LEAP Program Schedule

April 25, 2006

In order to make the LEAP experience a consistent one, we will be maintaining the same program schedule as last year.  However, there will be some minor modifications to some of the programs.  Also, the order of the sessions may need some minor adjustment in order to refine the flow of the program. 

Here is the schedule in its current form:


Welcome Reception


Leap Retreat


Essentials of Communication


Follow the Book


Part 1:  Challenge throughout System History

Part 2:  We've Come a Long Way, Baby


Public Relations:  Our Window on the World


Shake 'Em Up:  A Day in the  Life Somewhere Else


The Library world Beyond Memphis Public


Community Involvement


Where I Went/What I Learned



I will be adding more content regarding these sessions, including links to PowerPoint Shows and  .pdf versions of the handouts in the near future. 


Applications are available

April 24, 2006

I sent out the applications last week.  Last year, we had 37 interested applicants.  Not bad for the first year.  With word of mouth and encouragement from all levels throughout the system, we are expecting a larger pool this year. 

The process will be the same as last year.  Interested staff must complete the application, and be sure to submit with a letter of recommendation attesting to his/her leadership potential.  This letter may come from someone outside the system. 

After the applications have been screened, a group of interviewers will be selected.  The pool will be narrowed to 20.  These finalists will be interviewed individually to determine suitability for the program.  Ultimately, the 12 members of the class of 2007 will be selected from the process.

So, if you are interested, please go ahead and complete the application.  You can download a copy by following this link:


Do something positive for your career–LEAP!

What is LEAP?

April 21, 2006

LEAP is a leadership program of Memphis Public Library and Information Center.  

LEAP (Leadership Empowerment Achievement Program) is designed to:

  • identify potential leaders within the library system,

  • allow employees interested in advancement an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills, and

  • develop a  pool of individuals who can assume leadership roles when the need arises.

The objectives for participants in LEAP are:

  1. develop visionary leadership through practical hands-on experience and classroom training sessions;

  2. develop awareness of external and internal social and political influences impacting the library system, resulting in effective communication strategies for disseminating information;

  3. develop proactive strategies to address a shifting workplace environment; and

  4. gain an understanding of the overall operation of the library system and how each part works together to support the organization’s mission.


The following is a list of “soft skills” or “transferable skills” identified by the Leadership Development Steering Committee as shaping future Memphis Public Library leaders.  Individual LEAP sessions were designed based on these competencies; each session addresses one or more of these skills:

  • identifying and appreciating various leadership styles

  • effective communication

  • motivating followers and teambuilding

  • ethical leadership

  • valuing professional organizations

  • advocacy and outreach

  • stress management

  • strategic planning

  • personal and professional development

  • dealing with change

  • coaching and mentoring

  • community awareness

  • public relations

  • coping with chaos

  • recognizing charateristics of good leaders

  • political acumen or savvy

  • building collaborative elationships

  • networking

  • handling criticism and adversity

  • creating and communicating vision

  • understanding the library "big picture"

  • time management

  • identifying future trends

Hello world!

April 21, 2006

LEAP logoWelcome to the LEAP site.  This site is intended to serve as a journal recording the activities and successes of the Memphis Public Library and Information Center's Library Leadership Program. We have nearly completed our first year, and will have the first LEAP graduation class May 11, 2006.  These first 12 grads will be poised to utilize all of the insights and skills they have gained during their year-long participation in the program.  Some have already experienced some success directly attributable to LEAP, e.g. promotions and increased responsibility.  One particular class member has emerged as a gifted public speaker–conquering a paralyzing fear of public speaking. 

Five of these class members will be asked immediately to employ some of their leadership potential.  They will be serving as active members of the steering committee for the next LEAP class.  This involves planning the curriculum and facilitating some of the sessions. 

I am looking forward to the graduation and will let you know all about it in a later post.