The LeaderShape Institute

The dates and locations of the 2015 national sessions are as follows:

Sunday, May 17 - Friday, May 22 (Boston, MA) (CLOSED) 

Sunday, July 19 - Friday, July 24 (Champaign, IL)  

Saturday, July 25 - Thursday, July 30 (Atlanta, GA)

Sunday, July 26 - Friday, July 31 (Champaign, IL)

Sunday, August 2 - Friday, August 7 (Champaign, IL) - Special Interest session only for African American Men

If you have any questions about sending students to national sessions, please email

Six intense days of dialogue and interactive self-discovery in a supportive Learning Community.

The LeaderShape Institute® challenges participants to lead with integrityTM while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values.  Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be.

Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants — benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future.

(learn more)


The LeaderShape Institute: Results

Internal and external reviews of The LeaderShape Institute® reflect our commitment to excellence. The results — as you'll see — are real, and they are extremely powerful.

The LeaderShape Institute : Results : Research & Evaluation

We conduct annual internal reviews of The LeaderShape Institute® to gauge the program's effectiveness and relevance. Participants complete a survey at the end of the six-day experience, an indepth online program evaluation the week after they attend, and a follow-up surveys six months, one year, and five years later. The results reflect LeaderShape’s commitment to excellence.


Quality Scores: Quantitative Data

  • Every participant who attends The LeaderShape Institute is asked whether the session was a valuable experience in developing their capacity to lead. Our historical average is "6.31" on a 7-point scale with "7" representing that they “strongly agree” with that statement.
  • Over half (54%) of the participants who attended The LeaderShape Institute rated the experience a "7" on a 7-point scale; 9 out of 10 participants who attended The LeaderShape Institute rated the experience a "6" or a "7" on the same 7-point scale; and only 1.5% of all participants who ever attended The LeaderShape Institute rated the experience less than a "4", or neutral, on that scale.
  • Six months after attending, 95% of the 2009 graduates continued to feel The LeaderShape Institute was a valuable experience in developing their capacity to lead.


Participant Voices: Qualitative Data

Open and axial coding was used to analyze qualitative responses to the six month surveys for both campus-based and national sessions.  Analysis revealed consistent themes between and within the data regarding the impact of participation in The LeaderShape Institute.  From participants’ responses to the ways in which the six-day experience influenced them, three major themes emerged as outcomes: 1) recognition of personal growth and self-awareness, 2) greater understanding of and commitment to leading with integrity, and 3) increased efficacy around their own leadership capacity.

(learn more)



About The LeaderShape Institute : Results : Kellogg Report

The LeaderShape Institute® named an "exemplary program" by W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has released a report which reviews its grant-making activity in the area of youth leadership programming during 1990-98. During this time period, LeaderShape, Inc. was pleased to receive two different grants from the Foundation which supported the growth of campus-based LeaderShape sessions at leading engineering schools across the country. The LeaderShape Institute was named as one of the "exemplary programs" which the Foundation funded, as a result of its evaluation of the 31 programs it supported during this time period.

One section of the Executive Summary of the report states:

"LeaderShape, Inc. offers a curriculum-based leadership development program to more than 1,000 students each year. LeaderShape's Institute for Engineers was one of the 31 projects funded by Kellogg Foundation under this initiative, and members of the evaluation team considered its work to be exemplary. As a result, LeaderShape, Inc. was selected as the subject for a short-term outcome and impact evaluation study."

"The results of this longitudinal research revealed that LeaderShape is successfully increasing the ability of college leaders to create organizational visions. It is also increasing their general transformational leadership skills. The participants rated their overall experience with LeaderShape very positively. They perceived their leadership skills and abilities as being improved because of the training they received."

We are pleased to share the results of this evaluation with you. Further, the Kellogg Foundation has a commitment to disseminating the findings of its evaluation in order to share what it has learned and assist others who are committed to leadership development for young adults. The Foundation, therefore, has published the findings in a report called "Leadership in the Making: Impact and Insights from Leadership Development Programs in U.S. Colleges and Universities."

