The AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program develops advanced leaders from across AgriLife who want to enhance their leadership and personal development skills. The program, which lasts for 18 months, builds leadership, while providing a greater understanding of The Texas A&M System and the land–grant mission.
The AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program is an 18–month cohort initiative that focuses on leadership skills and experience, building upon participants’ current and future roles. Aimed at those who are interested in developing a variety of leadership roles, the program also provides a greater understanding of The Texas A&M System, and the land–grant mission. Interaction with administrators, leadership professionals, and peers allows participants experiences and tools to enhance their effectiveness as leaders. As a result, knowledge of both College and agency–specific issues are deepened, as is knowledge of relevant international, national, and state topics.
The cohort is structured around six formal meetings, taking place in an 18–month period at Texas A&M AgriLife locations throughout the state. Participants implement personal development plans, that add value and enrich both the individual and his or her agency. Through awareness, interaction, and mastery of core competencies, participants develop their leadership, personal, and professional skills, while fostering advocacy and support for each component of Texas A&M AgriLife.
- Building Relationships and Interpersonal Skills
- Developing a Professional and Personal Leadership Plan
- Strategies for Professional Communication
- Establishing Vision, Ethics, and Integrity
- Managing Power and Influence
- Solving Problems Creatively
- Fostering Conflict Resolution and Managing Change
Dr. Mark Hussey, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, asked the program Executive Committee to propose avenues to keep the cohorts involved as a group once their formal 18–month participation is completed. Their involvement would revolve around activities supporting the missions of the College and the four agencies. The following have been proposed:
- Serve as members of the AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program Steering Committee;
- Attend AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program advocacy presentations associated with their agency or college;
- Attend the AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program Induction Dinner;
- Participate in AgriLife Conference planning committees;
- Serve as AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program mentors;
- Meet annually for one or two day development opportunities;
- Conduct a transfer survey in 12 months (to determine how learning experience successfully transferred to another setting);
- Ask department/unit supervisors to encourage and support continuing education opportunities for leadership development; and
- Participate in experiential learning opportunities (such as task forces, relevant meetings, and interim leadership roles).
The cohort’s leadership experience begins with a formal induction dinner, then is structured around about six formal 2–3 day meetings, taking place over an 18–month period at locations affiliated with Texas A&M AgriLife throughout the state. The group’s capstone project is presented during the AgriLife Conference in January.
A variety of books, articles, and case studies reinforce core competencies, and stimulate discussion. The assignments are designed for all participants. These, along with other assignments not listed, generate cohesion in and among AgriLife components.
Skills and Personality Inventories—Participants complete both the Leadership Practices (LPI) 360° and Myers–Briggs Type Indicator assessments.
Leadership Plan—According to individual goals and vision, participants develop and implement a professional and personal leadership plan.
Advocacy Presentations—Each group presentation includes participants from the same component of AgriLife. Presenters work closely with their directors, heads, or supervisors to deliver a presentation illustrating aspects of their profession and component’s mission. Presentations should be about 20–25 minutes with additional time for audience questions. Advocacy Presentations should:
- enhance professional communication via presentations;
- collaborate, cooperate, and build relationships with fellow presenters and supervisors assisting with the presentation;
- provide information on each component of Texas A&M AgriLife to participants from different components;
- generate a better understanding of each AgriLife component and its mission; and
- reflect each individual role in the mission of the specific AgriLife component.
Shadowing Experiences—For one day, participants shadow another professional from a different AgriLife component.
Capstone Leadership Project—Teams are assigned a leadership project allowing individuals opportunities to use knowledge gained through the program.
Proposed session dates for Cohort II are provided below:
- Induction Dinner: February 29, 2012
- Setting the Course: September 24-27, 2012
- Leadership Cornerstones: November 13-15, 2012
- Leadership Cornerstones: January 7-8, 2013
- Leadership Cornerstones: April 16-18, 2013
- Leadership Cornerstones: August 13-15, 2013
- Leadership in Action: October 15-17, 2013
- Capstone Presentation and Closing: January 6-7, 2014