LEAD Program

LEAD (Leadership Education, Action, and Development)


The Wellesley LEAD (Leadership Education, Action, and Development) Program is designed to equip administrative leaders with skills and behaviors related to the College’s core competencies. The program will provide an opportunity for selected administrative employees to sharpen their supervisory, management, and leadership skills, to work on cross-institutional initiatives, and to help prepare for future leadership roles.

Who Would Benefit

Employees should be high potential, high performing managers/leaders. Employees may self-nominate, or nominate someone with whom they have worked.  Department heads and managers may nominate employees who they believe meet the following criteria in addition to excelling in their current positions:

  • Interest in collaboration and broadening their contributions to the College
  • Desire to continue their professional development and to better the College as a whole
  • Commitment of time and energy during the sessions and while engaging in Action Learning Projects

Program Schedule

This year-long program will consist of eight days of workshops distributed over two terms plus an orientation. The session topics are as follows:



Thursday, September 30, 2021 (9:00am to 10:30am) - Virtual

Competency addressed: Developing Yourself and Others

Leadership development work is personally and professionally rewarding, and as with anything impactful, requires openness to learning and change and willingness to put in the effort.  The orientation will focus on understanding the programmatic expectations as well as discussing how to best set ourselves up for collective success. Participants will develop learning goals and action items to revisit throughout the program.

Session objectives:

  • Meeting and getting to know cohort participants and their hopes for the program
  • Developing a purpose and mission for your own professional development and a structure and work processes that promote successful outcomes
  • Discussing and committing to the programmatic expectation and group ground rules 
Session 1: Leading at Wellesley: Practicing Adaptive and Inclusive Leadership

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 (9:00am to 12:30pm)

Competency addressed: Leadership

Wellesley’s stated values include making a difference, disciplined thinking, valuing diversity, pragmatic leadership, and service.  To better equip leaders at Wellesley to model these values, this session focuses on ways of leading and leadership theories aligned to these behaviors, including service leadership, adaptive leadership, and inclusive leadership.  At the same time, leaders also need to practice authentic leadership, and be true to their own personal style and preferences, which will also be explored in this session.

Session objectives:

  • Clarifying the roles and expectations of leaders at Wellesley College
  • Exploring individual leadership styles and how to practice inclusive and adaptive leadership
  • Understanding and applying the concepts of emotional and social intelligence
Session 2: Interpersonal Communication: Building Relationships and Managing Conflict

Thursday, November 18, 2021 (9:00am to 12:30pm)

Competency addressed: Communication

Every leader has to be thoughtful about how their language and way of communicating impacts their organization.  This session will focus on increasing participants’ awareness of their own communication style preferences and practices and provide tools and suggestions for ways to be more mindful and purposeful in all your communications.

Session objectives:

  • Recognizing the challenges of organizational communication and identifying the factors that affect patterns of communication in the workplace
  • Identifying your own communication preferences are and how they impact your leadership style
  • Practicing effective listening skills by shaping and adapting one’s own responses to address the issues and styles of others
  • Understanding practices and tools for effective influence and negotiation, challenging conversations, and conflict management
Session 3: Performance and Engagement: Increasing Satisfaction and Contribution

Thursday, December 9, 2021 (9:00am to 12:30pm) - Virtual

Competency addressed: Accountability/Responsibility

Thinking creatively about how to best use the skills and strengths of others can lead to better work outcomes and greater engagement for all.  Leaders need to clarify the strategy and vision for the work ahead and connect that to the interests and goals of their employees. This session will focus how leaders can set expectations, give feedback and coach their employees in a way that increases both motivation and accountability.

Session objectives:

  • Cultivating effective performance management and employee engagement practices
  • Establishing explicit expectations and understanding employee motivation
  • Practicing foundational feedback skills to influence performance
  • Learning how to integrate coaching into your daily management style to build trust and accountability
Session 4: Successful Teams: Collaborating Across the College

Thursday, January 13, 2022 (9:00am - 12:30pm)

Competency addressed: Collaboration

Effective teams must have a motivating shared purpose, a complementary set of skills, and clarity about roles, goals, and norms of team behavior.  This session will focus on setting teams up for success by exploring best practices for structuring and facilitating teamwork, as well as discussing how we can shift our mindsets to better see and take advantage of opportunities for collaboration and shared work.

Session objectives:

  • Adopting mindsets for collaboration and teaming
  • Creating the conditions for a team to produce successful outcomes
  • Understanding of team process and problem solving techniques
  • Conveying team member responsibilities and rules of behavior
Session 5: Strategic Innovation: Creative Techniques for Addressing Work Challenges

Thursday, February 17, 2022 (9:00am to 12:30pm) 

Competency addressed: Problem Solving and Innovation

As employees of Wellesley, we are collectively focused on serving the College’s mission to advance new ideas and promote education for the greater good. This requires us to find creative ways to overcome challenges and develop new strategies for working together.  This session will equip you with tools to think strategically, practice innovation, and make effective decisions.

Session objectives:

  • Practicing innovative approaches to problem solving and process improvement
  • Understanding criteria for effective decision making and decision making styles
Session 6: Inclusive Excellence: Creating a Culture of Belonging

Thursday, March 17, 2022 (9:00am to 12:30pm) - Virtual

Competency addressed: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Leadership at Wellesley calls for a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  Leaders need to understand their own roles and perspectives and actively engage with others to create community across difference.  Leaders must model inclusivity in their interactions and create organizational strategies that reduce biases and leverage the strengths of a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff.

Session objectives:

  • Understanding concepts regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Exploring individual values, identities and biases for better self-awareness and management
  • Strategies for effective communication and collaboration across differences
  • Developing organizational strategies for managing workforce diversity 


Session 7: Competence and Composure: Continuous Improvement and Managing Change

Thursday, April 14, 2022 (9:00am to 12:30pm)

Competency addressed: Expertise

Leaders must portray confidence and composure, as well as competence to be effective.  No one can be expert on everything, so leaders must often lean on the expertise of others as well.  Leaders need to think big picture, as well as support the day to day work of their staff. At Wellesley, the better we understanding the College as a whole, as well as the assets that we each bring to work, the more effective leaders we will be.  Change is inevitable, so we also must manage our own responses to change and guide others through changes so that we and the College can continue to evolve and improve.

Session objectives:

  • Utilizing tools for thinking strategically and using strategic plans as living documents
  • Gaining insight into the world of work at Wellesley
  • Understand how to lead yourself and others through change 
Session 8: Connection, Reflection, and Service: Becoming a Learning Organization 

Thursday, May 12, 2022 (9:00am to 12:30pm)

Competency addressed: Service to Others

The final session of the LEAD program will focus on preparing for project presentations to senior leaders, reflecting on the program as a whole, and mining collective learning.  As a cohort, program participants will have built strong relationships and will discuss ways to stay connected, support each other, and learn from each other in the future. It is our hope that this program makes an impact on the participants themselves and that impact extends to many other constituents throughout the College, both directly through the project work throughout the program, and in the future as the cohort makes new contributions to our community.  We hope to build a learning organization where education, action-learning, and development are lived values throughout the College.

  • Creating a sense of commitment, responsibility, and common purpose in the pursuit of a vision
  • Reflecting on the learning organization built within the program and strategizing on how to extend it after the program
  • Preparing to serve our constituents with a focus on quality and impact