Influence Academy

Communication and collaboration skills for teams and leaders in Atlanta who want greater influence, support, and recognition. The Influence Academy course can help your organization succeed, improve team advocacy, and advance your career.

A Message From Your Coach

Shawn Clark
Leadership Communication & Collaboration Coach

I know firsthand the challenges that leaders of specialized teams face. It’s tough when your expertise isn’t always understood by others in your organization. Add tight budgets, understaffed teams, and internal resistance to the mix, and it can feel like an uphill battle. But here’s the thing: overcoming these obstacles isn’t impossible. After working closely with over 4,000 leaders like yourself, I’ve seen the gaps in traditional training programs. So, I rolled up my sleeves and dedicated years to researching and testing strategies. The result? A powerful toolkit designed to equip you with the skills you need to thrive in your role.

I get it, time is precious. That’s why I’m here to streamline the process for you and your team. Together, we can make a real impact on your organization, empower your colleagues, advance your career, and ensure you find fulfillment in what you do – all while staying true to your values.

Let’s tackle these challenges head-on! 

Portrait of Shawn Clark – Atlanta Challenge, LLC founder

Why this program is needed

Underfunded & Understaffed

This causes risks, staff burnout, and high turnover. You need specific techniques to rally more support for your team so you get the resources and buy-in you need to succeed.

Resisted & Excluded

This strains your team as they spend precious time putting out fires and conducting dog-and-pony shows. You must get your colleagues to include you earlier and be open to your ideas.

Undervalued & Overlooked

Eventually, good staff will leave and leaders might remain stuck where they are. You can build a personal and team reputation that will steadily open up new opportunities for you.

What this program delivers

More Support

Rally more support for your ideas—from top brass and colleagues to vendors and partners. Boost your influence so you get the re- sources and buy-in you need.

More Compliance

Ensure that people understand and implement your policies. Get a seat at the table sooner and more frequently. Be the one people look to when new ideas are needed.

More Opportunity

Build a personal and team brand that showcases all of your talents and opens doors to opportunities for you beyond the boundaries of your current department.

Why this program works

Specialized Content

The course content is both practical and targeted, offering actionable ideas that will establish a solid foundation for building your success in the real world.

Individualized Feedback

Feedback from your coach, peers, and stakeholders provides valuable support as you refine your strate- gies, drawing lessons from both successes and challenges.

On-Going Support

Your coach and fellow participants will ensure you stay on track by holding you accountable to your goals and plans while providing a supportive environment.

How the Program works

The power of this program is found in its effective content, measured delivery, consistent support, and flexible timelines. Feel free to contact us to discuss the best arrangement for your needs.


10 Topic Sessions + 10 Feedback Sessions

10 Live Topic Sessions (2-3 hours)
Each module provides content and tools that will expand your communication and collaboration skills.
During each content session, you will:

  • Learn Practical Content
  • Understand the Tools Available
  • Apply Content & Tools to Your Situation
  • Develop Action Plans

10 Live Feedback Sessions (45-90 minutes)
Halfway between each module there is a virtual feedback session to review progress and refine ideas.
During each feedback session you will:

Timing Options

Steady Pace

1 Module Per Month:
One topic session (week 1) and one feedback session (week 3) each month.
Good for very busy teams that need to make changes in between other projects.

Fast Track

2 Modules Per Month:
Two topic sessions (weeks 1 & 3) and two feedback sessions (weeks 2 & 4) per month.
Good for teams that need faster progress and have the bandwidth to work fast.


Two-Day Intensive:
Modules 1-6 over two days, then 4 content and 4 feedback sessions over 4 months.
Good for teams that need to make changes right away.

The 10 Steps of Influence Mastery

This pivotal 10-step process is for high-intellect leaders who want to increase support from upper management & colleagues, get the recognition and opportunities they deserve, and lower their stress levels at work and home. See the following pages for more details about each module.


How To Stay On Track: Making Consistent Progress


1. How To Influence Beyond the Org Chart: A Strategic Approach to Success

2. Why People Do What They Do: Understanding How YOUR Stakeholders Think

3. Why People Don’t Do What They Should: Understand Resistance & Ambivalence


4. Who To Influence: Identify & Evaluate Your Key Stakeholders.

5. How To Build Your Connections: Effective & Consistent Outreach.

6. How To Talk About What You Do: Communicate With Impact.

7. How To Show Up Credibly: Being Seen As A Strategic Partner


8. How To Refine Your Process: Evaluate Results and Improve Your Approach

9. How To Up Your Game: Expand Your Reach

How To Secure Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Continuous Development

The 10 Modules


  1. How To Influence Beyond the Org Chart: A Strategic Approach to Success
    To have a greater impact in your organization, you need to have be clear on what you want to achieve and
    have a strategy for getting there. In this module, you will explore the principles of being influential across the
    organization – and the methodology of persuading those who are not required to listen to you.
    1. Learn a framework for organizational influence.
    2. Explore what makes for an influential leader.
    3. Develop a game plan for your influence strategy.

