Leadership Development Institute

2009 Leadership Development Award winner


The Junior League of Los Angeles

The Junior League of Los Angeles won the 2009 Leadership Development Award for its Leadership Development Institute, a program in which members participate in training seminars and coaching to improve their leadership abilities.

Program Goal

This program is designed to provide League leaders with “toolboxes” and training to increase their confidence, competence, and comfort as leaders.

Program Description

The program is limited to 16 participants, and preference is given to applicants indicating interest in continuing in League leadership roles.

Before the program begins, each participant completes a Self-Assessment Tool, designed to stimulate evaluation of one’s leadership behaviors and competencies, and a Personal Self-Development Plan, which is implemented and refined as participants move through the program.

There are five group seminars, providing tools and guidance, and monitoring participants’ progress. Topics include the distinction between leaders and managers, conflict management, learning from peer feedback, leading peer volunteers, and preventing fatal flaws and derailment.

All participants are trained in providing and receiving peer coaching. A certified executive coach supports the peer coaching teams, and facilitators conduct coaching sessions and demonstrations.

Participants also complete assignments that emphasize self-awareness and self-reflection, and integrate their learning experiences into their leadership responsibilities.

By the end of the program, participants understand leadership attributes and can assess their own skills and the skills of others. They’ve crafted self-development plans and amassed a network of supportive peers. Participants are able to utilize coaching to strengthen their performance as leaders, and translate personal performance into enhanced organizational effectiveness for the League.


Eleven of the 12 people who completed the program in its first year, 2007-08, were in
League leadership positions for 2008-09. Positions held included Training Director, Development Director-Elect and Public Associate Director.


All 2007-08 participants indicated significant increases in leadership and volunteer skills, and confidence in their leadership abilities. Participants gave all components of the program ratings between 4.25 and 4.83 on a 5-point scale. The highest-rated were the professional coaching sessions and the in-person seminars.