Values Added Leadership: How we foster strong and thoughtful managers 

By Andrea Thomas


In one of our recent leadership cohorts, I noticed a woman who was particularly attentive.  

She was a sponge, soaking up the concepts and engaging in conversations. After she completed the program, we stayed in touch and discussed her career aspirations. She has a real passion for coaching and encouraging others, which was evident throughout the program. 

So she created a new role at her company that fit a business need, and she believes her success in securing that role was in large part due to the opportunities for exposure the class provided.  

She now travels to teach and mentor others and acts as a liaison between the field and her corporate office—an incredible service to her company and her peers. I believe the time she spent in that cohort helped crystallize her desire to make this change. 

Her journey is a shining example of what can happen when a person fully engages in our leadership programming. They leave motivated and inspired, ready to thoughtfully lead themselves and others. 

Crane Group created this in-house programming as another way to be a good partner to our portfolio companies. In their ever-changing industries, we want to help them cultivate outstanding leaders who exemplify our core values. 

Here’s what we offer: 

  • Values Added Leadership is our signature program. It’s built for high-potential individuals who manage other people. We meet over eight weeks to help them understand their strengths, weaknesses, and leadership style, as well as cultivate self-awareness. The program culminates with each person working with classmates to develop and deliver a presentation to Crane Group leaders to address a business issue. (And we celebrate them, too!) 
  • We also offer several custom workshops and courses, depending on the needs of the business. For example, I travel annually to Pet Paradise’s leadership summit to facilitate workshops for their resort managers and veterinary staff. I work closely with leaders at Pet Paradise ahead of time to establish a relevant topic and meaningful exercises so everyone feels their time has been well spent.  
  • We also work with individuals who want to develop themselves and teams that are perhaps newly established or working through issues. Through careful coaching, we help them grow as teammates and leaders so they can realize their full potential. 


When it comes time for me to gather feedback from those who’ve engaged in our programming, there’s probably nothing more rewarding for me to hear than: I’ve applied concepts I’ve learned.  That tells me what we’re doing is worthwhile and will ideally have positive ripple effects throughout the business. 

I’m proud to say we hear that feedback often. And yet, just like our leaders, we’re always trying to improve. 

Andrea Thomas is Crane’s VP of Leadership & Development. Her passion for developing leaders brought her to Crane Group in 2016. Her careful coaching, workshop development and facilitation, and candidate assessment have quickly become a cornerstone of our culture.