In 2013, leaders of the Junior League of Kansas City invited the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership to partner with them in the development and delivery of a leadership development program that would offer the league’s members with valuable learning experiences that blended academic insight with practical tools for personal and professional development. Working together, the Center and the League’s Training and Development committee identified a set of twelve modules that would be relevant and useful to members in their work with the League while also providing benefits that would be helpful in their careers and in their leadership roles with the League and other community nonprofits. The result was a set of twelve three-hour modules, each focused on a specific aspect of the practice of leadership that women with career and community leadership experience would find valuable, that are presented after work and on Saturdays. Each includes a brief pre-session reading, a self-assessment relevant to the session, and a lot of discussion and sharing of experiences among the participants. Topics include
Getting Things Done: Influence, Power and Authority
Leading Teams and Groups
Leading People Through Major Change
Understanding and Dealing with Conflict
. The sessions are designed as stand-alone experiences so members can complete them when their personal and professional schedules allow, and they can be taken in any order. To receive the certificate, a member must participate in all twelve modules.
The ultimate outcome of this has been a very well-received program engaging dozens of women from the Kansas City and neighboring Leagues, each of whom is using the ALCS experience to help them be more successful and effective in their leadership roles in a myriad of settings, ranging from League committee leadership roles to nonprofit, community, and even their work. As another of the regular participants in the series observed, “When discussing leadership development, this is by far the most outstanding training that we have available to us as League members. I have learned so many valuable lessons to catapult me into a successful League career while also highlighting some of the everyday issues I run into as both an entrepreneur and a board member with other organizations.” The Junior League ALCS program is one for which the Junior League and the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and the university can take pride.