consider this your bat signal.
Starling is a home for those who question the status quo at work and actively seek to improve it.
We offer a new kind of professional development to leaders squarely in the middle of their organizations (we’re looking at you, managers and directors—though we welcome anyone who’s interested). Our ongoing educational programming includes courses, resources, and community that give you the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you need to thrive. And, to us, that means not just kicking butt in your role, but also being happy and being the best damn leader your reports have ever had.
We believe that self-awareness, critical thinking, human interaction, and the right kind of business acumen create the foundation for a leader’s effectiveness. That’s why we cover not just the functional skills of your job, but the things that make us deeply human (which we think are going to be all the more valuable in the AI-driven future).
Our curriculum, company, and everything we do champions lifelong learning, egalitarian philosophies, and the power of the human collective. We believe that happiness drives success, not the other way around, and that success is whatever you choose to define it as.
More than anything, we believe that rooting professional development in these philosophies and principles provides a better and more sustainable path to achieving business goals, as well as a path to a better future.
Equitable, healthy, and sustainable workplaces, shaped by a new generation of forward-thinking leaders.
To build a multifaceted professional development solution that gives mid-level leaders what they need to thrive in their roles, nurture the people around them, and create a better workplace.
Why the bird?
While humble little things on their own, starlings band together in the thousands to create one of nature’s greatest displays of collective intelligence—the murmuration.
In a murmuration, there is no leader. Each bird interacts with and responds to the others around it. Together, they make awe-inspiring displays and use collective wisdom to navigate complex environments.
We draw inspiration from the murmuration in how we’ve designed our learning—believing we all have something to learn from each other, and that together we can change the world.
A Note From Us.
We're Rachel and Jeff.
If you’ve made it this far down the page, we’d like to invite you to stick around for a little more about us and what drove us to launch Starling.
We've worked with each other for the better part of a decade across a few different companies, and we finally feel ready to start something of our own (as ready as you can ever feel). Collectively, we've spent years navigating the ups and downs of the workplace, and listening to and learning from the many amazing people we’ve met along the way.
Each of us have held a range of roles at different levels from individual contributor to manager and from director to executive. Although we were fortunate to work for and with some incredible managers along the way, we’ve both frequently found ourselves (and those around us) lacking easy access to the knowledge and skills we needed to thrive—especially as mid-level leaders.
So, we took agency in our own growth (just like you, if you're here). To better serve our selves, our teams, and our companies, we invested our time, energy, and some not-so-small fortunes into honing our leadership skills. We read books and blogs, consumed podcasts and courses. We consulted with managers, sought feedback from mentors, participated in learning communities with friends, and looked inward at ourselves.
And you better believe we Googled it.
But we also experienced our fair share of long hours, chronic stress, and burnout. We’ve felt crushed by that impossible squeeze of being in the middle—wanting to deliver for our teams and deliver for our higher-ups, without then having enough time to deliver for ourselves. Realizing that so many of our peers were feeling the same way, and that this was, in many ways, the status quo, we believed there had to be a better path.
And so—at the intersection of what we love, what we think we’re good at, and what we think the world needs—Starling was born.
We envisioned a modern learning solution built for the digital economy. One steeped in community and covering the things that make us deeply human. A more active learning experience that empowers leaders to cultivate compassion, foster collaboration, and embrace vulnerability.
Ultimately—something we wish we’d had when we were getting started. And if we’re honest, something we still hope to learn from, ourselves.
The workplace is in dire need of a makeover. Burnout is rampant, toxic cultures persist, and old-fashioned top-down leadership is as outdated as a fax machine.
It's time to rewrite the narrative, and we believe that change starts in the middle. With a new generation of leaders looking to change the way we work. So, we're here to create a space for learning, resources, and community that supports people just like you (and us) in building a better future.
If any of this resonates, consider this your bat signal. Join us—we’re excited to learn alongside you!