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What is Sidebar

Sidebar is a private, highly vetted leadership program for growth-minded professionals wanting to accelerate their careers. Membership is by application only, ensuring a community of high-caliber, like-minded individuals from various industries. Once accepted, we curate your Sidebar group, a circle of exceptional peers who act as your personal Board of Directors. Led by a Sidebar facilitator, this group provides a dynamic, peer-to-peer coaching environment, serving as an invaluable resource to collaboratively navigate your most pressing professional challenges and accelerate your career growth.

How do I apply for the Sidebar program?

The first step is to complete our quick application form. We welcome high-achieving professionals with a proven track record of success from companies of all sizes and stages and any industry. To qualify for the program, you should meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Possess 10+ years of experience in your field and manage a team of 10 or more people, with at least 2 years in a leadership role.
  • Be a founder who has successfully launched a company with meaningful traction.
  • Receive a nomination from a current Sidebar member. 

All applicants undergo an interview to ensure they possess a strong growth mindset.

What happens after I apply?

If your application is accepted, you will be invited to schedule a membership interview. This interview serves as a two-way discovery process. We aim to understand more about you, your career, your professional goals, and what you’re hoping to accomplish at Sidebar. Simultaneously, it's your chance to delve deeper into what the Sidebar program offers, ensuring it aligns with your professional goals and journey.

Why was I placed on the waitlist?

If you’ve been placed on the waitlist, it’s likely for one of two reasons:

  • You don’t yet meet our admission criteria.
  • We don’t have the perfect group for you at this time.

As soon as we have the right group for you, we’ll contact you.

I live outside of the United States. Can I apply to join the Sidebar program?

Absolutely. The Sidebar community is a diverse and international group of members from all over the world. As you long as are proficient in English for reading, writing, and conversation, you are welcome to apply to the program. In the future, we hope to expand our support for more languages to reach a wider global audience.

What’s included in my membership?

Your Sidebar membership includes:

  • Your personal Board of Directors: an inspiring group of peers uniquely suited to help you catapult your career curated by Sidebar's proprietary matching technology 
  • Bi-monthly, expertly facilitated meetings: twice-monthly, 90-minute sessions led by an expert facilitator who is trained in group dynamics to drive efficient, action-oriented discussions
  • Goal-setting and tracking: proprietary technology specifically designed to identify and achieve your ambitious goals
  • Sidebar community events: weekly live events focused on key leadership topics where members learn and grow together
  • Sidebar community access: Sidebar’s highly vetted community of professionals, all ready to support you in achieving your most audacious goals
Will my employer sponsor my Sidebar membership?

Many Sidebar members have successfully secured sponsorship from their employers for their Sidebar memberships. It's a valuable investment that yields immediate returns for members and the organization they work for. To streamline your request for sponsorship, we’ve crafted a sponsorship deck to effectively communicate the benefits of the Sidebar program. Should you need something else, shoot us an email, and we’ll be happy to help.

I run a business. Is Sidebar a tax-deductible business expense?

For business owners in the U.S., there's a good chance you can. The IRS typically permits deductions for expenses that are necessary to "maintain or improve skills required in your trade or business." Since Sidebar is designed to enhance your capabilities as a business leader, it often fits this criterion.

However, every business situation is distinct, and tax regulations can be complex. It's important to consult with your tax preparer or advisor to confirm whether your Sidebar membership qualifies as a tax-deductible business expense in your specific case.

Is Sidebar available on mobile devices, and can I join meetings on my phone?

Yes, we have an iOS app to make it easy to keep in touch with your group. However, it’s critical to join your meetings from a distraction-free, stationary setup, preferably desktop or laptop. Only if absolutely necessary should you join from your phone. 

How Sidebar Works

What does Sidebar’s curriculum look like?

Sidebar's curriculum is an invitation to experience intentional, facilitated growth, requiring nothing more than your commitment to show up and engage. The environment, the content, and the collective energy of your Sidebar group do the rest, guiding you to achieve your most audacious goals. The program is the product of extensive research and has been honed over thousands of hours of meetings with a diverse global group of leaders and innovators. It blends scientific principles of effective group dynamics with proven coaching practices to foster individual brilliance and collective growth. Here's what to expect:

Structure: Each meeting is carefully structured with a unique goal, agenda, and outcomes.

Progression: Each meeting is carefully sequenced so that insights and actions from each meeting drive progress for the next 

Expert facilitation: Every session is led by a highly trained facilitator to guarantee efficient use of time, equitable participation, and a safe space for confidential dialog.

Practical value: Each meeting is engineered to yield practical strategies you can immediately put to work in your personal and professional life, propelling you closer to your goals.

Perhaps most importantly, the Sidebar program is a dynamic, living system, and we are always iterating to make it progressively better.

How does Sidebar match groups?

Each Sidebar group is expertly curated to support your professional journey—it’s a blend of science and human touch that results in a dynamic, supportive environment tailor-made for accelerating your learning and growth. Sometimes, the rationale behind a match might not be immediately clear. Trust the process; often, the person you least expect is the one you learn the most from.

