Augusta University

Leadership Academy to develop leaders from within, at all levels

Though Georgia Regents University and GRHealth have always promoted the development of leadership skills, the current build-out of the Leadership Academy, an enterprise-wide strategic initiative administered by the Office of Leadership Development, will make leadership development available to all levels of employees.

“I want everyone at GRU and GRHealth to feel as though they’re leaders,” said Dr. Caryl Hess, Director of the Office of Leadership Development. “I really want people to feel that they can grow toward being authentic leaders, with confidence, self-awareness, and compassion for others.”

Authentic leadership is the leadership development model that the Office of Leadership Development will be using to anchor competency-based curriculum for GRU and GRHealth. Authentic leaders demonstrate the following qualities: they understand their purpose; they practice solid values; they lead and follow with heart; they establish connected relationships; and they demonstrate self-discipline.

“An authentic leader is less transformative, although no less a change agent,” Hess said. “They just do it in a different, less disruptive way that’s more methodical, more strategic, more thoughtful, and more sensitive to other people.”

During the next three years, Leadership Academy curriculum and programs will strive to create a pipeline of identifiable, authentic leaders to help guide and lead the organization forward.

Previous leadership programs, specifically the Executive Leadership Excellence program (ELE) and the Science and Practice of Leading Yourself, have informed the two new Pipeline Programs, which were kicked off in April.

  • Pipeline I, a four-module class starting in September, will focus on the concept of leading yourself
  • Pipeline II will focus on leading others.

For program information, including nomination forms, click here.

While these Pipeline courses are designed for management professionals across the organization (directors, chairs, faculty, physicians, nurses, senior administrators, and program directors), Hess’s commitment to the idea of universal leadership development means she has also developed courses appropriate for everyone.

Her “On the Road” programs bring four abbreviated leadership classes directly to department or unit meetings, retreats, or other professional development events at no cost. Based on four months of needs assessment across the enterprise, the four initial courses will include: (1) Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, (2) The Gift of Multiplier Leaders, (3) Crucial Conversation Skills, and (4) Coaching as a Leadership Strategy.

It is Hess’ hope that these On the Road courses will expose more employees to leadership skills, as well as establish a uniform language and a standardized set of skills and competencies across the organization. Collaborating with Workforce Development, Faculty Development, and the Educational Innovation Institute will help expose even more employees to leadership skills and behaviors.

The last piece in Hess’ suite of leadership development services involves executive coaching. Executive coaching is centered on unlocking a person’s leadership potential to maximize performance. In a Korn Ferry Institute study (2013), the results showed that executive coaching has the largest positive impact on micro-level outcomes (e.g., improving leadership behaviors and individual employee performance). Thus, GRU and GRHealth will leverage these benefits.

Currently, there are no charges to the department or unit to participate in Leadership Academy programs, though the executive coach component does come with an eventual charge. Hess will bear the cost of the assessment ($230) and the first two hours. Beyond that, departments or individual participants can continue the coaching at The Hay Group’s discounted rate.

Beyond creating a pipeline of leaders that can be tapped for leadership services and positions within the organization, Hess said exposure to competency-based leadership development grounded in the authentic leadership model should go a long way toward shaping the culture of GRU and GRHealth for the future.

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Eric Johnson
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Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is managing editor of news & information at Augusta University. Contact him with questions or ideas for Jagwire at erijohnson@augusta.edu.

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Eric Johnson Written by Eric Johnson

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