Leadership Academy Program Overview

Since 2003, the award-winning Leadership Academy has been UCAR's premier leadership development program.  Graduates of the Leadership Academy continue to inspire collaboration, create effective working relationships, bridge inter-program partnerships, and lead effective diverse teams and projects. If you are ready to take your leadership development journey to the next level, talk to your supervisor about how participating in the Leadership Academy Program will enhance your career goals.

  Executive Leadership Program          Manager Mojo Program

Who Should Consider This Program

For optimimum benefit from the L/A Program nominees should...

  • Be early/mid-career supervisors, managers or have a significant impactful role
  • Have demonstrated ability to perform significantly above the norm
  • Have potential to provide large organizational leadership
  • Be able to attend the full L/A program
  • Have a desire to participate in the L/A
  • Additional Considerations:
    - Been on the L/A wait list
    - Organizational/lab/program initiatives


Nomination and Selection Process
  • The L/A is a bi-annual program, offered every other fiscal year
  • Requests for L/A nominations announced 3-4 months prior to start of new program
  • 24 slots available per program year
  • Recommended slot allotments per lab (can be adjusted if needed)
    CISL=3                      NESL=4                  UCAR F&A=4
    EOD=3                       RAL=3                    NCAR DIRECTORATE=1
    HAO=2                       UCP=4

  • All nominations must be submitted by lab directors, or their designates, directly to the President's Council
  • For each nomination, include name(s), title, lab & program, along with a brief statement highlighting candidate(s) match to nominee criteria
  • If more than one nomination is submitted, include priority ranking order
  • Final selections made by the President's Council based on nomination/selection criteria and an equitable, diverse balance of participants from across the organization
  • EOD will contact lab directors and supervisors regarding PC's final selections
  • Directors and supervisors are to notify all their nominees of their selection status
  • Candidates who can not participate can be wait listed in case of cancellations or future programs
  • Selected candidates will be sent a welcome packet and detailed program information
  • Please submit any changes or substitution requests as soon as possible
Program Features and Elements


  • Offered every other fiscal year
  • Each L/A Program runs from approximately October-June (see current L/A schedule for specific course dates, times, locations)
  • Diverse blend of 24 participants from across the organization go through the program as an intact group
  • Engaging, experiential classes (limited to 2-3 days each month)
  • Custom curriculum tailored to meet the needs of our staff and organization
  • One-on-one, private coaching sessions
  • Supportive program and peer mentors
  • Resourceful integrative discussions sessions
  • Personalized development plans
  • Low per-person investment costs


Assessment Tools
Individual assessment instruments offered to participants throughout the program to help identify personal strengths, motivational drivers (self/others) and leadership competencies.  These are intended as tools for personal discovery, reflection, and to stimulate coaching discussions to help identify personal/professional goals and growth areas. (Examples: SDI-Strength Deployment Inventory; POPS-Portrait of Personal Strengths; 360 assessment)

Communication Tools & Resources
A variety of tools will be available to help participants, mentors, trainers and program coordinators stay connected and informed throughout the program.  Including participant/mentor/trainers contact lists, group email alias', calendars, social networking resources, web, wiki, blog sites, etc.

Graduation Celebration
Celebrate completion of the program and honor participants, mentors, trainers, management and guests. Awards, acknowledgements and refreshments.

Integration Discussion Sessions
These sessions provide participants opportunities for small group discussions on leadership topics, books and/or articles as well as subjects related to the classes, and application strategies.  Guest speakers may also be included discussing aspects of leadership.

Kickoff & Program Orientation
This session provides a detailed overview of the L/A program, course descriptions/schedules, roles/ responsibilities/expectations, processes/ procedures, contacts, resources, and Q&A’s.  Participants will meet fellow participants, program trainers, establish group norms and receive an orientation to their L/A mentoring relationship.

Materials & Resources
Participants receive program notebook binders that include: Program information, course schedules, trainer contact information, participant/mentor lists, resources, and important contact information. Class materials/handouts provided at each class.

Mentoring Program
Participants select and partner with a L/A Mentor for the duration of the program.  Mentors serve as resources for deeper understanding and application of the skills learned in the program.  Mentors can be selected from a list of volunteer L/A or ELP (Executive Leadership Program) alumni, or can be anyone currently serving as mentor for a participant. All Mentors attend an L/A Mentor Training session to review the purpose and goals of the program, and gain an understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of mentors/mentees.  Mentors/mentees will connect at a luncheon to start building their mentoring relationship framework.

Mentor Training Session
L/A Mentors will review the purpose and goals of the L/A Mentoring Program gain an understanding of roles, responsibilities, and expectations for mentors/mentees; and learn strategies for building effective mentoring relationships. Only required for new L/A mentors.