Click here to download the Kellogg Report Leadership in the Making: Executive Summary.

Click here to download the Kellogg Report Leadership in the Making: Full Report.

The LeaderShape Institute : Results : Impact

"I strongly encourage your institution to take advantage of the generous scholarship offer provided by LeaderShape, Inc. for your students. I have had extensive experience with The LeaderShape Institute. Our students have found the program to be an exceptional experience and I commend it to you highly."

Dr. Maureen Hartford
President, Meredith College
Former Vice-President, Student Affairs, University of Michigan
Chair, Board of Trustees, LeaderShape, Inc.

"LeaderShape was one of the most exciting experiences I've had working with young people. The commitment and energy these young people have for leadership and its application to their education and career/life development show that the nation/world is in very good hands. We need to celebrate these leaders and add to their ranks."

Dr. John L. Mason
President, Monsanto Fund (retired)

"This wonderful program for training college leaders is one that every college and university should consider. The exchange of ideas and curriculum are wonderful preparation for allowing potential student government heads and other organization heads to make a difference in their college years."

Dr. Allen P. Splete
President, Council of Independent Colleges

"I believe strongly that an individual will rise to the occasion, if she or he is provided the opportunity and the resources to be successful. LeaderShape is an outstanding leadership development program that distinguishes itself through its ability to reveal the leadership potential in everyone. LeaderShape challenges participants physically, emotionally, and intellectually, while simultaneously providing the resources they need to be effective leaders. It is powerful, exciting, and highly effective."

Dr. Michelle D. Gilliard
Executive Director, Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education


Participant Testimonials

The LeaderShape Institute: Send

LeaderShape conducts national sessions of The LeaderShape Institute® every summer, where participants are sent from all over the United States and across the world to a single location for six days.

The dates and locations of the 2015 national sessions are as follows:

Sunday, May 17 - Friday, May 22 (Boston, MA) (CLOSED) 

Sunday, July 19 - Friday, July 24 (Champaign, IL)  

Saturday, July 25 - Thursday, July 30 (Atlanta, GA)

Sunday, July 26 - Friday, July 31 (Champaign, IL)

Sunday, August 2 - Friday, August 7 (Champaign, IL) - Special Interest session only for African American Men

If you have any questions about sending students to national sessions, please email

Please see First Steps for prices and instructions on how to send participants to a national session of The LeaderShape Institute.

Hosting sessions in locations around the country is our way of helping to ease the cost of travel for participants. Participants can register for any session, however, placement preference will be given to those within a 150 mile radius of each location.


LeaderShape's Payment and Cancellation Policy

We realize that sponsoring a participant to attend a national session is not only a financial commitment but that it takes time to make arrangements for that participant to attend. We also know that replacing someone at the last minute can prove to be very difficult. Our policy is designed with that in mind. Our goal is to provide the experience of The LeaderShape Institute to as many people as possible. 

Payment for participant registration must be paid at least three weeks in advance of the participant's session. Failure to pay by that time may result in forfeiture of the space being held for that participant. 

If a participant is unable to attend, sponsor may find a replacement to attend any national session where space is available. If sponsor is unable to find a replacement within three weeks of the participant’s session the cancellation will result in a partial tuition refund. Upon written notification of cancellation received by Leadershape, Inc. all fees paid, less a $500 cancellation fee per participant, will be refunded. 

If a participant does not show up for their assigned session, leaves while the session is occurring, or is removed from the session because of a violation of LeaderShape policies, no refunds will be given. 

If all sessions are filled to capacity, participants will be placed on a waiting list. Spaces will be filled from the waiting list on a first come basis.

