Empowering a Community of Excellence

Aspiring Leaders Program

The Aspiring Leaders Program introduces the essentials of effective leadership to equip employees to lead from where they are within their organization. Underpinning the program is the belief that deep awareness of self is required to be an effective leader. Therefore, participants engage in clarifying their strengths, developing their ability to manage self, and engaging the practice of leadership through a reflective and intentional pursuit.

Aspiring Leaders provides an experiential, hands-on approach to motivate people to apply what they have learned by serving as influential team members and put into place tools and conditions to help sustain the learning.

Each session highlights a separate leadership topic aligned with the university competencies, includes group and facilitated discussions, with practical strategies to apply in your own organization. The curriculum includes a focus on the skills needed for successful leadership, including personal and professional effectiveness, communication, change management, building relationships, strategic thinking, and problem solving. Each session includes time for discussion and may include guest speakers with experience or expertise in leadership concepts.


Participants are required to attend all eight sessions from 9 am – 4 pm each month, and to devote time outside of class for reading program literature, assignments, and journaling.

Participants are also given the option of attending personalized coaching sessions to debrief the classroom lessons and guide the employee through application of concepts from each session.


  • KU employees who currently do not have a formal title of leadership and are early in their leadership journey are encouraged to apply.
  • A recommendation, including authorization of work time for participation, from the applicant’s supervisor.
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to the work, with aspirations to build capacity as a leader from where you are
  • A commitment statement indicating intent to complete the program and attend all sessions.
  • One year of employment.

The program is limited to 15 employees.

This program is primarily for professional development and leadership growth. There is no stipend for this experience, or expectation that program participants receive preference in job searches at KU.


There is a program materials fee of $150.00. 


Application Period: September 28 -- October 12, 2018

KU staff can apply until 5 p.m. on October 12. The cohort will be announced in November. The program begins in mid-December.

During the application period, interested employees should complete an application of short-essay questions. Upon completion, your supervisor will receive an email requesting a letter of support.

If needed, a select pool of applicants may be asked to meet with a review committee for a short interview. Following the full review process, a cohort of no more than 15 employees will be selected.



December 13, 2018

January 10, 2019

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