Leadership Tomorrow Programs
Participants in the program work to answer such questions as:
- What will it take to develop a strong, regional economy?
- How will we improve the K-16 education system? What steps are needed to provide basic needs for all families?
- What are the reasons for ongoing racial conflict?
- How can we have a vibrant arts community?
- In what kind of region do we want to live and work?
By bringing together a diverse group of individuals from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to interact, lasting networks have been established which have proved essential to addressing regional issues and creating a vital, positive community for current and future generations.
Each year, 72-80 participants from across the region are chosen through a rigorous selection process that includes a written application and intensive interview. Those selected are split between three sectors in the following approximate proportions: 60% represent businesses; 20% represent government; and 20% represent non-profit organizations. The LT experience inspires participants to think, respond, act and create as a member of a complex community.
Participants in Leadership Tomorrow understand the interconnectedness of issues and take a collaborative approach to finding solutions to regional challenges in a constantly changing environment. They expand their leadership skills while gaining a network of professional connections and access to a vast array of perspectives, resources and mentors. Participants not only develop their understanding of the major issues facing the region, but also acquire the skills to find effective solutions to those issues.
Leadership Tomorrow participants take part in a nine-month training program that includes several elements: monthly, day-long seminars built around a broad array of issues facing the region (i.e. arts and culture, the economy, quality education and healthcare); two retreats - one focusing on leadership and stewardship, and the other on the leader's role in addressing racism; and two, small group leadership labs - one in which participants "explore" leadership with local leaders and the other in which participants "apply" leadership to a project benefitting a local non-profit organization. The curriculum is built around the Seattle Foundation's Seven elements of a Healthy Community; and developing effective skills in servant leadership, community stewardship, and cultural competency.
Programming for the more than 1400 alumni in the region is designed to help alums stay current on regional issues; engage with local leaders; and foster networking, across sectors, for the benefit of the region.
CityYear Mentoring Program
Now in its fourth year, the program pairs Leadership Tomorrow graduates as mentors to CityYear participants as mentees. This year, more than 55 mentors volunteered to serve as mentors to CityYear participants.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
LT alumni have influence as public figures and behind the scenes. Practically every board in the region is served by at least one graduate. Every large company and many small ones, have Leadership Tomorrow graduates in their ranks. Graduates Phil Bussey, President & CEO, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Martha Choe, Chief Administrative Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Frank Chopp, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Hunter Goodman, Asst. State Attorney General, Carolyn Kelly, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Seattle Times, and Alan Mulally, President & CEO, Ford Motor Company, are just a few of the more prominent alumni. Over the past 27 years, the more than 1,400 alumni have contributed significantly to this region - impacting it through their individual leadership, their involvement in government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations - and by participating in more than 200 projects that have benefitted community organizations. LT works locally to build human capital and ensure that the region continues to have a large and diverse group of vigorous, well-informed, and responsible individuals from which to draw its future leaders. The program serves as a catalyst for spreading positive, forward-thinking leadership outward into the community, while helping individuals understand and respect the responsibilities of leadership and civic involvement. Leadership Tomorrow's alumni come from all sectors of our community and build awareness that leaders come in all sizes, shapes and colors. They are serving as policy-level trustees for non-profits across the region and as elected and appointed public officials who work collaboratively to address our community's most critical issues. The challenges facing our region - both now and in the future - are complex. Simple solutions will no longer work; these challenges will require individuals to work across sectors to find effective solutions to address the region's numerous issues. We can no longer work in silos - the cost of making mistakes is too high. It is important to develop individuals in ways that enable them to build community. By bringing together a diverse group of individuals from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to interact, Leadership Tomorrow has established the lasting networks that are essential to building the thoughtful, engaged, and responsive leaders, so critically needed today. No other organization is accomplishing this work in the same hands-on, experiential and collaborative way.
Thanks to a lean and focused staff, the program's overhead remains low. Leadership Tomorrow keeps its budget down by relying on more than 150 extraordinary volunteers who donate their time and talent to LT as trainers, speakers, curriculum designers, etc. Despite this, it costs approximately $5,250 to pay for one individual to participate in the year-long leadership training program. Of the current budget, only 59% is funded by tuition. Contributions from corporations and foundations account for approximately 26% of the budget, and the remaining 15% of budget funding comes from individual donations and special events. To ensure a diverse group of participants, Leadership Tomorrow intends to do everything possible to keep the cost of tuition affordable. The need for unrestricted support remains critical. Funds raised will be used to close the gap between tuition income and the actual cost of program operations for current participants and program alumni.