About The LeaderShape Institute : Send : First Steps

Sending someone to The LeaderShape Institute® is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

The dates and locations of the 2015 national sessions are as follows:

Sunday, May 17 - Friday, May 22 (Boston, MA) (CLOSED) 

Sunday, July 19 - Friday, July 24 (Champaign, IL)  

Saturday, July 25 - Thursday, July 30 (Atlanta, GA)

Sunday, July 26 - Friday, July 31 (Champaign, IL)

Sunday, August 2 - Friday, August 7 (Champaign, IL) - Special Interest session only for African American Men

1. Determine how many participants you want to send.
The price of The LeaderShape Institute is $1475 (plus travel) per participant.  This cost includes all lodging, meals, and materials for all six days of the Institute.

2. Reserve your spot.
Contact us at 800.988.LEAD (5323) or and let us know how many participants you plan to send. We're also happy to answer any questions you might have about the program or LeaderShape.

3. Get your students registered.
Your invoice will include a link to our online session registration.  Just forward it to your participants.  (Be sure to let them know sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.)

The LeaderShape Institute: Host

In addition to national sessions, every year we partner with campuses and organizations across the United States and throughout the world to help them host sessions of The LeaderShape Institute® in their own backyards.

Interested in knowing who we've partnered with in the past?

(learn more) (see it on Google Maps)

The LeaderShape Institute : Host : Partnership

A Commitment to Partnership

You may have noticed we refer to you as our partner.  We're intentional about using that word, as we don't see ourselves as the typical vendor or speaker you might bring to your organization.  We consider you a partner in our collective effort to fulfill our vision — a just, caring, thriving world where everyone leads with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible.

We recognize the success of the program depends on many people working together behind the scenes in order to create the powerful learning experience we know is possible.  We are committed to developing lasting relationships with our partners with the hope that The LeaderShape Institute® might serve as the cornerstone of your leadership program for years to come.


Working Together

Holding a session of The LeaderShape Institute requires a dedication—on our part and on yours.  We provide things like Lead Facilitators, program materials, and training, and we'll also need a few things from you.

(learn more)


Living Up to Our End of the Bargain

When it comes to support and assistance, we're committed to providing resources that make a real difference.

(learn more)


Costs and Budgeting

In general, we suggest campuses/organizations budget an average $35,000-40,000 for one session of The LeaderShape Institute, $16,000 of which is our fee. Traditionally, the largest variable cost in an overall session budget is food and lodging.

(learn more)



We suggest 9-12 months to plan your session; however, with strong campus support and a conversation with the staff here, planning can happen in as few as 6 months.

(learn more).

The LeaderShape Institute : Host : First Steps

We're committed to helping you plan a successful session from beginning to end, and it all starts with three first steps:

1. Select a Program Coordinator

You'll need a point person — a Program Coordinator — to run your session of The LeaderShape Institute.  It's a crucial role, so choosing someone who is a full-time staff member is important.  Your PC is responsible for:

  • working with campus resources to develop the session,
  • recruiting participants and Cluster Facilitators, and
  • managing the logistics and details prior to the start of the  session.

(learn more)

2. Select Dates for Your Session

We're flexible.  What works best for you?

Campus sessions typically happen in January before classes begin, over Spring Break, after the conclusion of final exams in the spring, or before classes start in the fall. You'll need to plan for 7 consecutive days — 1 day for facilitator training and 6 for the program.

If your organization isn't bound by an academic calendar, we can accomodate that as well.  Every month of the year The LeaderShape Institute is happening somewhere!

(learn more)

3. Select a Site for Your Session

The LeaderShape Institute should be held off campus at a site with minimal distractions for the participants. In fact, we require it.  We believe strongly in the power of an immersion experience and the impact it can have on learning.  We can even help you find a site.  Some of the space considerations include:

  • a large meeting room (60-75 movable chairs),
  • smaller breakout rooms (5-6 rooms for 8-12 people), and
  • individual sleeping rooms for facilitators.

(learn more)

Questions?  Ready to begin your planning process?  We can provide more information or help you through these three first steps to insure your session of The LeaderShape Institute is successful. Contact us at or call 800.988.LEAD (5323).

