Shaping Our Future Leaders… During Lunch 05.22.2018 | Morgan E. Wiedmann

Chris Brunone Luncheon Leader Series

Our latest training series empowers managers to best serve our clients and colleagues.

One morning last fall, Chris Brunone, Weichert’s EVP of Talent Development and Colleague Engagement, went out for his daily jog. But this one, it turns out, was like no other.

As he strolled through his New Jersey neighborhood, he was inspired to develop a new leadership training series based on his belief that managing others has never been harder than it is today—and that regardless of how good we are, we can always use a refresher.

“I thoroughly enjoy teaching, coaching and helping people who have really hard jobs,” said Chris. “If I can make it easier to help people become more effective, learn and grow as leaders, raise performance and be more fulfilled in their jobs, that’s what gets me going.”

After the annual Colleague Engagement Survey revealed an appetite for more focused ways to help leaders, Chris knew his new training idea had to become a reality.

Although past leader trainings have been very successful, hosting a two-day or even a day long training session became a challenge, with colleagues having less time to spare out of their busy schedules.

From this dilemma, the Luncheon Leader Series of 90-minute hands-on clinics was born.


Chris’ goal with this series is to present quicker sessions that are less overwhelming and make it easier and faster for people to glean practical leadership skills that they can apply to their daily work life.

Laura Levenson, Global Practice Leader, Consulting Services always takes something away from Weichert’s leadership trainings but she especially enjoyed attending this one.

“It was a nice break in the day, having it during lunch time, in the middle of the week and only for 90 minutes,” said Laura. “I was scheduled perfectly.”

The first session, “Helping People Lead,” was held in Weichert’s corporate office in Morris Plains, New Jersey with 42 attendees—a broad mix of managers, team leaders, directors, supervisors and VPs.

“All we can do is provide different venues, different learning assets and different opportunities for folks to learn and it’s up to them to be willing to do it,” said Chris.

To help set the stage for colleagues to be engaged and comfortable in an interactive session, Chris peppered the learning with fun icebreakers that encouraged leaders to get to know colleagues whom they don’t interact with on a regular basis.

For this reason, Chris still likes to hold in-class sessions, as the interaction, as he sees it, is key to learning. Also, colleagues really enjoy this aspect of the training.

Jean Wenz, Director of Financial Services, has worked for Weichert for 10 years and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other managers that she doesn’t interact with daily. One lesson she took from the training is that she needs to take care of herself first in order to help other people.

“If I can complete my tasks and deliverables in more of a timely manner, this will allow me quality time with my team and help me have a clearer understanding of new and better ways to manage my team,” said Jean. “This will benefit my team and hopefully produce a better product in a great environment.”

The first session focused on activities built around leading self and taking responsibility for yourself, because Chris believes that if you can’t manage your own energy and time, you’re not going to be good for anyone.

“I am always learning new things about myself through building self-awareness and that is something that I was able to take away from the first session,” says Laura.

Some of the topics covered included managing yourself, your boss, and your teams. Chris believes having short segments will help leaders absorb and apply these skills in their everyday work life.

Ruark Tang, Supervisor for Weichert’s Call Center, has worked for us for the past seven years. The first session was a wake-up call for Ruark, as he learned that he needs to manage himself first in order to effectively manage others.

“As this session focused on being able to effectively manage yourself, I’m going to try and reassess my own daily habits so that I’m more physically, emotionally and spiritually ready to lead others."
Ruark Tang Supervisor for Weichert’s Call Center

He also plans to take the knowledge from this series and pass it down to others.

“To be able to more effectively communicate with each other would make a better environment overall. I hope to become someone who is able to develop leaders in all the people I manage,” says Ruark.

Future trainings will look deeper into how leaders manage themselves and their bosses. As while the series will evolves, Chris has determined his five main areas of focus:

  • Helping People Lead Self
  • Helping People Lead Others
  • Helping People Lead Teams
  • Helping People Lead Through Change
  • Helping People Lead Through Clients

“If we can meet our team members, direct reports, peers and boss where we can understand them better and give them more of what they need to do their jobs effectively, they will be more apt to treat customers and clients better,” said Chris. “Our iCARE behaviors of collaboration, communication, being attentive, being responsive, being empowered and inspiring are going to be fed and activated through the leadership series,” says Chris.

Chris plans on hosting up to 12 Luncheon Leader Series sessions in-person and the rest virtually for leaders and managers across the globe.

“Leadership is about bringing people into the future and exciting people to exceptional performance and those are really the objectives here,” says Chris.

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Written by Morgan E. Wiedmann


Morgan Wiedmann is the Content Specialist in Weichert’s Marketing group. Leveraging over six years of experience in writing and marketing, she develops content for the company’s website and social media channels as well as for client and colleague communications. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Journalism from Suffolk University in Boston. Morgan serves as an active member of Worldwide ERC’s YP40 committee and has been named a Marketing Champion by Salesforce.

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