Community Leadership Program


The Community Leadership Program prepares leaders from across Central Iowa to be effective stewards for our community's future. The nine-month curriculum offers a view of Greater Des Moines from different vantage points, heightens participant awareness of current conditions and issues, enhances individual and group leadership skills, and helps class members see themselves as partners for change. 


Nomination and Application Schedule

  • February 8 - March 3: Class of 2018 nominations accepted.
  • February 16: Community Leadership Program Informational Session.
  • April: Applications due.
  • May: Candidate phone interviews.
  • June: Class selection and invitations extended.

Participants and Selection

Each year, fifty leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors of the community are selected to participate in this transformational program. Ideal candidates have demonstrated some level of community leadership experience and are committed to community engagement.

All nominated candidates will be invited to apply. When completing the application, careful, thorough responses are encouraged in order to ensure the Selection Committee has enough information on which to judge fit for the program and dedication to community leadership development. The long-standing Community Leadership Program is highly competitive and many candidates apply more than once. 

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Curriculum

The curriculum includes leadership development training and exposure to community issues through experiential learning, expert presentations, and class discussions. The three pillars of the Community Leadership Program include:

  • Issue and Opportunity Awareness: The Capital Crossroads Vision Plan serves as a foundation for exposure to critical issues within our community. Each class session delves into one of 10 areas of focus for the next five years in Central Iowa.
  • Leadership Development: Championing community change requires a deep understanding of oneself and the skills needed to help others achieve extraordinary things. Participants learn the five practices of exemplary leadership, which is based on 35+ years of research presented in The Leadership Challenge.  
  • Practice through Service: Class members apply what they learn as they work on class projects, benefiting local non-profit organizations. Our concentration on leadership development encourages class members to intentionally focus on group dynamics, respect for different leadership styles, community project management, as well as becoming better advocates for community needs. See this year's list of class members and projects. 

    Participant Expectations

    Active class member participation ensures a rich experience for the individual as well as for the group. For that reason, participants are held to a strict attendance policy. A program schedule will be provided to those who are nominated for the program, so they may ensure they are able to participate. To receive the most benefit from the class experience and to fully complete program expectations, participants should expect a significant time commitment over the nine-month program. Class members will participate in:

    • 12 five-hour classes held approximately every three weeks.
    • 1 one-and-a-half-day retreat and 1 one-day retreat.
    • Preparation between sessions. 
    • Class project work and meetings outside of regular sessions. 
    • Full-day commencement.

    Cost

    The cost to participate in the Community Leadership Program is $1,950. It is important that cost not be a barrier to any qualified candidate's participation. Those accepted into the program will have an opportunity to apply for financial assistance, including full and partial scholarships.

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    Watch a video highlighting (somewhat in jest) the Community Leadership Program Class of 2016 experience.


    Sponsor

    The Community Leadership Program is generously supported by Drake University Graduate & Professional Programs.


    Testimonials

    The Community Leadership Program was in one word, transformational. Through exposure to the Capital Crossroads and getting to know other leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds and connections to this community, I am walking away from the experience with the tools, resources, and most importantly, the relationships to deepen my journey as a community leader. I would highly recommend this program to others who are interested in furthering their commitment to our wonderful community. 

    — Hanna Wolle (CLP '16), Principal


    The Community Leadership Program provides training that accelerates the leadership development process. The result – new leadership is continuously being generated for the community. Every Belin McCormick, P.C. attorney who graduates from the program is changed; each graduate renewed in their commitment to lead. Belin McCormick, P.C. strongly supports the initiative to assure the vitality of our community.

    — Steve Zumbach (CLP ’83), Belin McCormick, P.C.


    As a transplant to the Greater Des Moines area as well as a minority it was frightening to move to a significantly smaller city with a significantly less diverse population than the major metropolitan city where I spent 30 years. But since moving to Des Moines, I have found some of the most engaging people I have ever met. The leadership and future leadership seem to be genuinely invested in the betterment of the community. CLP allowed me the opportunity to learn and participate while getting to know and work with some of the most amazingly engaged leaders in the community. I will be forever changed and eternally grateful that I can be a part of its legacy.

    — Antione Terrell (CLP '14), Salvation Army


    The Institute provided rich insight into what a special community we live in and motivated me to be a part of making it bigger and better for all...clearly it was the foundation for my development as a community leader.

    — Cara Heiden (CLP '89), retired, Wells Fargo


    It was an honor to be included in the Class of 2014. The Leadership Institute has done a phenomenal job of organizing each class with a specific purpose, challenging us as both a group and as individuals, and opening our eyes to the inner workings of Greater Des Moines. You cannot go through this experience without becoming a better person.

    — Clint Dudley (CLP '14), Shade Tree Auto


    I applied for CLP thinking it would help me become more involved in the community. Not only did the program accomplish that goal, but it challenged me to reach beyond what I thought I was capable of accomplishing. It was truly the experience of a lifetime.

    — Kerry Vande Kieft (CLP '13), UMR



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