment to lock-in your spot. There’s not an “installment plan” option… but the sooner you apply, the lower the price!
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 in January 2023, 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. The community access will run for at least 3 months, and you’ll have the option to extend it at a significantly discounted rate.
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. You’ll also get access to the Agency Lounge private community, to connect with others in your cohort.
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.