Fundamentals of Leadership Program


The purpose of this program is to improve the leadership capabilities of full time faculty in leadership roles within SMHS.  The program is focused on enhancing fundamental leadership competencies related to leading individuals, teams and change. 

In academic medicine and health sciences, we all lead every day----we lead trainees, care delivery and/or research teams, projects, programs, and importantly, ourselves.  Some of us have extensive experience in leadership roles; others are encountering such roles for the first time. Regardless, we can all benefit from leadership development programs, as leadership skills and behaviors can be learned and continuously enhanced.  

Leadership, however, is an elusive concept: It includes many different competencies as depicted in Figure 1. Particularly with respect to “softer” leadership competencies (those related to individual styles, interpersonal communication and team building) there is no one way to do them best; no panacea. Leadership is also very situational: What works for one individual in one situation may not work others, or for that individual in other situations.  This program explores the fundamental leadership skills required by those who are in mid-level roles directing programs, curricula, centers and large-scale projects.  

Program Description

This is an eight month, cohort-based program. The program uses a learning approach to effective leadership development based on work by Jay Conger, incorporating conceptual understanding about leadership, skill-building, feedback, and reflection. 

The program will begin with individual pre-work developing or refining a project plan for one work-related project the participant wants to focus on developing throughout the eight months.  This will be shared and discussed at a day-long orientation session. Thereafter, the cohort will meet monthly, face to face, for 4 hours to explore and discuss various leadership competencies and how they can be applied to the project. A small amount of reading will be assigned to be completed in advance of each session. In between the monthly sessions, cohort members will engage with a mentor to work on building the competencies related to their specific project.  Mentors will be matched with participants at the orientation session. The participants should not identify a mentor in advance. 

A non-credit bearing Certificate of Completion will be awarded to participants upon their successful completion of the program.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Apply concepts, tools and techniques to increase or enhance their personal effectiveness
  • Implement strategies to improve their interpersonal effectiveness
  • Implement strategies to enhance the performance and learning of their teams
  • Employ tools and techniques to enhance their management of change and measure its effectiveness



The cohort will consist of up to 12 full time faculty members who have responsibility for leading programs, centers or large-scale projects and are committed to enhancing their relational leadership skills and behaviors.  
The participant’s department/division chair must support both their participation and their project.


Application Process

A brief application is required. We are no longer accepting applications. Please check back at a later date for future cohorts.

A brief application is required, including:

  • A description of the applicant’s leadership role and responsibilities. Please do NOT include CVs.
  • A description of the project the applicant will apply the program learning to and how the project will specifically contribute to the department and to SMHS.   
  • A letter of support from the chair regarding the leadership potential of the applicant and the importance of the project to the department and to SMHS.
  • Affirmation of a 3-5 year commitment to SMHS if selected.

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on:

  • The alignment of the program goals, content and approach with the applicant’s developmental needs, and
  • The project’s importance to the department and to SMHS.

Applications should be no more than 3 pages and should be emailed ONLY to:

Program Associate, Center for Faculty Excellence


Questions may be directed to:

Ellen Goldman, EdD, MBA
Associate Dean for Faculty and Organizational Development: or 202-994-4004 or

Ray Lucas, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Health Affairs: or 202-994-2966.


2020 Schedule of Fundamentals of Leadership Sessions

All sessions must be attended in person.

Session 1: January 28, 2020                                                                             Setting Direction for Change
Session 2: February 25, 2020 Managing Your Time and Managing Up
Session 3: March 24, 2020 Leading Others and Leading Change
Session 4: April 28, 2020 Developing Your Emotional Intelligence
Session 5: May 26, 2020 Gaining Commitment and Embedding Culture
Session 6: June 23, 2020 Building Your Negotiation Skills
Session 7: July 28, 2020 Maximizing Team Performance and Learning
Session 8: August 25, 2020 Moving Change Forward/Celebration


Figure 1: Leadership Competency Model

Leadership Competency Model