What is LEAP?

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


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