Shockingly Different LeadershipEPIC Leadership Accelerator

E.P.I.C. Leadership AcceleratorA cross-industry development experience for high potential leadership talent

Are you accountable for developing & retaining your high-potential talent and next generation leaders?


If so, enroll them in the

next offering of the E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator!


The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator is a unique 5-month leadership development experience which brings together cross-industry high potential leaders who are dedicated to growing their leadership potential and making a significant impact in the organizations, businesses and communities in which they live and serve.

Karan Rhodes

Karan Ferrell-Rhodes               Director of Strategic Content


Helping your high potential leaders to find the best path to improve their leadership capability and individual readiness to directly impact your organization’s competitiveness is more challenging than ever!  The program is designed to help your high potential leaders use their innate expertise to fuel higher leadership growth for themselves, while also delighting you, their employer!


Allow us to be your high potential development “partner of choice”, who is uniquely equipped to help you prepare to deploy your most proven “ready-now” leaders throughout your organization.


The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator offers the tools, strategies, and insights your high potential leaders need to help them stand out from their peers and differentiate their leadership impact & professional brand.


We stretch them out of their comfort zone to help them learn by putting the lessons of leadership theory into actual practice in the real world.  We develop them to not only be the leader their organization needs today, but also the leader the organization will need in the next 18-24 months.

BECOME INFORMED: Review Detailed Course Overview

Click here to register for a 30-minute briefing webinar on an overview of the 2017-2018 EPIC Leadership Accelerator.  Multiple dates offered.

EPIC Leadership Accelerator

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Quick facts about EPIC leadership accelerator


Instruction:  5 month blended learning experience.  Download brochure for details.

Critical Dates:

-Enrollment open period: Now – May 31, 2017  
-5 month program period:  August 15, 2017 – February 15, 2018 
-First in-person session for participants:  September 18-21, 2017
-Second in-person session for participants: January 22-25, 2018

Registration: Now Open Until May 31, 2017! 

Tuition fees:

There are limited seats in each leadership cohort, so register your high potential talent today!  We will achieve max enrollment quickly and would hate not partnering with your star talent on this extremely unique opportunity!

Location of in-person sessions: Hotel Indigo Atlanta – Vinings, 2857 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339

Others experiences are also live, but online or virtual.

Click On The Tabs Below To Learn More:

Program Details

What is a Leadership Accelerator?

accelerateWhat is a Leadership Accelerator?


Heard of start-up accelerators for entrepreneurs? Think of the E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator as an accelerator for high potential, intrapreneural-minded leaders within organizations. These are your rising leadership stars who are next in line to lead various parts of your organization.

Accelerators are hailed for bringing together the most promising leaders of separate companies and providing a resource-rich environment to help them grow, both as individuals and as a community of cohorts. Participants in our leadership accelerator commonly become more innovative, agile and resilient in order to keep your organization competitive in the ever-changing business world.

The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator is a cohort-based program, that includes assessments, workshops, mentorship, coaching, developmental components, and real-world leadership labs (which provide a safe space for participants to hone their newly acquired skills without their current job performance being at risk). The 5-month experience culminates with a Capstone event, where participants articulate to executives in their home organization the highlights of their leadership growth during their time in the Accelerator.

The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator is open to anyone who meets the established criteria, but is designed for the most promising high potential talent within organizations. Due to the intensive experience, participants are expected to iterate and develop more rapidly than they would on their own. The peer support and expert feedback that the accelerator provides is an important, differentiating advantage from other leadership programs.

We tell all our participants, “You’re going to love being a part of E.P.I.C., but it’s not going to be easy – welcome to your steepest learning curve ever!”

4 reasons to attend EPIC

E.P.I.C. - The Acronym

EPIC-150x150E.P.I.C. – Learn More About The Acronym

The high potential segment of your employee population has the highest probability of generating the type of leadership impact that will deliver “epic” results within your organization.


By them already having demonstrated to you their strong expertise, ambition, and performance, you know they have the passion to play an even more significant role in helping you exceed your business metrics.


They just need a customizable, easily repeatable blueprint that outlines step-by-step how to unsurface the initiatives which will provide the most added value and how to best gain the critical followership required to turn revolutionary ideas into reality.


The E.P.I.C. Method is a strategic action learning framework which combines innovation, problem solving, social intelligence and execution in way which accelerates the growth of real-world leadership skills.  It is a sought-after model for organizations who desire to raise the bar on high performance and goal achievement in a manner which both excites the individual and also delights the organization. As such, we integrate this framework into all of our leadership experiences.


The elements of E.P.I.C. are:

Step 1 – Establish Relevance: Pinpoint the intersection of your and your key stakeholders’ most urgent priorities

Step 2 – Position Possibilities: Convey and present compelling, win-win options from which to choose

Step 3 – Implement Disruption: Execute selected option with a “wow” factor that goes viral

Step 4 – Confirm “The Next”:  Gain agreement on what is next on the horizon for all stakeholders

Throughout the E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator, your participants will be coached through each of the 4 steps in order to maximize their individual development of the 7 competencies of differentiated leadership (Intellectual Horsepower, Stakeholder Savvy, Intrapreneurship, Courageous Agility, Executive Presence, Strategic Decision Making, and Drive for Results).

