The LeaderShape Institute

What happens at the LeaderShape® Institute?

The Institute challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. The Learning Objectives of the program are: 

  1. Commit to identify core personal values and act in ways that are congruent with these values.
  2. Through self-awareness and reflection, identify the ways social positionality informs perspective, reactions, and interactions. 
  3. Develop relationships that honor the dignity of individuals and groups in the context of equity and social systems.
  4. Create a community-oriented vision that addresses critical social and global issues, embracing a healthy disregard for the impossible.  

The program content reflects key leadership elements of vision, partnerships, integrity, and results. Each day has a different theme that builds on the previous day as the session progresses:  

Day One: The Value of One, The Power of All
Day Two: Challenging What Is, Looking to What Could Be
Day Three: Living and Leading with Integrity
Day Four: Staying in Action

The Institute utilizes highly interactive program methods rather than classroom lectures. In this environment, everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. Many of the activities engage the large group known as the Learning Community. Smaller groups, called Family Clusters, are also formed as a supportive, safe environment for personal reflection and the development of new skills, attitudes, and abilities.

Not a typical leadership retreat, the Institute is grounded in helping individuals identify the values they hold that lead to making a difference in the communities around them. By leading with passion, integrity, and a healthy disregard for the impossible, participants explore who they are and the impact that they want to have on communities working towards a more caring, just and equitable society.

The Michigan Tech LeaderShape® Institute

The Michigan Tech LeaderShape® Institute has continued to evolve and has been training leaders from our campus since 1996. The LeaderShape® Institute takes place at the end of winter break at the Ford Center in Alberta, MI. There is a minimal cost of $100 for participants to attend the Institute, however, that cost is often sponsored by campus departments and organizations. Transportation to and from the Institute, meals, and lodging are provided. Participants must be available and are expected to stay for the entire length of the Institute. Applications for the 2025 Institute® will open in October!

Cluster Facilitator

The Family Cluster is the formal support and reference group for the participants during the week, and the Cluster Facilitator serves as the group's resource, catalyst, and facilitator. Because the Cluster Facilitator has considerable interaction with the participants, they are one of the most valuable members of the facilitator team during The LeaderShape Institute. The Cluster Facilitator will support participants as they develop their visions and encourage positive interpersonal and group skills in a safe and trusting setting. Cluster Facilitators are also encouraged to maintain contact with members of their Family Cluster following The LeaderShape Institute. This contact helps participants "stay in action" to successfully achieve their visions after the program.

Specific roles within the Family Cluster and Learning Community include:

  • Modeling leadership behavior and acting with integrity
  • Clarifying, summarizing, and sharing ideas
  • Guiding group discussions
  • Teaching selected segments of the curriculum
  • Establishing a climate conducive to learning
  • Challenging thinking and encouraging reflection and feedback

Now Seeking Cluster Facilitators for Institute 2025

Interested parties should contact

On-Site Coordinators

The LeaderShape® On-Site Coordinator is an integral part of ensuring a successful Institute. Each year, Michigan Tech enlists the assistance of two LeaderShape® graduates to assist in promotion, logistical and conference management tasks, and community building, which are crucial to the program. All applicants for the position must be graduates of the LeaderShape® Institute. Eligible students for the on-site coordinator position will be contacted directly via email about the application process.

A cluster family climbs a snow bank
A small group listens intently to each other while engaging in reflection
A family cluster plays in the snow outside.
2019 group holding one person in their arms.
Two 2015 participants pointing at the camera.
Leadershape 2020 group huddle
Participants listen to a co-lead in the learning community.
The learning community celebrates the end of their session
2020 leadershape participants stand in a line.
2015 participants standing in front of the audience with hands on hips.
A small group discusses the activity
Leadershape 2020 participants doing an activity.
2018 participants batting a balloon around the room.
2017 group.