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Goddard Space Flight Center
Leadership Alchemy Program

Leadership Alchemy Program
An award-winning, state-of-the-art leadership development program

Leadership Alchemy is an award-winning program that is also considered to be a "Federal Best Practice" by the Federal Consulting Group. The 10-month program was successfully piloted in 2002 by 16 members of Goddard’s Financial and Resources Management Community.  In 2003, the pilot was expanded Center-wide for scientists, engineers, and professional-administrative employees, both non-supervisors and supervisors. The program continues to receive high acclaim from Goddard, Headquarters, and other Federal Agency participants.

In 2002, Leadership Alchemy was awarded a NASA Chief Financial Officer’s Financial and Resources Management Improvement Award. In 2003, the program designers and implementers received a Goddard Exceptional Achievement Team Honor Award.

THE PROGRAM EMPHASIZES 5 KEY PRACTICES

1. Action Learning
2. Appreciative Inquiry
3. Developing the Presence of a Leader
4. Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Building
5. Reading and Reflection

Learning occurs in the context of community in a highly experiential and holistic fashion. Leadership Alchemy is a transformational program where participants design and declare their leadership vision and are offered ample opportunity to realize that vision. Participants focus on enhancing the key competencies of Relating to Others, Leading and Managing Change, and Leading and Managing People. Participants will

  • Gain personal insight and leadership mastery
  • Understand the Organization and Leadership Competencies to Create the Desired Future
  • Transform Knowledge and Skill into Wisdom and Action

OVERVIEW--KEY COMPETECIES

Relating to Others
– Working to Build Trust and Supportive Relationships and Networks
– Influencing Others
– Demonstrating Generous Listening Skills

Leading & Managing Change
– Communicating a Vision for Change
– Planning and Implementing Organizational Change

• Leading & Managing People
– Promoting Teamwork
– Appreciating the Richness of Diversity and Utilizing
   the Full Range of Contributions of Others
– Resolving Conflict


OVERVIEW--PHILOSOPHY

  • Leadership is more than "what you need to know" and "what you need to do", it is about who you are in the context of the organization
  • Leadership and management competencies, although overlapping, are distinct
  • Everyone can and should be a leader, as circumstances warrant
  • Language is generative – language does more than describe, it creates our reality and our identity
  • Whatever we focus on expands and energy follows attention
  • One learns in a holistic fashion (integrated mind, emotions, and body)
  • Learning happens in a community where relationships are built both on trust and the respect for differences
  • By changing yourself you can change and effect others
  • Before you can lead you must connect with and generate trust in others
  • A leader’s role is to influence both the context and the mood of the organization
  • How we see the world determines the possibilities we identify and the actions we take – if you change the "observer that you are" you create more possibilities for action


OVERVIEW--DOCUMENTS

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NASA Official: Gail Williams
Last Updated: 01/30/2007