Twenty-five young professionals from a wide variety of organizations compose the 2016 class of Leadership Essentials. This six-month leadership development program, instituted by Leadership Howard County in 2007, is now managed by Loyola University Maryland as part of the Sellinger School of Business. Similar to Loyola’s graduate business programs, Leadership Essentials develops skills that allow participants to stretch their leadership potential and contribute significantly to their organizations, their families and their community.

The program has three core components: Skill Building Workshops, a Coach Relationship and a Community Impact Project Team experience. The skill-building workshops, focused on specific leadership characteristics such as team-building, relationships, project management, the leader as a coach, presentation skills, collaboration and negotiation, include exercises and reflection to facilitate the participants’ ability to sharpen critical skills necessary for effective leadership.

Throughout the six months of the Leadership Essentials program, participants work with their coaches to help them unlock the answers within, enabling them to better make decisions and strengthen their relationships and leadership skills. Participants also contribute to a small team on a short-term Community Impact Project that challenges them to put their lessons learned and leadership skills in action. This year’s Community Impact Project hosts are Bridges to Housing Stability, Bright Minds Foundation, Community Action Council, Downtown Columbia Partnership, Success In Style and The Village in Howard.

“In a hectic time of career growth, Leadership Essentials provided me with an excellent opportunity to slow down and explore what makes a great leader. Through coaching and discussion with classmates, I have strengthened my core values and built lasting friendships,” said Timothy Guy, assessment coordinator, Howard County Public School System, and graduate of Leadership Essentials 2015.

The Sellinger School values its strong community alliances, especially its collaboration with Leadership Howard County and with the Leadership Essentials community of alumni, coaches, community leaders and facilitators.

The program soon will be recruiting for Leadership Essentials 2017. Applications are available in July, with a deadline of early October. Information sessions will be held in August and September; visit Loyola.edu/sellinger for more information.

Lori Fuchs is the Leadership Essentials program manager. She can be reached at lfuchs@loyola.edu. Contact her for more information about the Leadership Essentials program — to send a participant or to volunteer.