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LEAP (Leadership Empowerment Achievement Program) is designed to:

  • identify potential leaders within the library system,
  • allow employees interested in advancement an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills, and
  • develop a pool of individuals who can assume leadership roles when the need arises.

The objectives for participants in LEAP are:

  • develop visionary leadership through practical hands-on experience and classroom training sessions;
  • develop awareness of external and internal social and political influences impacting the library system, resulting in effective communication strategies for disseminating information;
  • develop proactive strategies to address a shifting workplace environment; and
  • gain an understanding of the overall operation of the library system and how each part works together to support the organization’s mission.

The following is a list of just some of the “soft skills” or “transferable skills” identified by the Leadership Development Steering Committee as shaping future Memphis Public Library leaders. Individual LEAP sessions were designed based on these competencies; each session addresses one or more of these skills:

  • identifying and appreciating various leadership styles
  • effective communication
  • motivating followers and teambuilding
  • ethical leadership
  • valuing professional organizations
  • advocacy and outreach
  • strategic planning
  • dealing with change
  • coaching and mentoring
  • community awareness
  • public relations
  • political acumen or savvy
  • building collaborative relationships
  • creating and communicating vision
  • understanding the library "big picture"
  • identifying future trends

LEAP Sessions

In order to make the LEAP experience comprehensive, it is imperative that we provide a varied experience for people at all levels and position types. It is our goal to provide insight into our organization, our connection to our community, and the importance of the profession as a whole.

Here is the schedule in its current form:


Welcome Reception


LEAP Retreat


Essentials of Communication


Follow the Book


Part 1: Challenge throughout System History

Part 2: We've Come a Long Way, Baby


Public Relations: Our Window on the World


Shake 'Em Up: A Day in the Life Somewhere Else


The Library World Beyond Memphis Public


Community Involvement


Where I Went/What I Learned