The mission of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA) is “To promote positive change, economic vitality and resource conservation, and to enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good.” The GLLA Emerging Leader Program (ELP) pursues this mission through a series of three, four-day sessions during a calendar year. The Emerging Leader Program is a journey down four intertwined paths: understanding self, navigating differences with others, working in groups, and exploring the Common Good.
Effective leaders understand themselves. They are aware of and honor their emotions and core values. They perceive their thoughts and behaviors. Through emotional resilience, they maintain a calm and present mind. The Emerging Leader Program teaches this self awareness:
- Why we have a choice about and responsibility for how we interact with the world.
- How to gauge ourselves to successfully address difficulties.
- Why vulnerability is strength.
- Where there is peace in accepting emotions and doubts and fears as part of our common humanity.
- Why it is important and how to hold ourselves lovingly accountable when we fall.
Effective leaders find strength and innovation in diversity. The Emerging Leader Program teaches how to work effectively across differences:
- To appreciate that each of us has an individual story, the unique experiences that contribute to our singular gifts, qualities and who we are.
- To understand how power and privilege affects us as individuals, our interactions with others, the structure of our institutions, and the fabric of our culture.
- To recognize and use our voice in addressing inappropriate statements and behaviors.
- To be open and curious when confronted with contrary views and perspectives.
Effective leaders are skilled in a group. The Emerging Leader Program teaches how to facilitate full participation, mutual understanding, inclusive solutions, and shared responsibility to find the group's wisdom:
- It provides a framework to observe and steer group dynamics.
- It dissects different decision-making methods and when they are employed appropriately.
- It describes how to effectively discern the collective personality formed by the often implicit norms of a group and culture of an organization.
- It encourages widespread influence through training on when and how to lead without explicit authority.
Effective leaders understand the nuances of the Common Good. The Emerging Leader Program offers the opportunity to consider the Common Good:
- Is it subject to ready definition or situational?
- Is it an end or an on-going search? Is its pursuit difficult or easy?
- Do we necessarily measure success on a large scale or allow ourselves to be a pebble that ripples the pond?
The Emerging Leader Program is delivered over a six-month period with three, four-day sessions. It provides both classroom-based and experiential learning. Participants spend time together practicing what they learn as a group; interacting and focusing on common as well as individual goals; and collaborating on projects that require networking over distance, sharing ideas, solving problems, and holding each other accountable. Each participant is matched with an Emerging Leader Program Alumnus as a mentor.
The Emerging Leader Program instills the awareness and confidence to be a better leader, co-worker, partner, friend, and human.