In 1727, a young man in colonial Philadelphia formed a group of 12 artisans and tradesmen for the purpose of mutual improvement and philosophical debate. They were the entrepreneurs of the day: cobblers, lithographers, blacksmiths, etc.
On Tuesday, August 30, founders and leaders of growth-stage companies in Chicago are invited to our next Open House to learn about The Junto Institute and our Apprenticeship Program. Seasoned CEOs and entrepreneurs interested in mentoring with Junto are also welcome.
In the early 2000s, I was meeting regularly with a friend, David Gamperl, about the idea of starting an incubator. We never got past the early planning stages, and it went dormant for the rest of the decade. In late 2010, we resuscitated the idea based on several trends and developments in the startup ecosystem that emerged post-recession.
This is Part One of three in a series on the JuntoClasses. This post covers the philosophy behind our Classes, Part Two will address the content of our Management Classes, and Part Three will discuss the Leadership Classes.
Of the twelve Classes in the JuntoApprenticeship program, six are management topics and six are leadership topics. All of them are taught by seasoned CEOs and entrepreneurs who teach their topic not because they are self-proclaimed subject matter experts, but because they have developed a strong competency in the area by virtue of their experience.
Note-taking is an important staple at Junto, something that is done in virtually every session of our Apprenticeship program: classes, tutoring, and mentor meetings (the only exception is the forum). They’re laid out in an outline format that reads like a transcription of the conversation, then edited and distributed within 24 hours of the meeting’s close. The notes are kept confidential and not shared with anyone outside of the session’s attendees, which includes Apprentices, Mentors, Instructors, and/or Tutoring Partners.
One of the first classes in the initial cohort of The Junto Institute's Apprenticeship program changed the way I will forever think about managing performance and leading people.
One of the pillars of the Junto program is emotional intelligence. It is a focal point of the JuntoForum, the subject of four JuntoClasses, and a topic of conversation at happy hours, in one-on-one meetings, and among the companies' employees.
At Junto, we communicate with entrepreneurs daily: conducting program sessions, sending meeting reminders, publishing a weekly update and calendar, sharing interesting opportunities, and discussing goals and challenges as their companies grow.
One question we often get is how and why emotional intelligence (EI) training is part of the Junto program. Before getting to the answer, let's cover a couple definitions.
I started working on the idea that became The Junto Institute in 2011. Later that year, my friend Jeff Carter, a co-founder of Hyde Park Angels in Chicago, became involved in an advisory capacity. He brought an interesting and unique perspective, having deep experience as an angel investor.