| |

Solving the Challenges of Data Leaders Through a New Leadership Group

Meet Henry

Henry was a data scientist who got promoted as the “Head of AI and Data” in a 130-person company.

Henry is now suddenly a first-time manager leading a team of two direct reports (a data engineer and an analyst). Henry is now also responsible for creating the company’s AI and data strategy while reporting directly up to the CTO and other C-level executives. However, Henry never got training as a data leader and has no one at his company who can give him direct guidance in data leadership.

How can Henry be successful in his new role?

Now Meet Sue

Sue is a “Data Science Manager” of a team of 6 data scientists at a large 20,000 employee company.

After a series of reorgs and leadership turnover, she got a new boss, new team members, and new stakeholders. She doesn’t feel supported by her new boss. She feels like her stakeholders and the 50 other data science manager peers are competing with her. She senses her direct reports are disengaged and evasive.

How can Sue be successful in her new role?

For both Henry and Sue, they have responsibilities of data leadership, but without adequate support from their current companies. These ongoing challenges cause them chronic stress which affects their health and personal relationships too.

Data Leaders Face Unique Challenges

Leaders of data science, analytics, AI/ML, and data engineering teams often face unique challenges in their companies and in their careers. For example:

  • Defining and driving new technology strategies for data and AI
  • Developing and positioning a high-performing data team
  • Navigating organizational processes and stakeholder alignments

Data leaders might not be able to get the specific and trusted support from their companies that they need to be successful. As a result, they feel alone dealing with their pressures and unsupported in their careers.

Here’s what we often hear from data leaders:

  • Data leaders can’t get trusted support from within their companies for their unique challenges.
  • They want to learn from the experiences of other data leaders in the industry.
  • They want to make sure they are doing their best for their companies, their teams, and their careers.

These are the reasons why Hojeong Kim and I created the Data Leaders Community of Practice.

Introducing the Data Leaders Community of Practice

Hojeong Kim and I launched the first cohort of the Data Leaders Community of Practice six months ago as a solution to the above challenges. ​Hojeong​ had been a data science leader at LinkedIn, Twilio, Miro, and other companies. Hojeong and I share similar interests to help data leaders be more successful in their organizations and in their careers.

In the first 6-month cohort, we had a group of data leaders from various companies who were responsible for different aspect of data teams. Data science, data engineering, analytics, AI/ML. We created the group to meet monthly to confidentially share and discuss topics relevant to the challenges of data leaders.

These were the topics that we covered:

  • AI in the Workplace
  • Managing Stakeholders and Managing Up
  • Data Trends and Vendors
  • Employee Performance Management
  • Personal and Team Branding
  • Career Development
  • Other topics as agreed upon by the cohort

Participants followed the Chatham House rule for confidentiality. For additional confidentiality, we also designed the cohort so that no more than one person from the same company would be in the same cohort.

With the successful conclusion of the first cohort, we’re now ready to start taking applications for the next cohort which starts next month.

The Leadership Group For Data Leaders

The Data Leaders Community of Practice is designed to help you develop into a more confident and effective data leader in your company. When you join a relevant cohort of data leaders from different companies, you’ll gain valuable insights and actionable strategies in confidential discussion forums on topics relevant for your role as a data leader.


  • Who is this for?
    For leaders of data science, analytics, AI/ML, and data engineering teams.
  • Why is this needed?
    So data leaders can become more effective and confident in their roles as they lead the data strategies in their companies.
  • How will this benefit me?
    You’ll gain confidence and actionable strategies to enhance your role as a data leader. You’ll acquire valuable insights and network connections from others in the industry. You’ll learn how to handle challenges for data leaders directly from other data leaders in a confidential forum. Accelerate your career in your company and in the industry with the insights you gain from this group.


Sign Up For the Next Cohort

If you are a data leader and want to benefit from this leadership program, I invite you to check out the information and apply now for the next cohort.

For this leadership development program, your employer may be able to reimburse you. We provide guidance on how to request reimbursement.

We have a custom AI chatbot to answer your questions about the program, including guidance on how to request reimbursement. Check out ​DataLeaderBot​.

If you’re not ready for this next cohort in the SF Bay Area, please sign up to get updates on future cohorts in other cities or the Zoom-only cohort.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all about this leadership program for data leaders.

Similar Posts