Our matching process includes:

  • In-depth understanding: We start with an interview and a detailed matching survey. This allows us to understand where you are today and where you aspire to be. Everything we learn about you, from your membership interview onwards, informs our matching process.
  • Algorithm + human insight: We use our highly sophisticated algorithm as a foundation, pairing members based on career stage, job function, industry, and areas of expertise. 
  • Qualitative The algorithm provides the foundation. Then we add a crucial human layer, taking key qualitative factors like goals, preferences, personality traits, and personal connections.
  • Complementary goals: We strive to ensure the professional aspirations within each group are aligned and complementary, fostering a dynamic where everyone grows together.
  • Diversity and balance: Demographic diversity is crucial. We aim for a balance that ensures enough common ground for mutual understanding, while also embracing diverse perspectives.

Timing and logistics: We recognize the importance of timing. Your time zone and schedule preferences are key factors to ensure your group can meet successfully and consistently.

What happens in a Sidebar group meeting?

Sidebar meetings are carefully designed and expertly facilitated to catalyze your professional transformation and growth. Here's what to expect:

  • 90-minute, interactive sessions: Twice a month, you meet with your small group. Every minute is optimized for maximum impact.
  • Sharing challenges and solutions: Each meeting is an opportunity to share your biggest work-related challenges, strategic advice, and practical solutions with peers who can move you forward.
  • Continuous learning: Every meeting is an active learning lab. You’re not just passively absorbing information; you're applying insights, practicing new strategies, and evaluating your growth trajectory. It's peer-to-peer coaching at its finest, ensuring everyone is heard and helped.
  • Accountability and action: Sidebar groups are about turning insights into action. You will establish clear next steps, share progress on your goals, and receive support from your group to ensure you're meeting them. This approach guarantees that every session contributes to tangible progress in your professional journey.
What happens in between group meetings?

Between meetings, you have endless opportunities to learn, grow and connect with the broader community. It's the perfect place for quick advice or inspiration. Use this time to:

Stay connected to your group

  • Message your group for swift insights on workplace issues.
  • Share updates on the goals you’re working toward and help hold your group members accountable to theirs.
  • Stay in touch, share inspirations, or seek a quick motivational boost.
  • Meet 1:1 with group members to delve deeper into challenges or expand on group discussions.

Connect with the broader community

  • Reach out to any member of the Sidebar community any time.

Learn and grow

  • Participate in weekly live events where you’ll have a chance to delve into specific  leadership topics as well as meet and collaborate with Sidebar members outside your own group.
What kinds of topics/challenges can I bring to my group?

Sidebar is here to accelerate your professional growth. We recognize that professional and personal lives overlap, especially for ambitious professionals. In meetings, you're encouraged to bring up and explore a broad spectrum of topics and challenges, including things like team dynamics, decision-making processes, work-life balance, and coping with uncertainty.

It’s also completely appropriate to raise topics that aren’t directly related to work. The unique experiences and perspectives within your group enrich every conversation, whether it's about personal growth and development, strategies for innovation, or change management.

Remember, the key to unlocking the full potential of these sessions—as well as your growth and impact in work and in life—is to be open, authentic, and willing to explore the issues that matter most to you. As you go through the program, your group is there to provide you with comprehensive support and insightful perspectives. Carpe diem. 

What kinds of outcomes can I expect from the Sidebar program?

Sidebar’s mission is to connect leaders and catalyze their extraordinary success. 93% of members say that Sidebar has made a significant difference in their career trajectory.

Leaders that join Sidebar immediately begin to learn and grow. When you participate fully in the program, you can expect the following outcomes:

Clarity: You will immediately begin to craft clear, attainable, audacious goals. You will then identify the incremental steps and skills you need to hone to meet those goals.

Speed: As Sidebar, we believe that what you appreciate, appreciates. By dedicating your time to the Sidebar program and engaging with your group, you will make meaningful change in your career, quickly.

Performance: Sidebar will help you develop and refine your leadership skills, learn new and better ways to achieve results in your career and create strategies to optimize your performance at work. In short, every time you engage with Sidebar, you will become better at your job.

Action: Sidebar members take action. You will quickly become clear on where you need to take action and your group will hold you accountable to actually taking that action. Most Sidebar members report making significant progress in their careers within the first few months of joining.

Can I change groups?

Curating the perfect group for you—the people you will learn the most from—is one of our superpowers. It's important to remember that building relationships within your group takes time. Often, those who seem quite different from you offer the most insightful perspectives. Diverse viewpoints can be incredibly valuable, providing new angles and ideas you might not have considered otherwise. Embracing diversity within your group can lead to richer discussions, deeper understanding, and more meaningful learning experiences. So, we encourage you to stay open and curious about each group member; you may be surprised by how much you can learn from each other. That said, if you feel like you’re not in the right group, reach out to your group facilitator. 

We do periodically calibrate groups, and if your group isn’t delivering what you need (or your needs change), we may reconfigure your Sidebar group or move you to a new one.

