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Queens’ business and education schools team to help principals become better leaders

The Executive Leadership Institute at the McColl School of BusinessThe Executive Leadership Institute at the McColl School of Business

Charlotte public-school administrators had two goals for principals: to help them develop professionally following the honeymoon period of their careers, and to see them lead change.

Solution:  A unique partnership between McColl School of Business and the Cato School of Education at Queens University of Charlotte.

McColl's Executive Leadership Institute offers customized leadership and management development, often working with other schools on campus to serve businesses and organizations. In the case of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the institute partnered with Queens' education school to build a program to meet the school system's needs.

After the school system took advantage of the institute through federal professional development funding, administrators saw new energy in the 15 percent of principals who participated.

"They're being able to figure out ways to advance ideas," said Ann Clark, chief academic officer for the school system. "They have a strong network of collegiality, and they got a sense of their value to the organization because of the investment we made."

System administrators plan to enroll a second group of principals in the institute in the fall of 2010.

Nearly 20 companies, some national and international, have used the institute, including Bank of America, Duke Energy and the Carolina Panthers.

A system of health care providers leveraged it to develop physicians as leaders. A transportation logistics company used it to help its managers prepare for going public. And a global industrial manufacturer worked to develop skills in innovation, strategy and leadership in its junior executives.

McColl faculty approach sessions - some single seminars, others multiple sessions over months - as guides to learning. Instead of promising pat solutions, the experts in their fields help participants explore, analyze and problem solve to reach conclusions and develop plans that fit their organizations' objectives and cultures.

 "The faculty have been senior executives or have been consultants to senior executives," said institute Director Linda Christopherson.  "We understand the complexity of the challenges executives face. We don't walk into the room thinking we have all the answers. Participants learn from each other, too, and learn how to spot problems they don't know about, and solve them in ways they hadn't learned."

Want to learn more?

For more details about Executive Leadership Institute or to ask about arranging a program to meet your organization's needs, call 704-337-2309.
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