Leadership By Design
In fall 2016 the Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI) launched the Leadership by Design (LBD) program which provides innovative leadership development opportunities to GTA youth of Black and Black African Canadian descent.
While all students have varying capacity for leadership and will perform leadership roles within their families, social circles, schools and wider community, the LBD program is about amplifying leadership skills. LBD seeks to inspire and equip students to pursue future leadership opportunities whereby they become decisions makers who are well positioned to shape the future of their communities, workplaces, and country – we refer to this as seat-at-the-table leadership. We focus on leadership development because leadership skills not only enable good, effective, and responsible leadership in all spheres, they also contribute to personal, social and career success. As well, the soft skills which contribute to effective leadership are the very same skills that foster entrepreneurship and good citizenship.
What are these leadership skills? They are mostly the soft skills that start with the mindset of ‘getting things done’ and include decision making, effective communication, self-awareness, self-confidence, reliability, resilience, teamwork, persuasion, networking, time management, empathy, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, civic responsibility, and intellectual curiosity. We want LBD students to acquire the skills of an authentic leader who is able to influence and inspire others to accomplish defined objectives and to model exemplary leadership through the practise of these skills.
Supporting the LBD’s primary thrust of the acquisition and practise of leadership skills is ‘career exploration’. The LBD program provides opportunities for career exploration and given the challenges and complexities of today’s workplace; students are encouraged to pursue post-secondary pathways.
The Leadership by Design program is a multi-year program that supports the success of academically promising Black youth and does so in partnership with parents.