by Rebecca Slough, Sr. Human Resources Analyst- Organizational Learning and Talent Development
In Spring 2014, the Emerging Leaders Certification Program (ELCP) was unveiled as a new leadership program exclusively for non-supervisory employees, providing the framework, tools, and learning experiences to help participants strengthen their leadership skills, self-awareness, customer service delivery, and initiative. On May 3, 2018, the inaugural ELCP class completed their final Level IV assignment, and we are very excited to congratulate our first graduating class.
During their four years in the program, participants took several classes that focused on specific competencies, and engaged in projects that were geared to each level. In addition, they participated in numerous discussion groups that challenged them to stretch beyond their comfort zones and have honest discussions around different leadership topics. To give participants the opportunity to further network, participants were challenged, in Level IV, with putting their leadership skills and team formation concepts into practice. They were tasked with collectively designing a creative presentation and applying the lessons from their discussion groups within a dynamic, small-group experience.
Two groups presented on the topic of “Elements of Great Leadership.” Despite choosing the same topic, the presentations were totally different from one another. One group simulated leading blindfolded partners through an obstacle course and displaying the differences in how two different leaders coach an employee successfully. The other presentation was a cooking show, with the group explaining how all the ingredients related to important leadership qualities.
When asked what they learned from this process, they said:
- “Networking was very important to me, not only during the presentation project but through the entire program. I have really enjoyed working with these other seven people from different agencies.”
- “Clear communication is very important. We all communicate differently, but we needed to make sure we were all on the same page to understand what we were doing in this challenge.”
- “Teamwork is very important to come together to reach a common goal.”
- “As a leader, I have grown so much in ELCP, and I am still learning through this process.”
- “It is important to identify each other’s strengths to determine how to reach the common goal.”
In addition to the presentation, Level IV participants needed to identify a leadership goal where they would focus on either “Improving a Process,” “Improving Self-Management,” or “Taking Leadership.” It was interesting to hear how they practiced self-management, improved personal communication, took leadership on a critical issue, managed themselves through a change process, streamlined a process at work, and took leadership roles. They described in depth how working on this leadership challenge helped them grow and give back to the organization.
Congratulations to the first graduating class of the Emerging Leaders Certification Program:
Teresa Boshak, Social Services
|Rachel Scott, Police
Rachel Sharpe, Library
Courtney Sims, MHDS
Holly Zinn, Manager’s Office
The Emerging Leaders Certification Program accepts applications twice a year in May and November. To learn more about the program and apply for future opportunities, please visit our website.
While ELCP was not created for the purpose of promoting employees into a supervisory position, we believe participation in the program supports leadership growth in any role. ELCP participants invest in their own development; they support and collaborate with others; and they make an impact at every level of the organization.