  2. Why People Do What They Do: Understanding How YOUR Stakeholders Think
    To influence people, we need to understand what already influences them. In this module, you will deepen
    your understanding of people’s thinking preferences and biases – and explore how you interact with them.
    These insights will be foundational to having a more informed approach to influence in the future.
    1. Identify the preferences and biases of your key stakeholders so you can plan an effective approach.
    2. Understand your own preferences and biases and how they impact your approach to influence.
    3. Learn how to think and speak “whole-brain” to make your message more compelling.

  3. Why People Don’t Do What They Should: Understanding Resistance & Ambivalence
    One of the biggest challenges for a leader is overcoming the resistance people naturally have towards change. In this module, you will recognize the patterns that cause people to resist ideas and learn respectful techniques for overcoming stuck thinking in your stakeholders (and your team).
    1. Identify the patterns that keep your stakeholders from responding to your message.
    2. Learn how to reframe conversations to get past stuck thinking.
    3. Understand how your own patterns interfere with your approach to influence.


4. Who To Influence: Identify & Understand Your Key Stakeholders
Next-level leadership involves collaborating with numerous people – all with competing demands. In this
module, you will categorize your stakeholders, create a matrix for allocating your time appropriately, and
produce a detailed map of their needs, styles, and issues so you can work with them more effectively.
1. Identify your key stakeholders and prioritize them based on importance and urgency.
2. Explore the primary preferences, biases, and issues that direct your stakeholder’s decisions.
3. Develop an action plan for understanding the unseen drivers of your stakeholders.

5. How To Build Your Connections: Effective & Consistent Outreach
To have more impact, you must nurture your power base. In this module, you will develop a step-by-step plan for improving (or starting) key relationships. Your plan will specify who on your team will reach out, what re-
sources they need, and what concerns to anticipate. This dramatically increases receptivity and compliance
1. Learn a variety of effective networking options.
2. Determine the best approaches for engaging with each of your stakeholders.
3. Build a networking strategy that consistently builds your influence and reputation.

6. How To Talk About What You Do: Communicate With Impact
Influence is less about what we know and more about what the other person understands. In this module, you will learn how to present your message in a way your audience can appreciate. This listener-focused
method helps you capture the support of your audience – whether it’s one person or a large group.
1. Re-tool your vocabulary to align with your stakeholder’s processing style.
2. Know how to craft presentations that get your stakeholder’s on board .
3. Feel confident and comfortable talking to anyone.

7. How To Show Up Credibly: Be Seen As A Strategic Partner
Influence begins before the first word is spoken. In this module, you will learn how to create a compelling reputation for yourself and your team. This helps people be receptive to your message and see you as a valued and authoritative resource.
1. Know what it takes for others to have confidence in you and your ideas.
2. Explore how to look the part of a trusted strategic partner rather than just tech support.
3. Develop and deploy a “brand” that elevates you and your team in advance.


8. How To Refine Your Process: Evaluate Results and Improve Your Approach
Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” In this module, you will review the results of your outreach efforts, catalog your wins, and diagnose your challenges. This process of “failing forward” is essential to being a successful influencer.
1. Know exactly what’s working and what needs improvement.
2. Incorporate informed feedback from your coach and peers.
3. Craft an action plan for refining your approach with stakeholders.

9. How To Up Your Game: Expanding Your Reach
Now it’s time to raise your sites. In this module, you will identify “bigger fish” stakeholders you could reach out to, and create a plan to expand your presence in those arenas. This may be further up the food chain in your organization, or reaching out to your community and leaders in your industry.
1. Craft an identity beyond your job role.
2. Identify high-value relationships and create an outreach plan.
3. Upgrade your brand and presence.

10 How To Secure Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Continuous Development
Having influence is like fitness; it takes time to get there, but it can fade quickly without sustained attention. In this module, you will create a game plan for continuing to expand your influence across your organization,
build essential relationships, be included in higher-level meetings, and secure more recognition for your work.
1. Celebrate successes and plan for continued victories.
2. Consolidate content into a streamlined, easily referenced strategy.
3. Develop a plan and support team to ensure continued growth.

Who Delivers the Program

Shawn Clark is the President of Atlanta Challenge, LLC, an Atlanta based training and coaching enterprise where he develops and facilitates cutting-edge workshops and effective coaching for teams and leaders. Shawn has been involved in team training and executive coaching for 25 years, and established Atlanta Challenge 16 years ago. He is certified as an executive coach, leadership coach, teamwork coach, mental fitness coach, thinking styles practitioner, and brain-fit coach.

sands of companies such as Accenture, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Cox Media. He has also worked with many non-profit and government organizations including the US Army, CDC, American Cancer Society, and thousands of other groups. He also works with teachers and students at many Atlanta area schools.

His company’s charitable programs support the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Georgia National Guard Family Services Program, whom have received literally hundreds of bicycles, countless toys, and thousands of dollars worth of other donations.

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