Types of HiPo Cohorts

global cohort network Types of Cohorts


We have designed a leadership development program specifically for high potential leader talent who desire to accelerate their business acumen, leadership capability, strategic thinking skills, and ability to lead the execution of complex initiatives.  By offering this unique, world-class experience, our vision is to help rising stars make highly-valued contributions which will build stronger business, charitable, economic, and civic communities in which we all live.

HiPo InfographicWho is a High Potential Employee (HiPo)? 

ACA Criteria:

  • Aspiration:  To rise to senior roles
  • Ability:  To be effective in roles of broader scope and responsibility
  • Commitment:  To commit to the organization’s ever-evolving needs

– Corporate Leadership Council (2005)

Other Attributes:

  • Has the respect of managers, peers, and subordinates
  • Has a high level of technical/functional competence
  • Ensures that goals are achieved within ethical guidelines
  • Is open to feedback and criticism
  • Has a bias for action & is a catalyst for change
  • Self manages effectively in a way that fosters followership and high performance
  • Develop 3 times faster when collaborating with other HiPos
  • Averages 1400% ROI to organization when placed in a high impact, group-based leadership development program (Global Consulting Partners – 2010)

Download our Quick Reference Guide on considering high potential candidate criteria.

Currently limited to 30 participants in the E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator (15 participants in each of the 2 career stages), we expect these professionals to be on succession slates to be the future executive leaders in your organization.

The experience offers in-depth training on the most currently in-demand leadership competencies, with an intense focus on participants actually putting the competencies into action via real-world leadership labs.

During the leadership labs, each participant will be grouped in a cohort of 4-5 peers at a similar stage of their career, to work together to accomplish the work of the leadership lab.

The 2 type of cohorts and the common profile of successful participants in each are as follows:

Rising and Senior Leader CohortsEach leadership lab works with an established non-profit organization, with whom E.P.I.C. has partnered, to provide leadership on an urgent business problem they are experiencing. Participants are excited and energized to practice their new-found skills on rewarding social good projects!

Need help determining the right cohort for your participant?  Contact us to further discuss.

Program Overview

agendaProgram Overview

The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator is a 5-month comprehensive, interactive developmental experience comprised of multiple learning components.

After sponsoring organizations register their high potential leaders for the upcoming class, there will be pre-activities to begin helping cohorts get acquainted and begin building trust with one another.  This is also the period when they will take their assessments and be oriented about the expectations of their participation in the E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator.


EPIC31The first major component of the Accelerator is the E.P.I.C. Leadership Symposium, which is a week-long in-person experience where participants focus on the topic of differentiated leadership.  They will attend workshops, based on their assigned cohort, and will begin work on their real-world leadership labs (supporting selected non-profit organizations).


EPIC21During the next 2 1/2 months, the cohorts will work together (in a virtual environment) in their E.P.I.C. Leadership Labs, with an action learning coach to help guide their progress.  They will also participate in virtual, live leadership events and work on career development planning with a leadership/career coach.


EPIC51During Month 4, participants will come back to their 2nd and final week-long in-person experience, called E.P.I.C. Live!  During this week, they will receive training on executive presentations and will use their new skills to present the results of their leadership labs to an executive panel of mentors and representatives of the non-profits.  The week will culminate with a Leadership Awards and Graduation Celebration Luncheon, to which the public will be invited.


During Month 5, each participant will be required to make a Capstone Presentation of their reflections, learnings, and development to key stakeholders at their own organizations. Shockingly Different Leadership will also provide a high level summary of our reflections of the participant’s progress and any noted areas of opportunity for improvement.  Once the Capstone Presentation is completed, the participant will officially join the E.P.I.C. Alumni Network, where they will be able to continue to network with the E.P.I.C. family and will be invited to future E.P.I.C. events.

EPIC_The Experience_Image

Logistics & Accommodations

global travelLogistics & Accommodations


The first in-person session will be held in the meeting space at the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings.  (The Atlanta location of the 2nd in-person session in March will be communicated to all participants during the beginning of the program.)


Hotel Indigo Atlanta – Vinings  Hotel-Indigo-Logo-300x210

2857 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339;  770-432-5555

Participants are responsible for booking and paying for any required travel & entertainment.

Accommodations are available at the Hotel Indigo Atlanta – Vinings Hotel. The link to the Shockingly Different Leadership room block will be sent to all registrants.

Parking: Parking at the hotel is FREE.

