Emerging Leaders

His platform skills are outstanding
but he is not merely a polished leadership practitioner.

He is also insightful.

Bruce R. Carmichael, Chief Human Capital Development Officer
McGaw YMCA, Chicago (testimonial)


We all know how hard it is to find top performers for open positions. Sure, bringing in an outsider can give a short-term burst of performance, but it's the insider who really delivers over the longer term. So, wouldn't it be better to select from a ready pool of highly-motivated, knowledgeable, and talented candidates? Candidates that you already know are ready to advance? Fact is that the best way to recruit top talent is to have them in your organization already. Welcome to the Emerging Leaders Program!

The ELP equips participants with pragmatic skills for success. Every ELP is tailored to the agency and the experience of participants. Think of it as an honors seminar for up-and-comers led by a top-tier trainer, a certified leadership coach, and a seasoned chief executive with over 20 years on the front-line and a Ph.D. in leadership and change.

Each ELP consists of four half-day, hands-on learning workshops spaced apart by at least two weeks. Each workshop contains a mix of content, discussion, and hands-on practice. To support learning and provide accountability, each participant receives three one-hour coaching/advising/mentoring sessions with Dr. Light.

Being chosen for an ELP is an honor that recognizes the potential for each participant to succeed and advance within the organization. Agencies typically solicit applications requiring the supervisor's endorsement, commitment of support, and a discussion between supervisor and applicant to identify strengths and areas for development. Applications usually exceed space, which requires a selection process that also builds the prestige of the program.

The first ELP session is Leading Self. The day begins with Bolman and Deal's best-selling Reframing Organizations four-frame approach to solving problems and thinking about organizations. Participants then use the four frames to build their own personal development plan:

• Strengths (informed by DiSC profiles and other prompts)
• Areas for development (informed by supervisor guidance and other prompts)
• Vision, values, and personal missions
• Learning needs
• Influencer support
• SMART goals and action steps

During the break before the next session, participants will have their first coaching/advising/mentoring session to polish the personal development plan and discuss other ELP issues. In addition, participants must meet with their supervisors to discuss their personal development plans and also to come up with ideas for a work-related project for the next session.

The second ELP session is Leading Work. After a review of the previous session and progress reports, participants will cover the following:

• Decision making
• Time management
• Strategic and operational planning
Delegation and accountability planning
• Participant's work project plan

During the break before the next session, participants will have their second coaching/advising/mentoring session to discuss progress on the personal development plan, to polish the work project plan, and discuss other ELP issues. Must must also meet with their supervisors to discuss their progress in the ELP including their personal development plan and work project plan.

The third ELP session is Leading Others. After a review of the previous two sessions and progress reports, topics to be covered include:

• Five hats of leadership (leader, manager, mentor, trainer, and coach)
• Team work
• Feedback and coaching
• Managing the boss

During the interim before the final session, there will be another follow-on coaching/advising/mentoring to discuss progress on the personal development plan, the work project plan, and other ELP issues. Another meeting with supervisors is required to discuss progress on the personal development and work project plans.

The final ELP workshop is Leading Change. After a review of the first three sessions and progress reports, topics to be covered include:

• Organizational change
• Managing for creativity and innovation
• Ethical leadership

Succession planning is all the rage these days. The secret to succession planning is that it's not only for the top level leaders. It is also not a plan that gathers dust. The secret is that it is a talent development ethos that that begins with the entry-level employee and continuess as he or she moves upward in the agency. Don't call it succession planning; call it successioning. And welcome to the Emerging Leaders Program!

Participants loved Dr. Light’s interactive workshops . . .
the content was very relevant to their day-to-day lives (both in the workplace and out).

Mallory DePrekel, Manager; Learning, Career and Volunteer Engagement (former)
McGaw YMCA, Chicago (testimonial)

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