I often describe myself as a “self-proclaimed leadership junky.” What I mean by this is I’ve experienced the gamut of leadership programs from Leadership Washington to Leadership Maryland to Leadership Howard County to leadership programs specifically for Economic Developers. Each of these leadership experiences has left me with a different gift and given me insights and tools I continue to utilize in my professional and personal life.
So, when our President Dr. Maravene Loeschke approached me earlier this year with an idea for developing a professional leadership program for women I didn’t have to think twice—I was in! But, before we took any formal steps, my campus colleagues and I knew we needed to ensure that a program like this was needed in our community. Thus we held a series of focus groups last spring aimed at determining a few things:
- Is there a need?
- If so, how should the program be focused?
- What should the key outcomes be?
I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say that we were blown away by the response and feedback from the women and men that participated in the focus groups. The resounding message was ABSOLUTELY, a program geared specifically for women in the workplace was needed. Once we knew the need was there, our team got together this summer sifting through the feedback, learning from other experts, and getting our creative juices flowing, in order to build a unique program specifically tailored for ‘mid-level and more’ professional women. Not only will the program showcase experienced leaders, recognized experts, and leadership educators, it is designed so that after each session the participants can immediately bring something applicable back to their workplace. The program is exceptional and will be a very special experience for those who have the opportunity to participate. Here’s just a sampling of the topics we will be covering:
- Communication: gender intelligence, projecting authority, and commanding respect
- Navigating organizational culture and politics
- Having the hard conversations and conflict resolution
- Negotiating for yourself and your organization
- Effective networking, expanding your reach, and building your
- Creating your personal and professional road-map
Towson University’s Professional Leadership Program for Women is semester based and our first class will launch January 13th! The kick-off session will feature Confidence Code author and BBC lead anchor Katty Kay. Applications are now open and I encourage you to consider applying yourself or nominating a friend or colleague.