Leadership Emerging in Academic Departments (LEAD) Program

Leadership is about influence and the ability to make things happen, not just “being in charge.” Leadership skills are critical for the success of faculty at all stages of development and are of particular importance in the emerging landscape of Team Science. The curriculum includes modules in self-discovery, communication, influence, negotiation, difficult conversations, inspiring trust and embracing diversity.

This 12-month program is comprised of monthly workshops, supplemented by online videos and resources, personal and peer coaching, and a leadership-focused Capstone Project.

Applications for  the next LEAD cohort will open in Fall 2024.



Overview of the Curriculum

Session 1: Lead Program Kick-off

This initial session is an opportunity for you to meet your colleagues and learn more about this program and what we will be focusing on in the forthcoming months.

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Describe the curriculum mapped agenda for leadership
  • Explain your role in the LEAD program participant team, and explain the importance of professionalism and commitment to the program
  • Identify your own strengths and the strengths of others when working in a team
  • Outline the benefits of using a validated tool to better identify your own strengths and areas for development

Session 2: Personal Leadership

In this session we will use the evidence-based Hogan assessment to help you explore your own natural leadership tendencies. We will also review how these tendencies are influenced by your personal values, and what happens to your leadership style when you are under stress. This insight into your personal style will provide the basis for the rest of the program.

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Identify key leadership attributes
  • Appraise your personal communication & leadership styles
  • Discern and assess your emotional intelligence

Session 3: Emotional Intelligence

In this session we will focus on the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership and illustrate to you what happens when leaders lack emotional intelligence. This session will highlight some of the ways in which you can demonstrate emotional intelligence when making decisions and leading others, with a focus on body language cues that you can incorporate into your own practice.

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Recognize the five major dimensions of “Emotional Intelligence” as described by Goleman
  • Demonstrate effective “Emotional Intelligence” in “Active Listening” Scenarios
  • Interpret emotions from body language cues
  • Demonstrate enhanced decision-making in leadership scenarios as a result of the incorporation of “Emotional Intelligence” insight.

Session 4: Situational leadership

This session will take a look at the theories and approaches that underpin our modern day understanding of leadership. We will use these theories to inform how we think about and practice leadership.

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • List key leadership theories and explain how leadership theory has evolved
  • Describe the Situational Leadership model and its application to practice
  • Define the “directive” and “supportive” dimensions of leadership
  • Evaluate an employees’ task-related commitment and competence when selecting a leadership approach

Session 5: Communication and influence

The ability to influence is foundational to the concept of leadership. In this session will consider the psychology of influence, and will introduce you to some of the key thinking on what makes an effective influencer (and hence, an effective leader). We will review leadership in the workplace, and consider the social basis of power from which we are able to influence.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Explain the psychology of influence
  • Evaluate the bases of social power and identify the most effective bases from which to influence
  • Implement a variety of influence tactics
  • Recognize an emotionally intelligent approach to influence
  • Evaluate key considerations when influencing up the hierarchy

Session 6: Negotiation and Navigating personal conflict

Everyone will experience conflict in the workplace at some time in their careers. As leaders, you must be able to effectively navigate this conflict, using the appropriate conflict management tools and techniques to reach a win-win situation for you and your colleagues. This session will provide you with an understanding of your natural approach to conflict (it might not be what you expect!) and an understanding of other approaches you might us to deal with conflict, and when these might be appropriate to use. Using case studies, we will explore some of the common issues that arise in practice, and the most evidence-based strategies for managing these situations.

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Identifying your leadership style
  • Recognize the best strategy for resolving conflict
  • Describe the difference between win-lose and win-win negotiations
  • Identify and demonstrate practice techniques for transforming win-lose negotiations to win-win negotiations

Session 7: Presentation skills

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Identify and utilize effective presentation skills
  • Practice applying these skills to deliver a “sticky” presentation
  • Model presenting to an audience

Session 8: Antiracism, Diversity and Cultural Competency 

In this session we will focus on bias, and the ‘peanut butter and jelly’ associations that we all make every day without even thinking about it. Unconscious bias can create attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understandings and decisions in an unconscious manner. If these biases are left unchecked, we can do more harm than good. In this session we will think about ways to recognize and mitigate your own biases.

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Delineate how to encourage diversity in opinions and ideas
  • Describe the importance of creating cultural competency in our organization
  • Identify the impact of unconscious bias and learn to reduce bias

Session 9: Business planning 

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Describe the essential characteristics and components of a business plan
  • Examine the attributes of a successful business plan
  • Determine the process for developing a strategic plan

Session 10: Working in Teams

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify the critical elements of teamwork
  • Summarize the challenges of managing a diverse team
  • Examine influences on collective decision making

Session 11: Selecting the right team: Behavioral Interviewing

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Explain what Behavioral Event Interviewing consists of
  • Identify job-related competencies and behavioral-based questions
  • Create behavioral-based questions for a position you are or will be interviewing for
  • Differentiate between poor, good and excellent interviewee answers

Session 12 & 13 Presenting your Capstone

Applicant eligibility

Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

Must be either an Assistant Professor (MDs, PhDs, MD/PhDs) or Associate Professor or Instructor.

Must be supported by their Director, Chair and/or Division Chief

Must have protected time for participation – all face-to-face workshops are mandatory

Women, faculty who identify as underrepresented in medicine and science, and faculty with disabilities are encouraged to apply


Previous participants

Previous participants have reported personal and professional benefits of participating in the LEAD program. These include:


  • “Made connections with peer leaders”
  • “Been able to identify and deal with what is holding me back”
  • “Found out how to seek advantages and make opportunities”
  • “Better equipped to manage conversations with hospital presidents, department chairs and CMOs”
  • “Developed the confidence to run for leadership positions I wouldn’t have considered before”
Contact us

Want to find out more about the LEAD Program?

Contact Janice Gabrilove janice.gabrilove@mssm.edu or Haley Swilling haley.swilling@mssm.edu