Furman pairs with noted stress expert to launch fearless leadership program

March 28, 2024

Rebecca Heiss is fearless, and she’s willing to show everyone else how to be fearless, too.

Heiss, known nationally for deploying science-backed methods of working through stress and anxiety to make people more effective leaders, has teamed with Furman University’s Center for Innovative Leadership (CIL) for a twist on her signature program, Furman Fear(less).

Furman Fearless is a hybrid in-person and remote program over 52 weeks, starting April 19, said Heiss, who has a doctoral degree in biology and studied the human stress response. The program is for anyone wanting to improve their leadership skills while learning ways to be more focused, confident, efficient and motivated. Participants will meet every other month, alternating in person and online. The in-person meetings will be held at Furman 101 in downtown Greenville.

“In today’s increasingly hectic world, leadership is not just about making decisions; it’s about understanding the critical role mental and emotional well-being play in today’s modern workplaces and leading teams to success. This innovative leadership program will empower participants to shift their mindsets toward a fearless life so they can lead with authenticity, confidence and positivity, ultimately transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation,” said Garrett Stern, executive director of Furman’s CIL.

The guiding principle of Fearless is learning to conquer stress by learning to handle it instead of avoiding it. Studies show that facing fears and working through them lead people to be happier, more productive and more confident, with reduced stress and anxiety. Avoiding fears does the opposite.

The Furman Fearless program is divided into six chapters:

1. Know thyself will help participants understand what they do, why they do it and, ultimately, what they enjoy
2. Stress and anxiety tap into the bulk of Heiss’s research to teach how to manage in-the-moment stressors and longer ones like Covid-19
3. Navigating fear will help participants turn fears into motivators
4. Overcoming the imposter will break the chains of self-doubt
5. Boundary setting will help identify toxic people/relationships; learn the art of saying no
6. Manifesting positivity delves into the mechanics of manifesting outcomes.

The program costs $1,995 for the year. The last day to register is April 16. More information is available on the CIL website.