Arizona State University’s Leadership Academy — a yearlong leadership experience hailed as authentic and perspective-changing by participants — will graduate its eighth cohort in May and pass a milestone of more than 240 faculty and staff participants.
With a focus on developing leadership skills, supporting individuals in advancing impactful projects, and creating a diverse community of leaders, the Leadership Academy training consists of three two-day workshops, supplemented by leadership seminars throughout the year.
“The Leadership Academy exemplifies ASU’s commitment to developing leadership capacity across the institution,” said Minu Ipe, managing director and vice chair of University Design Institute and member of the Leadership Academy steering committee. “The design and structure of this program has led to transformational outcomes at the individual, group and institutional levels. Alumni of the Leadership Academy from academic and nonacademic units are advancing ASU’s mission, strengthened by this investment in their development. The networks they have been able to build and the culture of leadership development is now part of the fabric of the institution.”
As part of the programming, LA participants complete a 360 assessment, select an individualized leadership activity to put learning into practice, and work with a peer coaching group to support leadership efforts.
Results from a 2019 survey, conducted by the University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness, showed that:
- 73% of participants feel the program has had a significant impact on their growth as a leader.
- 78% of deans/directors are likely to consider the program as an important part of the process when preparing a faculty or staff member for a new leadership role.
- Since entering the program, 49% of participants report they earned a leadership role in a new project or initiative.
Recent program graduate and Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment Mounir El Asmar calls it “one of the best experiences I’ve had at ASU.”
“Getting to know various leaders across the institution and building an internal network of partners/collaborators/friends is very powerful,” El Asmar said. “It contributes to the growth of each of the participants as well as the growth of ASU as an organization.”
Gigi Speaks, director of information technology in the University Technology Office, was part of El Asmar’s cohort and shared his positive view.
“This leadership program was different from any other leadership program I have been part of in my past. … The program focused on authenticity, integrity and a desire to influence and prepare leaders to lead with humility, a desire to learn, to partner, as well as encourage independent thought,” Speaks said, adding that the program “changed my perspective around what can be done both professionally and personally. The ability or mindset to not be afraid to have a vision and how to create a path to get there with my team and most importantly not be afraid to pivot if it doesn't work.”
In addition to the 240 participants in the Leadership Academy’s program for individuals, a team-development track ran from 2015–2019 and had more than 100 graduates.
The Leadership Academy is a part of the broader Leadership Network, including four other pan-university programs: Advanced Leadership Initiative, Launching Leaders Program, Mastering Leadership and Supervisor Development Program. Each program runs independently but is anchored by the nine dimensions of the leadership guide. Together, they aim to produce faculty and staff leaders at every level and discipline. To learn more about these programs, please visit the Leadership Network website.
The Leadership Network also provides resources for all ASU faculty and staff, regardless of participation in one of the formal programs. These resources, including webinar recordings, tool kits and upcoming events, can be found on the Leadership Portal. For more information on the Leadership Portal, please visit the Leadership Portal website or read this ASU News article about the opportunities it offers.