What Leaders in our field are saying about the National Leadership Consortium at the University of Delaware:

“Leadership is not the product of experience alone; many components of leadership can be imparted and fostered. Ralph Nader noted, “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved [and] … inspires the power and energy to get it done.” The work of the National Leadership Institute is to instill this kind of directed vision and conviction about the possibilities for the future; without this, the potential for inspiration of power and energy will be less likely directed toward better futures for people with disabilities.”
~ K. Charlie Lakin, Center Director, Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota
“The variable that best predicts an accreditation award and high quality of life for people receiving services is organizational leadership. Leadership, vision, and values transform organizations.”
~ Jim Gardner, CEO, Council on Quality and Leadership
“Service delivery models are transitioning at break-neck speed; little priority and very few resources have been directed to leadership development, succession planning and mentoring for the next generation of disability leaders and advocates. An enormous amount of work remains to be done to ensure a world where full participation and a meaningful life for people with disabilities are a reality. This is a moral imperative that can only be achieved by visionary, competent, and passionate servant leaders. That is why the training, development and mentoring offered through the National Leadership Consortium is fundamental and essential.”
~ Renee L. Pietrangelo, CEO, ANCOR - A national network of providers offering quality supports to people with disabilities.
“The risk for people with disabilities is too great to leave the development of new leaders to chance.”
~ Nancy Thaler, CEO, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services
“Leaders are made not born. Leadership evolves from life experiences and learning by example. Leaders possess an internal spark that is lit by a clear vision. They are able to communicate this compelling vision to others and generate support and enthusiasm for this vision. Together, the leaders and followers are inspired to take action to make change. ”
~ Karen F. Flippo, CEO, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
“One of the things we struggle with is succession planning - we might have a really good leader of a specific team - but when that person leaves it’s hard to re-group. You need to have other people who can step up. It’s very hard to find and develop emerging leaders. We need to learn more about how to identify them and then how to develop and support them to become great leaders”
~ Patti Scott CEO, Neighbours, Inc, New Jersey
“People with disabilities should not be held hostage by the limitations of our vision.
~ Derrick Dufresne President/CEO, The Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities
“Good agencies have a leader who really knows the organization’s product and philosophy from the heart - not in a way that is just coached in management terminology. This may be achievable in larger organizations, but it’s harder than it is in smaller organizations. As a researcher, I’m a great believer in sampling - the larger your organization is, the larger the sample needs to be and therefore, the more time you as the leader have to give to really understand the perspectives of both the people you support and the people you employ. The leader has the most input into the quality of the experience of both the people who work for the organization and the people who are supported.”
~ K. Charlie Lakin, Center Director, Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota
“If I had to name the one factor that distinguishes the best provider organizations from others it would be leadership. That’s it. Those agencies that have good leadership know how to live with ambiguity and paradox. They are adept at reinventing themselves. And it’s important that not just the CEO is a leader - there needs to be good leadership at all levels throughout the organization. If you have a strong leader at the top, though, that person is going to be able to build an organization and recruit talent that is a good match for the leader’s style. That strengthens the organization at all levels. If I could offer advice to an agency that wants to continue moving in the most positive directions, I’d tell them to focus on leadership. Identify emerging leaders and develop them. Give people the opportunity to learn and grow. Be ready to constantly reinvent yourself and the organization as the field changes.”
~ Renee Pietrangelo, Executive Director, ANCOR