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Lead 4 Success™

Leadership isn't just defined by the job title. It's about developing the perspective, skills and personal style to get results that matter.

Since 2016, Human Resources has partnered with the renowned  Center for Creative Leadership to deliver effective leadership development programs to Northwestern's staff audience of individual contributors. The Lead 4 Success™ program gives individual contributors the necessary tools to excel in their current role and prepare for future roles at the University. 

The learning experience is focused on developing The Fundamental 4 skills (self-awareness, learning agility, influence and communication) that leaders at any level need to master for success.

The teaching model is built on the premise that leadership is not defined by one’s job title, that leadership is a process rather than a person, and that whether or not one is a formal leader, one is engaged in the process of leadership.

Using CCL’s time tested approach to leadership development we incorporate:

The Fundamental 4:  there are four core skills that are important for every leader at every level. The Center for Creative Leadership calls them the Fundamental 4: self-awareness, learning agility, influence, and communication. The Fundamental 4 have endured the test of time and are the basis for the Lead 4 Success™ program, where participants immerse themselves in development, adapt these skills to their own leadership contexts, participate with peers in learning, and share ideas to apply to their leadership lessons to their real world.

Program goals

During the program participants will learn in a hybrid modality, using in-person and virtual experiential collaborative team activities to build self-awareness, learning agility, influence and communication.

By applying the lessons from Lead 4 Success™ participants will increase their ability to:

  • Stretch outside of established comfort zones to work with others, solve problems, and drive results.
  • Apply a range of techniques to influence others, often over whom you have no authority, and immediately impact workplace challenges.
  • Accomplish high-quality work faster through relationships and collaboration.
  • Gain a more accurate picture of their leadership abilities.

Program audience and eligibility criteria

The Lead 4 Success™ program is intended primarily for staff members, individual contributors with no direct reports – who are in influential roles or lead key projects and are ready to step up their leadership.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must:

  • Be a regular staff employee (non-exempt, exempt) at any of Northwestern’s six campuses: Chicago, Evanston, Qatar, Miami, New York, and Washington, D.C.
  • Be an Individual Contributor with no direct reports.
  • Have completed one year of service to the University, as of program start date.
  • Have an "Achieving" performance rating or higher.
  • Commit to actively mentor other employees in future employee development programs.
  • Commit to attending the program fully. 
  • Complete a program application.
  • Receive a sponsorship form from their supervisor.

Program selection

Staff members who submit an application and secure their supervisor's sponsorship will be eligible for consideration in the program. Applicants are selected by a committee of University staff members in leadership roles. Eligibility criteria apply. The selection committee seeks diversity based on geography, function, gender, ethnicity, and school/unit. Particular attention is given to candidates' personal statements. 

Participation in the Lead 4 Success™ program is for the purpose of professional development in a current role. While it prepares staff for future roles, it is not intended to set an expectation for immediate or future advancement.

Learn more

The Lead 4 Success™ program has historically run during the summer months pending university funding. Regrettably, due to a reallocation of resources across Human Resources, we are not able to offer the L4S program this fiscal year. 

Although Northwestern is not offering the program, the Center for Creative Leadership offers an open-enrollment virtual live-instructor led program. Please visit CCL's webpage for information on program cost, program dates, and enrollment: Lead 4 Success.

For other questions, please email the Talent Development team at: