Leadership Growth Program

What is LGP?

Lead by UT Learning & Development, the Leadership Growth Program (LGP) develops current and future leaders at The University of Texas. Participants undergo extensive professional development based on an evolving curriculum of leadership principles, theory, and concepts.

This program is currently limited to staff who have been employed within the Financial and Administrative Services portfolio for at least 12 months by the start date of the program. The program runs from January to July, meeting weekly for 2-hour sessions.

LGP helps people grow into effective leaders at the university and beyond. The projects that past participants have developed and implemented have in many cases made significant positive impacts on how we do business at UT.

The program is held once per year and lasts approximately six months. Participants can expect to spend up to 30 hours per month on the program. Between five and ten people will be selected to participate.

Our Objective

A critical objective of this program is to help participants develop high-level knowledge, skills, and abilities used by successful leaders across different industries. We also hope to establish a leadership pipeline for the university, and improve engagement and performance of top talent within the Financial and Administrative Services portfolio.

LGP has adopted the following definition of leadership developed by Brené Brown as a starting point for better understanding leadership:

Anyone at any level who holds themselves accountable for finding the potential in people or processes and developing that potential.

It is our intent to develop people who exemplify that definition of leader. To that end we will focus on strengthening participants’ competencies in the following three areas:

  1. Interpersonal

  2. Situational

  3. Strategic

Who we are Looking for

The program is intended for people who have demonstrated the aptitude for leadership, but may not necessarily be in a traditional or formal leadership position.

Participants are evaluated for high levels of leadership potential, commitment to leadership, and enthusiasm for realizing their potential. This evaluation is based on recommendations from supervisors, applicants’ letter of interest, performance evaluation, and interview.

Participants will rely heavily on the use of the Microsoft suite of tools (MS Word, PowerPoint, Outlook) or comparable applications. We use MS Teams, UTBox, and email to communicate and share information. While we will build skills in business writing, public speaking, and presentations, at least a basic understanding of these skills is required. If you do not have experience with the above tools or skills, you are required to review the LinkedIn Learning Leadership Growth Program Prep collection.

Learning Formats and Styles

LGP is designed to provide an effective and rewarding experience through a wide variety of learning styles. Participants engage with the material in several different formats.

Critical thinking

Traditionally this program begins with a reading group. This allows participants to get to know one another while learning about a number of leadership topics. It also eases them into the important discipline of speaking in public. The facilitation of this exercise encourages the participants to evaluate the content of the book critically and have an open discussion about the material.

Micro and E-learning

Digital learning has provided us with incredible opportunities to target our learning experiences and to cater to our unique curiosities and needs. LGP assigns participants an exploratory project where they use online resources to learn about technical and advanced human skills. Open discussions follow and participants are encouraged to apply what they learned on the LGP projects.

Immersive

A journal is provided for all participants and they are given weekly assignments to write their thoughts about leadership. This exercise hones their writing skills and creates an immersive learning experience focused on leadership for the duration of the program.

Classroom

LGP brings in several experts to run workshops and give talks on various leadership topics. All speakers are urged to create an engaging learning environment in which participants discuss issues and critically consider how content can be applied in real-world scenarios.

Participatory

Each participant has an opportunity to assign a journaling topic every week, and open discussion follows. The digital assignments give participants an opportunity to lead and actively participate in discussions on leadership topics. All guest speakers are encouraged to create an active learning environment for their talks or workshops.

On the Job

LGP projects compel participants to learn on the job and interact with subject matter experts, honing their communication, political savvy, and critical thinking tools. The real-world nature of these projects obligates the participants to dive deep into their research and ensure that they learn from experts.

Curriculum

Guest speakers typically cover topics in talent management, communication, public speaking, emotional intelligence, and authentic listening, among other core leadership skills and abilities.

The book for the reading group is chosen for its insights in leadership theory and ethics.

Participants will be assigned articles on leadership that they will discuss in class.

Participants complete four projects.

  1. Leadership Development Plan—Participants determine a competency to develop that will have the most significant impact on their professional success. They are then required to write a professional report on why their competency is important to leadership and how they will develop that competency. They will give a 3-minute presentation on their findings. The benefits of this project are two-fold. It helps create focus for development and helps to prepare them for the more intensive projects to follow.

  2. Leadership Styles Presentation—Each participant is assigned a leadership style to research and learn about on their own. They then report back to the group on their findings with the intent to educate their peers on leadership. Examples of leadership styles include Servant Leadership, Transformational Leadership, and Situational Leadership.

  3. Leadership Concepts Presentation—Similar to the Leadership Styles Presentation, participants are assigned a concept that they learn about through self-study and then teach the rest of the class about their respective concepts. Examples of leadership concepts include Strategic Planning, Negotiation, and Conflict Management. The format for these projects teaches the participants the powerful effects of learning by teaching and developing others.

  4. Capstone Project—This major project requires participants to identify a problem or opportunity at the university and develop an implementation plan. A written report and formal presentation are also required. The capstone project in particular provides ample opportunity for on-the-job learning experiences.

The public speaking and presenting is perhaps the most rigorous aspect of the program. It is a hands-on learning experience where participants are evaluated and coached by their peers. For many, this is a high-stress scenario that helps prepare them for demanding leadership roles.

Written and oral reports are the culmination of their efforts and are an intensive learning experience in the subjects of research, problem solving, writing, and public speaking, among others.

Application Requirements

  • Applicants must either currently be performing effectively in a formal leadership role, or they have consistently demonstrated strong leadership characteristics in the workplace, indicating that they would be a high performer in a formal leadership role.
  • Applicants should have experience with basic administrative tools and skills or have reviewed the LinkedIn Learning Leadership Growth Program Prep collection to acquire a basic comprehension of those skills.
  • Applicants must honor the FAS values of Stewardship, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Teamwork, and Service.
  • Applicants must commit to up to 30 hours per month to LGP for the duration of the program.
  • Applicants must have their supervisor’s, director’s, and AVP’s (or equivalent) approval to dedicate up to 30 hours per month to LGP during their normal workday.
  • Applicants must be employed within the Financial and Administrative Services portfolio for at least 12 months by the start date of the program
  • Applicants must have at an overall “Meets Expectations” or better on their last performance evaluation.

This program is offered at no cost to the participants.

Information Sessions

We accepted applications from September 20th through October 8th for the 2022 FAS Leadership Growth Program. We highly encourage anyone interested in applying to the program to attend an information session.

Information sessions provided details on the application process, the program curriculum, and the program philosophy.

If you missed the live information sessions, you may view the recorded session on the L&D YouTube channel.

Recorded Session

Application Process

There are four phases of the admission process

  1. Application packet—Applicants are required to submit the following materials to be considered for the program:
    1. Application form 
    2. Letter of interest
    3. Resume
    4. Most recent performance evaluation
  2. Three-tier Approval—Applicants will submit their packets to their direct supervisors for supervisory approval, which must then be routed to the respective Director and Associate Vice President (or equivalent) for their approval. Applications without full approval will not be accepted. Do not submit partial packets.
  3. Panel interview—Top candidates, as determined from their application packets, will be interviewed by a panel. Each panel member will provide their own anonymous recommendation and reasons for their decisions. Those recommendations will be sent to the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for review.
  4. Final Review—Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer will review recommendations from the interview panel, make any changes, and finalize the cohort for the year.

Letter of interest should express the applicant’s potential, enthusiasm, and commitment to leadership.

Application deadline for the 2022 season was October 8, 2021.