What is the Leadership Institute for State-Based Advocates?

Posted November 13, 2013, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog whatislisa 2013

Casey’s Lead­er­ship Insti­tute for State-Based Advo­cates equips state and local advo­cates to lever­age data, part­ner­ships, per­son­al pow­er and author­i­ty to influ­ence pol­i­cy reform deci­sions and advo­ca­cy agen­das to help chil­dren and fam­i­lies. The Lead­er­ship Insti­tute, which launched in 2012, rep­re­sents a part­ner­ship between the Foundation’s KIDS COUNT state-based net­work and its lead­er­ship devel­op­ment staff, with the goal of strength­en­ing the bench of results-based advo­cates for chil­dren. Unlike oth­er lead­er­ship devel­op­ment pro­grams that pro­vide tech­ni­cal com­pe­ten­cies in finance, man­age­ment and fundrais­ing, the Lead­er­ship Insti­tute offers oppor­tu­ni­ties to address real-time adap­tive lead­er­ship chal­lenges in the participant’s orga­ni­za­tions and sys­tems, and the state pol­i­cy and polit­i­cal environment. 

The Lead­er­ship Insti­tute is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for each par­tic­i­pant to reflect, explore and learn more about his or her lead­er­ship prac­tice in the con­text of per­son­al strengths, assigned orga­ni­za­tion­al roles and with­in com­plex sys­tems. Dis­cus­sions, exer­cis­es, and prac­tice of results-based lead­er­ship com­pe­ten­cies and crit­i­cal advo­ca­cy lead­er­ship prin­ci­ples are woven into both group work and indi­vid­ual activ­i­ties with the expec­ta­tion that par­tic­i­pants inter­nal­ize, grow com­fort­able with and ulti­mate­ly apply these skills on a broad­er scale with­in their own orga­ni­za­tions, sys­tems and states.

Appli­cants to this 18-month pro­gram must have five or more years of pro­gres­sive­ly respon­si­ble lead­er­ship expe­ri­ence in pol­i­cy reform and advo­ca­cy and/​or fis­cal analy­sis, with pref­er­ence for those who have a strong knowl­edge of the leg­isla­tive process.

Melis­sa Rock of Maryland’s Advo­cates for Chil­dren and Youth, who chairs a coali­tion of child wel­fare stake­hold­ers, says the results-based lead­er­ship skills she has prac­ticed dur­ing the Lead­er­ship Insti­tute have shaped how she leads an unwieldy group or orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als with var­ied inter­ests. The abil­i­ty to hold a neu­tral stance where nec­es­sary and voice my opin­ion at oth­er times — and know­ing when to do which — has helped move the coali­tion in a pos­i­tive direction.”

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