A collaborative effort is required to ensure participants develop and utilize Leadership skills on-the-job.  Dr. Magis designs and administers the LC.  Participants take responsibility for their learning as engaged learners.  And, supervisors play a critical role in the collaborative learning process.

When supervisors nominate employees to the LC, they commit to support 2-4 hours/week of on-the-job practice.  Supervisors create space and opportunities for participants to practice on-the-job, meet regularly with the participant to discuss course content and brainstorm strategies to apply it in the department, and support participants to utilize the new skills as part of their regular work.

After each session, supervisors receive a summary of the topics covered in the session.  In that way, supervisors will have an overview of what participants are covering and will be prepared to support their employees to practice on-the-job. 

Here are some strategies supervisors can implement to support employees to practice and implement Leadership skills at work:

  1. After each session, have a conversation with your employee about the skill s/he is going to practice.  Explore ways in which that skill can advance and support your work unit.
  2. Ensure your employee has a safe place, the time and supports to practice on-the-job. 
  3. Support your employee to be successful with skill development. 
  4. Once your employee learns the skills, assist her/him to utilize those skills to make positive contributions to your department.

LCI Participant Reflections on Benefits of Supervisor Involvement for LC Participants

  • ™It makes me more motivated to do the work.  It removes guilt from creeping in, e.g., should I be spending all this time not doing my normal job.
  • ™Makes your boss think outside the box for a moment, and that is good
  • ™Helps supervisors be more aware of the kinds of OSU-specific professional development opportunities available for their employees
  • ™Sees opportunities for improvement beyond just me – for our department
  • ™Can set the stage for organizational, not just personal, development
  • ™It allowed a safe space to process which circumstances were most appropriate to practice the tools
  • ™More opportunities to use the tools – test and experiment
  • ™connections
  • ™systemic sharing within the department
  • ™encouragement
  • ™support for making changes


Jennifer Alexander
Extension and Experiment Station Communications

A unique feature of the Leadership Collaborative I program is that it requires not only the supervisor’s support, but also the supervisor’s involvement with the employee learner throughout the experience. This approach ensures the employee has opportunities to practice and use leadership skills on the job, reflect and apply learnings in real time, and receive timely feedback from their supervisor as well as the Leadership Collaborative cohort.

The program is designed for employees to apply what they learn immediately in the context of existing workloads and responsibilities. It’s not an “add on” to already-full plates. This underscores the principle of emergent leadership and provides opportunity for focused effort on important projects and activities with intentional leadership practice. This is beneficial for all.

Because of Gail's effective leadership (which I believe was strengthened as a result of participating in this program), our unit has made significant progress on an important project over the past year. To some extent, Gail also tried to "work out loud." She told people she was in this program, and shared some of what she was learning. She shared often with me, and it helped me improve my leadership development, too.