I’ve changed my role/industry/focus, and my group no longer serves my needs. What do I do now?

If you have undergone a major shift in your role, industry, or focus, and you believe that your current group no longer meets your needs, please inform your group facilitator. Change is an inevitable part of professional life, and Sidebar is designed to adapt to your evolving needs. We'll make sure your Sidebar experience remains valuable and relevant.

What happens if I miss (or need to miss) a meeting?

Attendance is critical. We understand that unforeseen circumstances may occur, but it’s essential that members prioritize group meetings, even if it is inconvenient. This is an important commitment you make as part of the Sidebar program. If you realize that you won't be able to attend a meeting, please inform your group as soon as possible and give as much notice as you can. Your proactive communication helps maintain the integrity and effectiveness of your group sessions.

What if my group's scheduled meeting time doesn't work (or no longer works) for me?

Sidebar prioritizes curating a group that brings you the most value. Once your group comes together, you’ll work together to find a meeting schedule that works for all members so everyone can fully participate and benefit from each session.

What role do Sidebar facilitators play?

Sidebar facilitators act as catalysts, encouraging peer-to-peer coaching within the group. Facilitators leverage their expertise in group dynamics to drive efficient, action-oriented discussions and ensure that every member gets value from every minute they spend in the Sidebar program. Each Sidebar facilitator is skilled at creating a safe environment for confidential discussions. They encourage members to collaborate and find solutions together. They are experts in creating an atmosphere that promotes candid dialogue. The facilitators guide discussions, ensuring each member's input is recognized and valued. In this way, they foster collective intelligence, which lies at the heart of the Sidebar experience.

Who are Sidebar’s facilitators?

Sidebar facilitators have rich backgrounds in executive coaching, mentoring, learning and development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and organizational psychology. 

Each facilitator brings their unique expertise to the table, ensuring every Sidebar group benefits from their rich insights and perspectives. They are skilled at guiding discussions, offering constructive feedback, and helping members navigate challenges. Above all, they are committed to creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive space where every participant feels heard and valued—this is where meaningful conversations and personal growth can flourish.

For more detailed information about their backgrounds, experiences, and unique approaches, read their individual bios.

Is Sidebar hiring facilitators?

We’re always looking for extraordinary and talented facilitators to lead Sidebar’s small group meetings and work with members to empower them to reach their most audacious goals. 

If you have 5 years of group facilitation experience and you are passionate about leadership development, please email your cover letter and resume to hello@teamsidebar.com. 

Community & Networking

How do I connect with other members?

We have an incredible community of world-class leaders and connecting with other members outside of your core group is a rewarding part of your Sidebar experience. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Take advantage of the Sidebar platform: Use our platform to directly reach out to any of our members, share resources, and continue conversations outside of your scheduled group meetings.
  • Request 1:1 time: If you find a particular connection intriguing, ask for a 1:1 meeting. This can deepen your understanding of each other's perspectives.
  • Attend Sidebar events: These events are great opportunities to meet and learn from members of different groups and expand your network within the Sidebar community.
I'm looking for a new role. Can I look for leads within the Sidebar community?

The Sidebar community is a supportive network for various professional opportunities. While soliciting directly within your specific group is prohibited, you can make general announcements or inquiries in the community thread.

I'm hiring. Can I source new talent within the Sidebar community?

The Sidebar community can be a valuable resource for finding talent. Direct solicitation in your group is not permitted, but you can certainly share your job opening or talent requirements with the larger community.

Can I promote my business or seek clients within the Sidebar community?

Sidebar offers a great platform to share your new ventures. While we maintain a no-solicitation rule within individual groups, you can share updates or requests related to your business or client search with the overall community. This is where you can connect with a wider network while respecting the integrity of your personal group's dynamics.

Account & Billing

Is Sidebar available for Android devices?

Currently, Sidebar is not supported on Android devices. While it’s on the roadmap, we haven’t yet set a launch date. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

I’m having problems logging into Sidebar. What do I do?

Make sure to log in with the email address you used to set up your account. For the majority of Sidebar members, all you need to do is click “Continue with Google” to sign using your Gmail SSO. 

If this doesn’t work, please contact us at hello@teamsidebar.com.

How do I change the email address associated with my account?

Please contact us at hello@teamsidebar.com if you need to change your email address.

How do I update my billing information?

To update your billing information, simply follow this link [https://www.teamsidebar.com/account/billing], or visit “Account Settings” and select “Billing.”

How do I cancel my Sidebar membership?

We’re sorry to see you go! Sidebar is an annual commitment, and additional details regarding cancellation can be found in our terms of service [https://www.sidebar.com/terms-of-service].

If you would like to proceed with cancellation, or have additional questions about the process, please send a note to hello@teamsidebar.com

I have another question, who do I ask?

Other questions? Please don't hesitate to reach out. Send us an email with your inquiry, and we'll get back to you within 48 business hours. Looking forward to hearing from you!