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Leadership Institute

2024 Emerging Leaders Series

New Year, new cohort! We're excited to announce the return of Emerging Leaders in 2024. Leadership is not magic, charisma, or the responsibility of a chosen few. Leadership is the result of specific behaviors that can be developed and implemented at all levels of an organization. Leaders are ordinary people who get extraordinary things done.

2024 Schedule

Session I: Tuesday June 4 to Friday June 7, 2024 - Seattle, WA

Session II: Tuesday July 30 to Friday August 2, 2024 - Seattle, WA

Session III: Tuesday October 15 to Friday October 18, 2024 - in Olympia, WA

Download the 2024 Emerging Leaders Program Annoucement


There will be a $4,250 registration fee for 12 days of training. Travel and per diem expenses are the responsibility of the participant and/or participant's agency.  Registration fees are due at the time of acceptance into the program unless arrangements have bee made with CCER.  Participants selected to participate in the 2024 Emerging Leaders Series will receive instructions on how to register with and make payment to CCER.

The Emerging Leaders Series is a program sponsored by the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER) at the University of Washington. It is designed to develop and enhance the leadership skills of managers in public and private non-profit rehabilitation agencies within the Pacific Northwest. The program is intended primarily for mid-managers of state rehabilitation agencies and large non-profit programs, and upper-level managers of other community rehabilitation programs, Client Assistance Projects, Independent Living Centers, and similar organizations. The program consists of 12 days of training divided into three sessions of three days each.


The purpose of the Emerging Leaders Series is to challenge individuals to become positive forces of change within their organization and the field of rehabilitation by adopting exemplary leadership practices.


The goal is to provide the opportunity for participants to develop and refine their leadership skills in relation to their current job and future leadership positions.


At the conclusion of the Emerging Leaders Series, participants will: 

  • Increase their self-awareness and understanding of individual differences.
  • Understand how and why changes occur (or do not occur) within organizations.
  • Know how to create an environment conducive to positive change.
  • Recognize the impact of external environmental factors on individuals in leadership positions.
  • Envision the future and implement practical steps to move toward that vision.


The content of the three sessions is based primarily on the behavioral commitments of successful leaders described in the book The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner:
Session I: Building Relationships that Work

  • Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust.
  • Strengthen others by sharing information and power.
  • Set an example for others by acting in ways consistent with one's values.
  • Recognize individual contributions to success of every project.
  • Celebrate team accomplishments regularly.

The first session focuses on understanding differences about how people think, feel and behave in relation to working together in a constructive way. Participants are asked to complete a variety of self-assessment instruments, including the Leadership Practices Inventory that is also completed by others who work closely with the participant. A day is spent on the "Challenge Course," an ingenious outdoor experience designed to foster teamwork and group problem solving. 
Session II: Moving Toward Your Vision

  • Envision an uplifting and ennobling future.
  • Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to their values, interests, hopes, and dreams.
  • Search for challenging opportunities to change, grow, innovate, and improve.
  • Experiment, take risks, and learn from the accompanying mistakes.
  • Plan small wins that promote consistent progress and build commitment.

Defining a change project to be implemented within each participant's agency is the primary focus of the second session. Each participant develops a vision for their program, considers the interests and values of people who affect their ability to get things done and identifies a way to change and improve their program. They pursue that change between sessions two and three.
Session III: Leadership at or near the Top
While leaders are necessary and exist at all levels of an organization, there are positions at or near the top that are considered leadership positions. Session III examines the similarities and differences among leadership at various levels of an organization and how to prepare for leadership positions. Time is also spent reviewing lessons learned during implementation of the change projects.


A variety of procedures and formats will be utilized during the series including small group discussion, role-playing, simulations, individual consultation, lectures, and guest presentations. These activities will take place in various locations in Seattle and Olympia. Participants are expected to be actively involved and willing to share their knowledge and insights with others. In addition to the implementation of a change project within the participant's agency during the series, there will be other brief assignments between sessions and occasional evening meetings or assignments during the sessions.


The primary trainer for the series is Paul Dziedzic. Paul is the former Special Assistant to the Governor of Washington on Substance Abuse Issues and the former Director of the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB), during which time he served as President of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. Other instructors, selected for their demonstrated effectiveness as leaders, will be utilized for certain aspects of the series.

Reactions from Previous Participants

"It is a dynamic presentation of the building blocks of leadership...The series was a fun, exciting and very encouraging exercise in human behavior."
"I highly recommend that you have the opportunity to attend this workshop."
"After each session I felt truly empowered and energized to get things done. If you sincerely desire to be an agent of change, this is an opportunity for you to develop the skills in order to do that."
"You are in for a treat, both personally and professionally...You will find that 'sharing' and 'caring' will take on more positive meanings...Most of all, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from two leaders who have experienced management in the fast lane."
"I came to the Emerging Leaders Series with an open mind and have benefited throughout the training enormously."
"If you want to explore and develop your leadership skills, I highly recommend the Emerging Leader training series."
"It's much more than even the most dynamic seminar. It's different than training."

If you would like more information about the Leadership Institute, please email