Cultivating the Core Tenets of Leadership

The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) uniquely develops the diverse leadership abilities of engaged Clevelanders who are committed to creating a city and region which works for everyone. If you'd like to be a part of the next Cohort, apply below:

Veronica Walton, Cohort III

One of the three core components of NLDP is its comprehensive curriculum. The program's core curriculum is an eleven-month, sixteen-session skills-based leadership training and development program. Explore the themes of these sixteen sessions in the timeline below and consult this schedule to learn about the current cohort of neighborhood leaders!


NLDP Orientation

This session is an introduction to the NLDP program and the Intentional Change Model and begins the conversation of what it means to be a leader. It will also cover the importance of coaching and the roles and responsibilities of both the coach and the coachee during the program year. Additionally, this session will provide an overview of the leadership assessment tools that will be used to provide insight into a participant’s individual leadership style.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2024

Examining Leadership Styles - Attributes of Good Leaders

This session will provide an understanding of leadership by defining both positive and negative leadership traits. The participants will begin to recognize the relationship between an individual’s leadership skills and attributes and their effect on how a person is perceived by others as a leader.  

OCTOBER 12, 2024

Emotional Intelligence and Time Management

This session will define emotional intelligence and how it relates to outstanding leadership. Participants will learn how stress and ineffective time management can impact their emotional intelligence and quality of leadership. The session will also provide ways to identify leadership activities that are energizing and that create focus through vision.

OCTOBER 26, 2024

Who You Are... Is How You Lead

This session will cover the six core mindsets a leader should possess and how the six mindsets can be used to maintain and achieve vision. Participants will strengthen their abilities to think strategically about their vision and how to keep themselves and others energized about their work in the community.

NOVEMBER 9, 2024

Group Processes and Development

This session will provide a deeper understanding of leadership by exploring the relationship of the leader to the group. It will define a team’s stages of development and how to attract, lead and develop followers while building consensus in a team setting. This session features an experiential learning component.

NOVEMBER 23, 2024

Group Facilitation and Team Building for Stronger Neighborhoods

This session will help participants to understand facilitation as a leadership tool by demonstrating ways it can influence group dynamics. It will look at the differences between reflective and non-reflective listening, dialogue versus discussion and how different models of facilitation can impact judgment and behavior in meetings.

DECEMBER 14, 2024

Leading Through an Equity Lens

This session discusses the imperative of leading with an equity lens and its relationship to being a successful leader. The session will encourage participants to openly explore the connection between equity and leadership in their own community work by examining power, privilege, and the different levels of racism and bias. It will show how participants can put leading with an equity lens into practice as they try to create sustainable change.

JANUARY 11, 2025

Process of Community Change

This session is designed to define the ways that community change occurs and the resistance and barriers that can sometimes arise to block it. It will illustrate the process and stages of change and the methods to achieve it by using both local and national models as examples. Participants will also strengthen their abilities to think strategically about community change.

JANUARY 25, 2025

Rallying Your Neighborhood for Change

This session helps to define a strategic community engagement approach and link it with the community change process. It will provide participants with an understanding of how to assess and improve their community engagement capacity while identifying the key challenges they might face in their community work and how to overcome these obstacles.

FEBRUARY 15, 2025

Building Stronger Communities Through Social Entrepreneurship

This session will explore the key elements of creating a successful social enterprise and clearly define what a social enterprise is and its function. To be a successful social enterprise, there are key aspects an organization or individual must consider such as the relationship between mission and money, the importance of creativity and innovation and how to communicate your mission to your audience.

MARCH 1, 2025

Project Planning

This session will define the critical elements of project planning and why it is so important to the success of community projects and building a shared vision. It will demonstrate how to create a plan using different methods and cultivate design thinking skills for effective program planning. Participants will learn how to create a mission statement and recognize their project strengths and weaknesses.

MARCH 22, 2025

Program Fundraising

This session begins the discussion of Program Fundraising. It provides the participants with the details of the different methods for fundraising and how to build fundraising plans for their community efforts. Participants will gain knowledge on best practices for researching and finding donors, making an ask for financial assistance, completing compelling requests, consistently and transparently reporting grant results, utilizing the board of directors, volunteers and/or community as fundraisers, and more.

APRIL 12, 2025

Program Marketing and Communications

This session will challenge participants to consider how their project or organization is perceived by their core constituency and how to project a positive public image through marketing and communication. It will focus on identifying your key audience, developing your message, interpersonal communications, crisis communications and working with the media.

MAY 3, 2025

Service to Community and Yourself

Human capital helps drive change and this session takes a look at ways to recruit and engage volunteers to your project while being sensitive to their needs and avoiding volunteer burnout. It will also cover how, as a leader, you can avoid your own burnout by caring for your mental and physical well being.

MAY 17, 2025

Change in Cleveland's Neighborhoods: "The Neighborhood Tour"

This session is a look into the role of community leaders in making community change and understanding how knowledge and skills, volunteering, networks and partnerships work to guide a vision for community leaders. It will look at the dilemmas and challenges that leaders often face in their efforts to create change. The tour will visit several projects in the city and give participants the opportunity to speak to leaders who have met these challenges head on.

MAY 31, 2025

Dialogue with a Leader & End of Program Ceremony

This final session is a reflective journey for participants who will review their development and growth as a leader. They will share how their NLDP experience has affected their views on leadership, their community work and Cleveland. They will also have an opportunity to learn about the leadership journey of the NLDP founder and ask questions about his experiences as a leader.

Sessions are from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm