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US Army Corps of Engineers Leadership Development Program

The goal of the District Army Corps Leadership Development Program (LDP) is to develop leadership competencies -- knowledge, skills and abilities -- of participants within each of the following four leadership domains:

  • Individual leadership, with an emphasis on self assessment, leadership knowledge, a mentoring relationship and the development of an individual leadership development portfolio.
  • Leading groups and teams, with an emphasis on interpersonal, facilitative, and decision-making skills to manage interdisciplinary, interorganizational, and interjurisdictional work teams and projects.
  • Leading the organization, with an emphasis on designing budgeting, personnel, informational and other organizational systems to create a high performing organization that empowers highly motivated employees.
  • Leading the community, with an emphasis on managing the drivers in the external environment to strategically position the organization to achieve its public mission.

These four domains of leadership competence are developed by registering each student for academic credit for each of the following three graduate level courses in Public Administration in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.

  • PA 517: Leadership Development
  • PA 518: Leading Public Organizations
  • PA 539: The National Policy Process

The LDP is grounded in the concept of "leadership alignment."  The LDP is organized around the premise that alignment is at the core of leadership - individual alignment between leaders and the Corps, team alignment within and across the organizational work of the Corps, organizational alignment between what the Corps is doing now and what it should be doing to better serve its Mission, and political alignment between the Corps and the external context in which it operates at the district, regional and national levels. The LDP will delve into each of these alignment issues and develop leadership strategies appropriate to each.  The LDP Capstone project assignment will provide LDP participants with an opportunity to develop an integrated leadership approach to the alignment problematic at the center of the year-long training program.

Participants will meet monthly with assigned readings and exercises, with additional reflective writing assignments for those seeking to receive grades along with their academic credits.  The sessions are supplemented with a mentoring program of senior army corps administrators, with individual coaching sessions with a PSU instructor and a LDP Capstone project.