Host The LeaderShape Institute : FAQ

Here are just a few of the questions we're often asked about hosting a session of The LeaderShape Institute®.  If you don't find the answer to your specific question here, please don't hesitate to contact us at or 800.988.LEAD (5323).

What is the timeline for bringing The LeaderShape Institute to my campus/organization?

The timeline is somewhat dependent on the dates selected but in general we recommend 9-12 months to prepare. With strong institutional support we're also happy to discuss the possibility of a shorter timeline.  

NOTE: Many of our partners begin the planning process by sending a group of participants to one of our national sessions of the Institute that happen during the summer.  When they return, graduates of the program are usually enthusiastic advocates and can help with planning and participant recruitment for your session the following year.

return to top

Who organizes a session at the campus/organization level?

You'll need to name a Program Coordinator (PC) — a point person who assumes primary responsibility for your campus/organization session. We'll provide training and support for this person including a step by step Program Management Manual, an extensive management database, and personalized, regular contact from our office. 

Beyond your PC, we recommend working with a planning committee, both to build broad support and to handle important responsibilities (facilitator recruitment, funding, participant recruitment, follow-up, etc.).

return to top

What responsibilities does my campus/organization assume?

As a partner, you have primarily responsibility for:

  1. securing funding,
  2. finding and reserving a site (a camp or other off-campus retreat facility),
  3. creating (in advance ) and implementing a follow-up plan for participants to Stay In Action regarding the visions they create and commitments they make at the Institute,
  4. selecting five or six Cluster Facilitators (small group discussion leaders) to volunteer to be involved,
  5. select participants, and
  6. providing an On-Site Coordinator (usually an unpaid grad/student/intern) to manage the on-site logistics over the course of the six-day program 

return to top

What does it cost to bring The LeaderShape Institute to my campus/organization?

The cost to run a session for up to 60 participants varies, based most significantly on the lodging and meal costs of the site you select. We recommend budgeting $35,000-40,000, which includes our $15,800 fee.  Discounts are provided for campuses/organizations conducting two or more sessions.

return to top 

What is included in the fee paid to LeaderShape?

Here are the basics:

  • a proven curriculum built on 25 years of experience
  • all program materials (participant workbooks, facilitator manuals, supplies for specific activities, nametags, etc.),
  • two trained Lead Facilitators (including travel)
  • two visits from LeaderShape staff (one for planning/one to open the session) during your first year planning a session, and
  • support and follow-up from beginning to end, including training, an extensive "how-to" guide, and access to a database that manages the basics like online participant applications and various reports.

And there's more...

(learn more)

 return to top

How do other campuses/organizations fund their sessions?

There are a variety of funding models:

  • connections with corporate sponsors (especially those who may hire extensively at that particular college/university/organization).
  • internal funding from a single office or department (such as Student Affairs or Leadership Development)
  • collaboration between departments/academic colleges with broad support from various Directors/Deans.

Some partners also charge a nominal registration fee for each participant. Others build funding into their annual budget, scholarship awards, or part of the local chapter dues/fees.  

 return to top

How does The LeaderShape Institute fit in with existing leadership development opportunities or approaches on campus/within our organization?

Great question! Our hope is that The LeaderShape Institute is part of a broader leadership journey, rather than simply a six-day event. In fact, we encourage you to answer this question prior to making a commitment to host the Institute.

Our current partners do a good job integrating the learning that happens at the Institute with current campus/organization issues, values, programs, and foundations or approaches.  Because the Institute is an intensive immersion experience, the opportunity for connections and continued learning is extensive.

return to top

What do I need to know about selecting a site?

We're really particular about one thing: a site that gets participants away from their daily environment and allows them to immerse themselves in the learning and relationship building of the Institute. While there are other programmatic needs of course (such as large and small meeting rooms, access to a teams course, and meals and lodging specifics), it's important to know that the Institute is held at sites as varied as 4-H and YMCA camps, off-season resorts, retreat facilities, national/state parks, and conference centers.

