The mission of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy is to promote positive change, economic vitality and resource conservation, and enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good.

GLLA focuses on helping leaders from diverse constituencies develop their individual and collective leadership to transcend self-interest and create solutions for the common good.  Participants in GLLA invest in a transformational personal growth experience and gain an in-depth understanding of complex community problems.  They learn to listen and engage in productive dialogue around difficult topics; create a culture of civic engagement; and develop dynamic networks to impact and promote action that will provide leadership for a healthy and secure Michigan.  GLLA delivers a twenty-first century program focused on developing the next generation of leaders to address issues related to sustainable communities at the local, regional, tribal and state levels.  Participants will deepen their understanding of and increase their appreciation for the diverse perspectives associated with quality of life issues.  Dynamic networks will be created to provide inclusive dialogue and encourage positive action toward a Michigan with economic and environmental vitality.


Emerging Leader Program (ELP)

The Emerging Leader Program is delivered over a seven month period, with three, four-day sessions.  Focus is on developing individual and organizational leadership skills and applying those skills in a collaborative fashion. The program provides both classroom-based and experiential learning and is an outgrowth of the Natural Resource Leadership Project that has been conducted by the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources since 2002.

ELP is designed to provide an understanding of individual and organizational behavior and development and teach advanced communication and conflict management techniques. The program equips participants to assess and measure personal and professional growth and to achieve advanced emotional health in their leadership. Participants will have an opportunity to evaluate current leadership skills, greatly improve on them, and track development over time.

Emerging Leader Program participants will be given the opportunity to learn how to cultivate mentoring relationships.  A mentor can motivate and inspire leadership growth opportunities, and help to develop long-term, powerful relationships with professionals. Each participant will be matched with an Emerging Leader Program Alumni who will serve as their mentor. 

Participants spend 12 days together in an environment where they will practice what they learn as a group; interacting and focusing on common as well as individual goals. Participants will also be expected to apply skills learned in the classroom by collaborating on team projects which will require them to network over distance, share ideas, problem-solve, and hold each other accountable.


Leadership Advancement Program (LAP)

The Leadership Advancement Program consists of 12 sessions – 40 days within 18 months in locations throughout all of Michigan.  It is based on the following values and principles of leadership: primacy of relationships including building trust through transparency and authentic dialogue; listening for understanding; learning to be vulnerable as a leader and holding yourself and others accountable.

With a focus on inner reflection and personal growth, participants will learn how to be present, align leadership with core values; recognize the importance of emotional wellness when leading and build the leader’s character.  The value of reflection and the intentional commitment to continuous growth are key components of the curriculum. Participants will explore appreciation for and celebration of differences seeing how groups benefit from diversity of thought, culture, race, gender and other differences.  We will learn to understand how power and privilege affect leadership and how to understand each other and lead across differences.

A major theme of LAP is the appreciative inquiry model where we will consider the possibilities, frame issues through systems and embrace the complexity of issues all while approaching conflict with the possibility of a shared outcome. Leaders will gain tools for engaging and building community for the common good with specific attention to civic engagement, servant leadership, participatory decision making and creating uncommon connections.  A lifelong integration of GLLA values and principles will lead to a commitment to leadership and empowering positive action with service to the common good.

These concepts are interwoven with a broad perspective on quality of life issues in Michigan and delivered by current leaders who will expand our understanding of the economic footprint of Michigan, Michigan’s history, current issues and future opportunities; a working knowledge of the Great Lakes basin and its issues and opportunities; and understanding the complex balance between “live, work, and play.”


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