Leadership Essentials

          Leadership Essentials (LE) is a six-month leadership development program for emerging and mid-level leaders offered through Loyola University Maryland, in collaboration with Leadership Howard County. From December - June, a diverse cohort of 30-35 leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors work together to strengthen and expand their leadership skills through intensive one-on-one coaching, in-person workshops, and team-based projects to address the needs of local nonprofit organizations.

          Three-Pronged Approach

          Leadership Essentials is designed with you in mind: a rising star who demonstrates a passion and commitment to develop as a leader in both your organization and your community. You will take your leadership skills to the next level with our three-pronged approach:



          Skill Building Sessions

          The full cohort will meet 1-2 times/month from December to June for in-person sessions in convenient locations in Howard County, MD. In these sessions, you will sharpen skills to become a more effective leader in your organizations and community. Sessions are led by subject matter experts and may include the following topics:

          • Self-awareness
          • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
          • Effective communication skills
          • High performing teams
          • Conflict management
          • Strategy and innovation
          • Using influence to get results

          SDI Conflict Kelly

          One-on-One Leadership Coaching

          What makes Leadership Essentials unique is that in addition to sessions our participants work one-on-one with a leadership coach twice per month for the duration of the program. Coaching sessions are confidential and help participants gain confidence and achieve results. Coaching can help you:

          • Establish personal and professional goals
          • Identify and explore challenges at work
          • Create an action plan uniquely suited to your needs
          • Develop critical thinking skills
          • Improve relationships

          Community Impact Projects

          Often considered a highlight of the program, participants work in small teams on a Community Impact Project to support a local nonprofit. Projects provide an opportunity for you to:

          • Strengthen your leadership, communication, and project management skills
          • Build relationships with your teammates
          • Make a difference in your local community

          Many Leadership Essentials graduates stay involved with the nonprofits they work with during the program or find other ways to give back to the community upon completion of the program.

          The Cohort

          Who participates in Leadership Essentials?

          Individuals who are ready to take the next step in their leadership journey! The cohort is a diverse mix of managers and individual contributors with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and education levels. Candidates typically live or work in the region and are viewed as rising stars in their organizations. Applicants are emerging and mid-level leaders who want to develop their self-awareness, improve their communication and leadership skills, and have a desire to participate in community service. Selected participants represent a cross-section of the community: large and small business, government, education, health care, and nonprofits.




          Learn More

          The Leadership Essentials program hosts information sessions leading up to the October deadline. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the program, meet other interested participants, and hear from program alumni.




          Virtual Information Sessions:

          August 15 at 9am (EST)


          September 12 at 4pm (EST) 


          Can't make a session or have a question, please contact Katherine Keefe, Leadership Programs Director at kkeefe@loyola.edu, to schedule a 1:1 meeting.

          Would you like to speak with a program alum about the experience and the career impact? Let us know. We're happy to put you touch.


          Applications for Leadership Essentials 2025 will open on July 8, 2024 and be due in October 2024. The Leadership Essentials 2025 Participant Application Fee is $50, to be paid upon the submission of your application.

          For more information, please contact Katherine Keefe, Leadership Programs Director at Kkeefe@loyola.edu.

          "Leadership Essentials provided a cost-effective method of comprehensive development for a future leader that we otherwise not have been able to provide. Being a nonprofit ourselves, we particularly like the service component and focus on the community."  -Lori Chatman, President, Enterprise Community Loan Fund


          Tuition for Leadership Essentials 2025 is $4,000. Installment plans may be arranged upon request.

          Tuition payments will be due in December 2024, after applications have been reviewed and participants have been accepted.

          A limited amount of financial aid is available for interested candidates who are self-employed, work for a nonprofit organization, or face financial difficulties. The Leadership Essentials 2025 Financial Aid Application is due in October 2024. The amount of financial aid offered will be based on the number of requests received. Tuition assistance and installment payment plan requests are considered separately and have no impact on your application.