Successfully Supporting Today’s Leaders

Today’s leaders need to be agile, resilient, able to navigate change and create new solutions for  our current challenges. The coronavirus pandemic has only increased the need for these skills and the complexity of policy making. Our local leaders have a tall order to fill, and the research points to not only strengthening new competencies, but also the increasing need for new opportunities to build these skill sets.

The top in demand skills for leaders according to LinkedIn’s 4th Annual Workplace Learning Report include: emotional intelligence, ability to support and motivate towards collaboration; and the ability to be creative and adaptable. When looking at prior years, there is a marked upward trend in more human-centered competencies being added and seen as critical. This trend is also seen in a survey conducted by the Volcker Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit focused on effective government management, which asked government leaders to share the skills they felt they needed to be successful in their current and future work. The survey results revealed the most in-demand competencies leaders are seeking are also human-centered- self-management, interaction with others internal and external:

  • Managing your team and yourself
  • Responding to the Public
  • Data and technology skills
  • Business acumen

The way these skills are taught is also shifting with an emphasis on being  accessible, adaptive, in the context of right now while also distilling lessons learned that are still applicable to today’s challenges. The Volker survey also captured ways leaders wanted to engage with skill-building and found the majority of leaders are seeking opportunities for coaching, multi-session learning, ability to learn within networks and a community as well as online or onsite experiences. The research supports this approach showing marked impacts on effectiveness in learning and overall organizational impacts with hybrid approaches of experiential learning and coaching opportunities. In a panel study published in the Public Administration Review, leadership development that involved a diversified learning approach of classroom and experiential learning coupled with opportunities for mentorship, feedback and coaching proved to show higher levels of skill attainment and efficacy.  

NLC University has been a leader in this space producing new content and modalities to support leaders –  launching the Leading Well in Anxious Times series; bringing coaching and small group support to leadership development; and securing access to Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute training in emotional intelligence, mindfulness and backed by neuroscience.We are committed to continuing to make relevant learning accessible to our members that leads to building thriving communities. That is why we are announcing a new partnership with Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement

Starting today NLC members will have access to Tulane University’s newly launched online Master of Public Administration program. Members who complete the NLCU Leading Through Disruption program of study can receive up to six graduate level course credits towards an MPA degree at Tulane SOPA in addition to a tuition discount. The MPA program is online and focuses on teaching the foundational concepts of public administration as well as practical, contemporary innovations.

To learn more please visit the NLC University webpage or contact Dana D’Orazio, Program Director of Leadership Development and Education at Also please join us September 24th at 1pm ET for an Info Session + Q&A with NLCU and Tulane University SOPA Director Dr. Halima Leak Francis to learn more about the program and application process. Sign up here.


About the Author

Dana D'Orazio (1)Dana D’Orazio is the Program Director of Leadership Development and Education with NLC University.