Leadership Foundations

Employees in supervisory roles (supervisor/manager/director) at our university can apply to participate in our immersive Leadership Development Program. Leadership Foundations provides experienced supervisors with foundational leadership skills to continue their learning and development. The program consists of four two-day clusters scheduled over the course of eight months. The in-class sessions involve hands-on activities, case studies, readings, and group discussion, followed by reinforcement and transitional exercises that are to be completed during the time between the in-class modules.

Our program is unique because it requires active participation of participants’ managers, referred to as ‘supporting managers’ within the program. Four two-hour sessions are designed for the supporting managers to explore the content, engage in learning conversations and activities with their peers, and share insights gained. Through these sessions, supporting managers acquire the knowledge essential for promoting application of the content for their participating employee outside of the classroom. Such involvement of the supporting managers encourages conversation, knowledge sharing, networking, and commitment from both parties. 

The four two-day clusters are structured in the following modules: 

  • Module 1: Foundations in Personal Leadership  
  • Module 2: Foundations in Building Strong Working Relationships 
  • Module 3: Foundations in Coaching Conversations
  • Module 4: Foundations in Aligning to the Vision of the Organization  

Benefits and Outcomes

  • Explore leadership from a personal lens to facilitate a stronger understanding of self and influence (impact) on those around you.
  • Recognize the various roles that leaders assume including coach, mentor, and follower.
  • Network, share knowledge, and learn alongside colleagues from across the university community.
  • Collaborate, practice, apply and create time and space for mindful reflection.



  • Participation in the full program is mandatory
  • Attend the 1.5 hour orientation session 
  • Attend and actively participate in the full program - four two-day clusters over eight months 
  • Participate in individual meetings (one-hour in length) with a program facilitator and program thought partners
  • Read, reflect, and prepare for each session
  • Set personal and team goals
  • Work with supporting manager and team to reinforce and practice learning within the workplace

Supporting Manager

  • Attend the 1.5 hour orientation session with your participant
  • Attend and actively participate in four two-hour manager sessions over the course of eight months.
  • Support, coach, reinforce learning, and provide participants with opportunities to practice within the workplace

The 2020 cohort of the Leadership Foundations program has begun.

The program is under review and applications will become available in September 2021.

Contact Information:

Susan Willsie
Learning and Development Specialist
Organizational &
Human Development
Ext. 40240 | MC 4051B

Frequently asked 
Program Questions