The Academy is the central formal educational component where participants gain knowledge and skills essential to the University’s leadership needs. The Academy is executed through six leadership sessions onsite, one every other month for one year. Each session is held at a different University location and conducted with a similar format to achieve the Executive Leadership Institute’s outcomes. All programs are facilitated by the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) staff and hosted by the respective campus for that session.

The Academy’s foundation is a body of leadership theory and evidenced-based practices expressly focused at the executive level. The foundation is constructed around five Enterprise Imperatives that are the substance of the Academy’s curriculum supported by six Common Core Competencies that are the specific skills and mindsets desirable to be an exceptional leader for the University.

All participants will complete a program of study based on the five Enterprise Imperatives through a variety of means including six formal seminars, selected readings, and other delivery methods including cohort gatherings for discussion and review. At the end of study, each participant will have developed a high-quality pragmatic understanding of what is necessary to be an exceptional enterprise leader.

Enterprise Imperatives

ELI is uniquely focused on developing talented executives who can provide exceptional leadership at the top level (enterprise). Ideally, these would be people who develop an enterprise mindset, one that balances the overall University interests aligned with their unit’s interests. For ELI, five Enterprise Imperatives distinctly define the leader this institute aspires to develop:

1. Purpose Driven.

These are leaders passionate about their careers and the university they serve. They enable transformational change rather than transactional. They hold a vision of how their actions impact people’s lives and this drives their behavior, not just their job duties. In fact, they redefine their job responsibilities in terms of their purpose. John Maxwell calls this “intentional leadership,” those who seek to leave a significant difference in the lives of others.

2. Collaborative.

Enterprise leaders find value in the adage, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” The University operates within an interdependent world where problems develop and are eventually resolved by groups of people working collaboratively across boundaries.

3. Adaptive.

Enterprise leaders are required to be distinctively adaptive. Today’s events, threats and opportunities are coming faster and with less predictability. They are converging and interacting to create entirely unique situations where simple problem-solving is insufficient and “command-and-control” an inadequate style to produce the necessary change that enables the University to have the capacity to thrive.

4. Execution.

Execution is about getting things done. An obvious axiom of leadership is, “If nothing gets done, leadership didn’t happen.” A high proportion of those who arrive at the top of a university may have made their mark as high-level thinkers but are not experienced in the “how” of getting things done. Execution and successful implementation are a complex set of intentional acts that begins by pursuing what needs to be done (strategic focus), following metrics that define progress (analytics), and creating accountability.

5. Acts with Speed and Conviction.

The demands flooding into the executive’s suite are like a tsunami of expectations, emails, texts, social media commentaries, demands from impatient stakeholders, and changes by competitors. Speed also reflects on the perception others have of executive performance. For this program, speed is defined as “reducing time (fast pace) to value (effective execution).” By including “effective execution” in the definition, this program places high importance on quality decisions but made promptly.

Common Core Competencies

The architecture for developing extraordinary leaders comes from using a framework of common core competencies based on the five attributes for an exceptional leader.

The Common Core Competencies (CCC) define both the skills and attributes necessary to drive for results, serves stakeholders, and builds successful teams and coalitions within and outside the institution. The CCC consists of six elements. The CCCs are interdependent and successful executives bring all six to the task of providing exceptional performance for their university or agency:


CCC 1: Leading Self

These fundamental competencies are the attributes that serve as the foundation for each CCC.

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Formal and Informal Communication
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Continual Learning
  • Public Service Motivation


CCC 2: Leading Change

The ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the University, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this CCC is the ability to establish a University vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • External Awareness
  • Flexibility
  • Resilience
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Vision
  • Adversity Leadership


CCC 3: Leading People

The ability to lead people toward meeting the University’s vision, mission, and goals.

  • Conflict Management
  • Leveraging Diversity
  • Developing Others
  • Team Building


CCC 4: Driving Results

The ability to meet University goals and stakeholder expectations. The goal is to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and prudent risk management.

  • Accountability
  • Stakeholder Stewardship
  • Problem Solving
  • Decisiveness
  • Entrepreneurship


CCC 5: Increasing Business Acumen

This core competency involves the ability to strategically manage the enterprise as well as the human, financial, and information resources.

  • Business Enterprise Management
  • Fiscal Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Technology Management


CCC 6: Building Coalitions

The ability to build alliances to enhance the mission and vision of the University to achieve common goals. This includes engaging with internal and external stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, prospective students, donors, government, local organizations, community leaders, trustees)

  • Climate Creation and Maintenance
  • Partnering
  • Political Savvy
  • Influencing/Negotiating