One-on-One Coaching
Confidential one-on-one sessions with a personal coach to identify goals, discuss individual experiences, prepare for opportunities and challenges and integrate classroom learning. 

Program Review and Wrap-Up
Pulling it all together! Program review, integration methodologies and commitments to next steps discussed.

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Program Quadrants and Class Descriptions


QUADRANT 1:  SELF-KNOWLEDGE (Focus: Personal goals, self-awareness and personal effectiveness)

Discover Your Strengths Class

Completion of the online SDI (Strength Deployment Inventory) and Portrait of Personal Strengths (POPS) is required prior to session. During the class, results of the SDI will be discussed to  help identify personal strengths, motivational drivers, and conflict triggers for self & others; and how these tools can be used to enhance communication, interpersonal relationships, and reduce conflict between individuals and teams.

Foundations of Leadership Class

Participants will learn foundational leadership skills focused on self-awareness and communicating effectively with others. Individuals will craft a personal vision and mission statement as well as discover how their values apply to leadership. Focal points of this class will include the individual development plans as well as the Portrait of Personal Strengths (POPS).

Time & Priority Management Class
Participants will learn tools and strategies to manage activities, set priorities, delegate effectively, stay in control/on track and reduce stress. Topics include: how to analyze assignments & identify priorities; tools to break out of crisis mode; strategies for planning/ goal setting; tips to reduce time wasters; defeat - procrastination, perfectionism and self-destruction enemies; and creating an action plan.

(Focus: Interpersonal skills, leading & managing people)

Change Management: Building Resiliency Class
Participants will gain an understanding of the change-transition process and skills for building resiliency, strategies to effectively manage self and others; differentiate between change & transition; understand primary emotions, behaviors & action steps; develop plans of action for self and others.

Level II Leadership Class
Participants will apply the learning from Foundations of Leadership to work more effectively with others. Additionally, they will learn skills to work through conflict, communicate difficult messages, provide constructive feedback and effectively develop others.

Legal Issues in Managing Employees Class
Participants will review and discuss critical polices, laws and regulations relating to the management of employees. Wage and Hour Practices; Affirmative Action; Leave Policies; Working Arrangements; Conflict of Interest; Employment Discrimination; Discipline Policy; Problem Resolution and Termination Policies.

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(Focus: Team development, team effectiveness and project management)

Level III Leadership Class
Participants will build on skills learned in Foundations of Leadership and Level II Leadership to learn how to lead teams to achieve their full potential; manage effective meetings; facilitate groups to reach identified goals; gauge team performance; adjust leadership styles according to a teams’ stage of development; move teams through difficult periods; and apply effective decision making techniques and tools.

Project Management Fundamentals Class
Participants will learn basic knowledge and skills to plan, execute, monitor, control and complete successful projects. Topic highlights include: Defining project scope and timelines; Ensuring project success through management support; Integrating projects into operations; Managing project costs; Project management process; Risk management; and Creating/Managing effective project teams. Small group work along with nominal pre-work and overnight assignments required.

Strategic Planning Class
Participants will learn the concepts of strategic planning and models for creating a vision, building a mission, establishing goals, creating measures, and evaluating for results.

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(Focus: Organizational vision & goals, stakeholder knowledge & impact, business management)

BOSS:  Business Operations & Strategies Seminar
Participants will gain a basic understanding of the UCAR/UCP/NCAR business environment and how various administrative offices interact and operate together to partner with you and serve the organization.

Legal & Ethical Responsibilities for Scientific Leaders Class
As leaders of a research organization, there are a number of important laws that apply to your work every day.  Participants will learn about laws, policies, procedures and responsibilities related to ethical standards and conduct in all UCAR scientific, technical, educational, and administrative operations. Recent case studies will provide a backdrop for discussions.

Public Speaking & Presentation Skills Class
Participants will learn the basic skills to be effective public speakers and how to design and deliver quality presentations.  Participants will develop and present a short 10-minute small group presentation and receive both class and instructor feedback. Presentations will be recorded for personal review.

Visioning UCAR Today & Tomorrow Panel Discussion
Participants will review the vision, mission, structure and strategic highlights of our organization.  Who we are, why we’re here, our vision for the future, and what is needed of our leadership to reach our goals and be successful in the future. Meet members of the President’s Council.

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Program Costs and Payment Process

Participant investment, charge-back fees for the L/A will be set once funding is available and the next program schedule is released.  Fees cover trainer costs, program materials, individual assessments, one-on-one coaching, and logistic costs.

Please have your representative with signature authority email the account key to charge for your participation to Cheryl Cristanelli, within 6 weeks of the start date of the Leadership Academy.


First Time

Registration Instructions 






For more information, contact Toni Wallace, 303-497-8716