(learn more)

return to top 

What support does LeaderShape provide to my campus/organization?

We're partners — in every sense of the word — and are committed to setting you up for success.  Beyond the training and planning resources (manuals, database access, etc.) we provide, your Program Coordinator will be paired with a personal liaison from our office who will be in regular communication throughout the planning, implementation, and follow up processes for your session.  Our liaisons each have at least a decade of programming and event planning experience, believe passionately in the vision and mission of LeaderShape, and are committed to building postive partnerships.  

return to top

How many participants can a campus/organizational-based session accomodate?

The Institute is designed for 60 participants, however for various reasons some campuses/organizations have chosen to conduct sessions with fewer participants. Given average costs for housing and meals, 40 or more participants makes financial sense as a minimum for most of our partners. We have also noticed an increase in quality when the group is kept at a manageable size (60 or less). 

return to top

Who should attend The LeaderShape Institute?

The LeaderShape Institute can be powerful for emerging and established leaders alike. The Institute creates space for participants to explore and define leadership for themselves. Because the program is grounded in authentic interaction, we've found that creating a Learning Community (the entire group of participants and facilitators at a session) with a variety of experiences and perspectives has a positive impact on learning.

return to top  

How are facilitators selected?

We'll provide two Lead Facilitators.  You'll need to find 6-8 Cluster Faciitators (depending on the size of your session), who are responsible for facilitating smaller group learning in what we call "Family Clusters." Lead Facilitators are responsible for training Cluster Facilitators and building the facilitator team.

Some of our parters identify specific people to be Cluster Facilitators and extend personal invitations, while others have an open application process. Regardless of the approach, here are some things to consider when selecting Cluster Facilitators:

  • experience — people who enjoy interacting with and work regularly with the age range of participants you are expecting
  • availability — facilitators need to be able to stay on-site for all 6 days of the program
  • authenticity — comfortable being themselves and serving as a role model for participants
  • diversity — in terms of gender, age, race/ethnicity, department, experience, and more.
  • ability — to facilitate rather than lead discussion and a willingness to be both a teacher and a learner  

return to top

What other colleges/universities/organizations currently conduct The LeaderShape Institute?

The Institute is hosted by a variety of institutions both in the United States and globally, from large research universities to small private colleges to corporations.

(learn more)

return to top

The LeaderShape Institute: Facilitators

Devote a week of your time. Make a difference for years to come.

The LeaderShape Institute's® hands-on, multi-dimensional curriculum is presented by a group of facilitators who volunteer to devote a week of their time to helping develop leaders. While each of them has experience working with young adults, our facilitators are all highly respected in their own professions and serve as excellent leadership role models for the students. They play prominent roles in higher education, corporate organizations, and non-profit settings.

So if you think you have what it takes to be a LeaderShape institute facilitator, this is where to start.

The LeaderShape Institute : Facilitators : Lead Facilitators

Two Co- Lead Facilitators guide the six-day curriculum of The LeaderShape Institute®.  In addition to facilitating learning in the large group setting (what we call the Learning Community), Co-Lead Facilitators share responsibilities that include coordinating the daily logistics of the session and training/supporting the small group Cluster Facilitators.

(learn more — you'll want to read this before you apply!)

To apply to serve as a Co-Lead Facilitator, please click here. All applications must be submitted by Friday, November 14, 2014.

If you have any questions about the application process or the Co-Lead Facilitator role, please contact Kristen Young at

The LeaderShape Institute : Facilitators : Cluster Facilitators

Cluster Facilitators are a part of the faculty team during The LeaderShape Institute. They work directly with a small group of 10-12 participants (a Family Cluster) to encourage authentic dialogue and enhance learning. You can learn more about the role here.

If you have any questions about the Cluster Facilitator role at a national session, please email Kristen Bendon Hyman at

Upcoming Events