Check-in/Check-out Times:  Hotel Indigo Vinings

  • Check In: 3:00 PM
  • Check Out: 12:00 PM

Internet Access:  Complimentary

Directions from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport:

  • From the airport, bear left onto Camp Creek Pkwy.
  • Travel 3.3 miles and take ramp for I-285 N / GA-407 N.
  • Travel 15 miles and exit at Exit 18 (Paces Ferry/Vinings)
  • At exit 18, take ramp right at Paces Ferry Rd East
  • Turn right at the stop light and travel 1/2 mile.
  • You will see the hotel on your left, across from a QT gas station.

Additional Information

Transportation Options:  If you are local to Atlanta or will be renting a car, we are happy to provide complimentary parking at the hotel.  Taxis, Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies (TNCs) widely operate in metro-Atlanta and are available to get around during the EPIC Leadership Accelerator in-person sessions.

Suggested Attire:  We suggest that you wear business casual attire. Be sure to bring a jacket or sweater as session rooms can be on the cool side.

Justification Data

name badge Justification For Attending


It is no secret that for organizations to develop a comprehensive HiPo program on their own, the hard and soft costs combined could easily average $10K-$25k per participant.

One advantage of a cross-industry offering, such as the E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator is that all sponsoring companies share in contributing just a fraction of the development and implementation costs!  E.P.I.C. is by far not the most expensive high potential leadership development offering, nor is it the least expensive.  However, our offering is extremely competitive when compared with other world-renowned programs, many of which contain just a fraction of the development days that we offer.  See a snapshot of cost comparisons below:

EPIC_Cost Comparisons

Also, here is a snapshot of our participant feedback from previous offerings:

EPIC Participant Feedback








Here are some additional facts to consider:

Why attend EPIC



As an additional resource, please use this draft “Letter to Direct Supervisor” and Program Overview to assist with justifying your participation in the program.






Sponsors & Partners


epic-sponsorship-coverPartnership/Sponsorship Opportunities: Every potential partner has different goals, and we are proud to provide flexible packages that best fits your budget, including in-kind opportunities.

Download the PDF version of our current Sponsorship Packet.

To discuss pre-packaged or custom packages, please contact Shockingly Different Leadership at service@shockinglydifferent.com.


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Event Organizer


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Call for Speakers for EPIC Live!

speakerCall for Speakers for EPIC Live!

Thank you for your interest in next year’s EPIC Live! Leadership Conference. We are currently curating speakers for our upcoming conference regarding best practices and megatrends of successful high potential leaders.

An EPIC Live! speaker is typically a thought leader, an innovative thinker and/or an industry influencer who ties their topic to leadership ultra-achievement (raising the bar of leadership performance in order to deliver more impact than ever thought possible).

To provide you an overview of the EPIC Live! speaking experience, we have provided a Speaker Services Quick Reference Guide.

To submit your proposal, please click HERE.  Most information will submitted via the online form.  Any desired supplementary attachments may be sent to service@shockinglydifferent.com.

Missed or not ready for the 2017 Call for Speakers opportunity? Sign up for EPIC Live! 2018 Call for Speakers notifications.

Contact the EPIC Live! team regarding any additional questions via service@shockinglydifferent.com.

Contact Us

chatContact Us


For information about the The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator and/or sponsorship information, please feel free to contact Shockingly Different Leadership via your method of choice below:


Event Information:

Shockingly Different Leadership
Phone: 770-384-1103
Email:  service@shockinglydifferent.com

Sponsorship Information:  Sponsorships are available for The E.P.I.C. Leadership Accelerator.  Contact Karan Rhodes:  770-384-1103   service@shockinglydifferent.com

Speaker Submissions for E.P.I.C. Live!: To submit your proposal, please click HERE.  We have also provided a Speaker Services Quick Reference Guide.

About Shockingly Different Leadership:

Shockingly Different Leadership is a leadership development consultancy that provides development programs, best practice resources, and a cross-industry community for ambitious, career-savvy, high performing professionals who strive to be ultra-achievers in the workforce.  In organizations, this population is frequently labeled as “high potential”, “top talent”, “key talent”, and/or “promotion-ready” – those in the quest to demonstrate their acumen, potential and readiness for roles of larger scope and responsibility.

We’re a rare breed of consultancy. We’re a nimble, focused, and feisty group of leadership transformation innovators who raise the bar of performance and motivate teams to deliver more innovation and impact than ever thought possible.

From our roots in Atlanta, our consultants travel the globe helping companies meet their boldest of business objectives – by aligning their ambitious business strategies with the development of their internal, unstoppable group of differentiated leaders.

Differentiated leadership isn’t something you can wait for, wish for, or delegate. You have to have the guts to make it happen. Your leaders’ next best contribution hasn’t likely been conceived yet, but we want to see you challenge convention and see it come to life.

We want to support you in that journey and see the magic of creating “ultra-achievers” happen.

 >>That is why we come to work every day.

Until Enrollment Deadline

Ready to Enroll_2

Option 1: Pay Online Now or Receive Invoice

Pay via credit/debit card online today!  Or, submit your registration contact info and click “Invoice Me” to receive an online invoice.

Option 2: Pay By Mail

Download PDF registration form and send via mail.

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