Shawn Colvin, Emanuel Brunson, Jonathan Champ and Arthur Earnest graduated from Pathways Leadership Development Program on Tuesday, May 24. Brunson received additional recognition for demonstrating exemplary leadership by embodying the “Model the Way” practice, setting a good example for others and treating others with respect and kindness.
“These four gentlemen work tirelessly every day to advance DELTA’s mission, and their success in completing this program illustrates their desire to keep learning and growing as professionals,” said Associate Vice Provost for Instructional Technology Support and Development Donna Petherbridge.
The two-semester program is designed to “enhance interpersonal effectiveness and leadership propensity.” Components of the program material are aligned with leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.” These specialists have identified five practices of extraordinary leaders: Modeling the Way, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others to Act and Encouraging the Heart.
The program consists of two paths; Path 1 serving as a prerequisite for Path 2. Throughout Path 1, participants cover a range of topics including interpersonal communications, personality styles, conflict resolution and team fundamentals. They also collaborate with other program participants through the development of a team project and presentation.
Once a participant has completed the first path, he or she may choose to “enhance their Pathways experience” by participating in Path 2. This portion of the program allows individuals to complete “The Leadership Challenge Workshop” and course topics that follow these practices. Such topics include giving and receiving feedback, meeting management, leading without authority, presentation skills and leveraging work styles. Participants also engage in a 360-degree feedback assessment, lead and identify a project for their department/unit and team up with a Pathways coach and mentor throughout the program.
Each DELTA participant was involved in a different project during their Pathways experience. Brunson’s team, coined Team bõn [boun], worked on a project titled Pathways to Life “Beyond the Brickyard.” Team members organized a university portal that equips graduating students with necessary life skills that prepare them for post-grad life. These vital skills fall under the categories of career, social, financial, physical and community well-being.
Colvin was a member of Team Wolfpack Travelers. This team created a program to utilize state-owned destination properties at a discounted rate. Wolfpack Travelers would serve as an employee benefits program allowing employees to utilize NC State and other UNC System properties for personal uses at a lower rate.
Champ worked with Team Bump to develop an Expectant Parent Portal and Paid Parental Leave recommendations. The parent portal would be a one-stop shop for NC State faculty and staff a who are planning to add to their families. They also provided recommendations for the parental-leave policy to align with NC State’s peer institutions.
Earnest’s team, Team NCSU Connects, brainstormed a socializing and interest group application for NC State employees. The app would give NC State staff and faculty who share similar interests a chance to connect socially off campus.
Champ and Brunson completed both Paths and participated in the program August 2015–May 2016. They credit the program as a great networking tool and way to learn how to improve communication skills.
“I definitely learned how to communicate better, and not primarily with meeting facilitation, but understanding better how different people think, absorb information, resolve conflicts, and other personal style cues that helped us to understand how to appropriately communicate with our teams. And just as important was understanding how people saw me as a leader, how I saw myself and putting together a plan to further develop those skills,” said Brunson.
Earnest and Colvin began the program January 2016 and have since completed Path 1. Both agree since their completion of this portion of the program, they have seen improvements in their leadership skills.
“I wanted to better learn how to work as a leader of a group as well as within a team setting with a common goal. It was kind of learning how to let go and trust others with something I would have just done myself in the past. It’s new to me to set the goal or destination for others and then point them in that direction. By taking the class, I was able to put a name to and reinforce some things I was already doing, as well as see beyond those to new things to try,” said Earnest.
“I’m definitely looking forward to Path 2!”said Colvin.
Pathways is available to full-time employees of NC State and Campus Partners and Affiliates. It is designed for individuals who identify as “high-performing individuals, emerging team leaders and program/project managers.”