UW Leaders' Perspectives
on SLP Level 2

Following are several UW leaders' thoughts about the SLP Level 2 Leadership Agility Series, in their own words. All have attended multiple sessions in the series.

Jeneil M. Lagassé, Manager of Financial Operations, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

I had a very positive experience when I participated in Level 1 of the Strategic Leadership Program, and the title of the SLP Level 2 Leadership Agility Series caught my attention because of my involvement in our departments' "support services reorganization." We are creating a new department culture that gives us latitude to create new procedures and systematic tools while meeting our audit and compliance requirements.

The people I have met at the first three sessions of the SLP Level 2 series are going through similar organizational review and changes.

Some have shared in the training that there is a cultural shift happening at the University. This may have been triggered by the current economic state we find ourselves in, but I think it's presenting us with great opportunities to address the old saying of "because we have always done it that way." We are now able to bring ideas forward, look at and implement structural changes, and give staff a sense of ownership and pride in end result.

Having the ability to adapt to the ever-changing work environment at the University in a positive, effective way holds high value for me. The SLP Level 2 series has given me more tools for identifying key stakeholders and involving them in our reorganization. It has also given me tools to be a better manager while involving my staff at varying decision levels. I would encourage others to enroll if they’re open to change and collaborative efforts.

Rich Murray, Interim Assistant Director, Department Administration, Finance, and
Operations / Chief Administrator, Environmental Health and Safety

I signed up for SLP Level 2 in part because I so thoroughly enjoyed the initial SLP Level 1. Also, as a leader/manager, I want to continue to learn to be both a better leader and to find ways to better myself as an individual.

In the SLP Level 2 workshops, you not only forge relationships with colleagues that attend, you also have the opportunity to meet new peers, which is a great thing. I think connecting with so many different leaders enriches our view of the University as a whole and also helps us to feel more allied and plugged in.

Attending these workshops has made me more aware of what being a good leader is all about, and it’s also provided me with many tools and references. I feel a renewed sense of focus and also feel galvanized to continue to improve myself and my organization.

Calvin Tran, Administrator, Ophthalmology

I was promoted to an administrator last June. This is my first time in a leadership role and as part of the senior management team of my department, and the SLP Level 2 Leadership Agility Series is part of my training for this promotion.

Most beneficial from the workshops is that I’ve been provided with more tools and ways to become a successful leader. The exercises, case studies, and group discussions have been the most useful take-aways. I’ve been able to collect information, ideas, and experiences from other managers about how they handle their jobs.

The focus of my first year of the new job has been learning about my department, its financial status, business operations, goals, mission, etc., but I anticipate being able to apply more of what I have learned from the workshops to my job in future years.

Jennie L. Paxson, Executive Assistant to the Chair, Surgery

I started the SLP Level 2 series by chance. A coworker had signed up and then couldn’t go due to an emergency, so I went in her place. After attending one workshop, I decided to complete the whole series.

Since I’m not in an obvious leadership position—I supervise only one person—SLP Level 2 has opened my eyes to the various ways I can step up as a leader. I think the model that Renée is teaching is a creative way of thinking about leadership. As someone who hasn’t had a lot of exposure to leadership development aside from SLP Level 1, I’ve found it an engaging and compelling way of looking at leadership.

So far, the workshops have helped me in problem solving and have changed the way I approach things. Once I’ve finished the series, I feel I will have gained a completely new perspective on myself as a leader and on the possibilities of leadership.

Summer 2011 | Return to issue home