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Leadership Essentials

Leadership Essentials (formerly known as Fast Track for New Supervisors) is a unique opportunity to build the core competencies of leadership to support the university’s aspirations for talent development.

The program consists of five modules provided either in a blended instructor-led and online format with required pre- and post-work or a self-paced all-online format. The modules are designed to provide meaningful, relevant, and practical knowledge, skills, and abilities to help new supervisors be successful. The five core modules include:

The core of all effective leadership is the ability to communicate well and recognize that others may express themselves differently. Thinking with clarity, expressing those ideas, and sharing the information across audiences is the ultimate supervisor's tool. You will:

  • Learn what it means to be in your role as a supervisor at Virginia Tech.
  • Develop your communication and leadership style with Myers-Briggs to adapt and communicate successfully to appropriate parties.
  • Identify behavioral trends and make conscious positive choices.

The performance of yourself and others drives the success of your team and organization. Knowing how to bring out the best in others and yourself is vital. You will learn how to:

  • Interpret and understand how the organizational goals relate to internal and external environments and seek continuous improvement through tracking performance.
  • Recognize the importance of coaching and providing continuous, fair and honest feedback by regularly meeting with employees to provide guidance, assess, and review developmental progress.
  • Understand how to address issues proactively and effectively.

Developing your team is an important part of being a supervisor. Yet, building teams, coaching to the next level, and managing the process is challenging. As a supervisor, you need to take responsibility of the team to provide collaborative opportunities within and with other departments. This will help you:

  • Make decisions based on the most complete, accurate information, consulting with a subject matter expert if necessary and considering others’ perspectives.
  • Recognize and encourage behaviors that contribute to teamwork.
  • Demonstrate dealing with conflict in an appropriate, timely, and constructive manner.

Advancing the strategic vision of the university is a principal expectation of being a Virginia Tech supervisor. Understanding the fundamentals of change and project management to drive innovation and continuously improve your department is a must. You will be able to:

  • Incorporate planning and implementation elements into every change.
  • Engage and empower others to make decisions through delegation to create positive growth opportunities for the team.
  • Demonstrate leadership agility in responding to new information or unexpected challenges to achieve goals by being proactive, flexible, and resourceful.

Knowing your resources is a fundamental support for all new supervisors. This will enable you to make ethical and timely decisions while perceiving the impact and implications of those decisions. Discover best practices in:

  • Identifying how to hire and effectively onboard a new team member.
  • Knowing on-campus resources, such as HR, and what they can do to support you in understanding policies and employment law.
  • Understanding how setting the right climate and culture can motivate employees and retain talent.
  • Deepening your understanding and exemplify Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community.

Select the link above to gain access to a Coaching Guide for managers as well as a Participant Guide for supervisors.


If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, contact Talent Development via email at at least 10 business days prior to the event. 

Development Action Plan